With summer comes July holiday foods and drinks. From fried chicken and piña coladas to ice cream and avocados, these foods and drinks are perfect to bite, sip, lick, slice, grill, dip, and more in the summer.
What foods and drinks are the best for the month July? Foods that are easy to carry in the palm of your hand or between your fingers (finger foods). Foods and drinks that are refreshing and/or cool (fresh fruits, ice cream, margaritas). Foods that are filling and comforting, like chicken wings and pizza.
If you didn’t know, July has tons of unofficial holidays focused on different food items. So if you need inspiration on something to make for that picnic potluck or family gathering, we’ve got you covered with this July inspired holiday food blog.
July 6: National Fried Chicken Day
Fried chicken is a greasy, deliciously indulgent comfort food enjoyed all over the world. The ultimate soul food is a combination of Scottish chicken-frying methods and West African seasoning traditions — creating what is now one of the world’s favorite guilty pleasures!
Take this day to enjoy the hot, crunchy goodness of fried chicken. If you’ve never made it yourself before, today is the day to heat the oil and fry it up. Or order some from your favorite restaurant.
July 7: Chocolate Day/Strawberry Sundae Day
Chocolate has an almost magical ability to make life better. And eating an ounce of dark chocolate each day actually has some health benefits, including reduced stress and blood pressure.
And there is no better way to escape the summer heat (or enjoy the hot summer days) than with a sweet, refreshing dessert. Each year on this day, Americans combine vanilla or strawberry ice cream, strawberry sauce, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. Make several strawberry sundaes, and enjoy this delicious treat with friends and family. Dont’ forget to add your favorite toppings!
Related reading(s): NATIONAL STRAWBERRY SUNDAE DAY – July 7
July 9: National Sugar Cookie Day
Let’s face it: Cookies are an all-year ordeal. But summer makes people want to eat healthy jsut as much as it makes people want to binge on some sweets. We love sugar cookies because they’re simple yet versatile. Plus, they’re super easy to make! Just some flour, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and baking sod.
With so many tasty ways to dress them up, including with icing or ice cream, you can whip up a batch to celebrate the holiday (and don’t hesitate to get a little creative).
July 10: National Piña Colada Day
We know you were waiting for the beverage, and we’re not disappointing! For those drink lovers out there, if you can’t transport yourself to the beach today, a piña colada sure can.
This beverage is made with a few simple ingredients, including white rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice. Nothing can make your back patio feel like a tropical escape like a this cocktail! So break out the tiny paper umbrellas, kick off your shoes, and enjoy.
July 11: National Mojito Day
Oh, you thought we were done with the beverages? (Nope!) Combining white rum with sugar, lime, mint, soda water, and sugar, this Cuban classic tastes light and refreshing and is the perfect drink for a hot summer day or a warm summer evening.
July 12: National Pecan Pie Day
Do you know that 90 percent of Americans surveyed believe eating a slice of pie is one of life’s simple pleasures, indulging in 186 million commercially sold pies every year!
It’s also been said that people who prefer pecan pie over the many other types of pies describe themselves as thoughtful and analytical. We’re not sure if this still holds true for those who add ice cream or whipped cream but, nonetheless, it’s time to celebrate the delicious dessert today!
Related reading(s): National Pecan Pie Day – July 12, 2021
July 13: National French Fries Day
Much like cookies, french fries are a big deal year round. But we won’t argue with having a day dedicated to the slender potato. Interestingly, the origin of French fries is likely not even French at all. Potatoes were being fried in Belgium way before the French.
Anywho, pair these with some simple condiments, top with truffle oil and parmesan, or mash between a juicy burger. Whatever you prefer, there’s no wrong way to enjoy a big pile of fries today.
Related reading(s): National French Fry Day – July 13, 2021
July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day
Golden and gooey, baked and hearty… we’re simply not surprised that macaroni and cheese is iconic enough to get its own holiday. It’s perhaps the king of comfort foods, the dominant dish of America, and a favorite of all ages all over the country.
Here’s one way to celebrate the gooey day: a food challenge. All over America, restaurants entice visitors to take on food challenges. If conquered, this means a free meal! Try to find a place with a mac and cheese eating challenge, like the Midnight Mac and Cheeserie in Chicago. (If you eat five pounds of the house mac and cheese in under an hour, you go down in Chicago cheese-story, get a free meal, and a t-shirt!)
Related reading(s): National Mac and Cheese Day – July 14, 2021
July 16: National Cherry Day
In the summer, we love our fresh picked fruits, and that includes our cherries. Cherries range from sweet to tart, they come in shades ranging from red to yellow, and you can create a wide variety of dishes, desserts, and drinks with them.
If you’re in California, enjoy a day outside by picking fresh cherries at a cherry U-Pick farm. After, use the picked cherries and add a twist to a southern classic by making black cherry iced tea; iced tea is the perfect summer drink and cherries are a great addition.
July 18: National Ice Cream Day
Thanks to President Reagan, we celebrate National Ice Cream Day every third Sunday in July (July 18 this year). Reagan wanted to commemorate a treat enjoyed by over 90 percent of the US population, so in 1984 he decreed a day for ice cream. He also proclaimed July as National Ice Cream month.
July 19: National Daiquiri Day
Did someone say… ahhh. With rum, refreshing citrus juice, and sugar (or another sweetener of your choice), this delicious and refreshing beverage is perfect to sip when laying by the pool with friends. Need we say more?
July 21: National Hot Dog Day
When we think of summer, there’s no way we can’t not think about hot dogs! Like some other items on this list, hot dogs can be purchased and enjoyed at any time of the year, however on July 21 is absolutely the day we hold them in the highest regard.
With cheese, onions, jalapenos, ketchup, horse radish — let’s just say the options for eating a hot dog are endless!
July 24: National Tequila Day
What can we say — we enjoy fun in the summer sun. National Tequila Day means twenty-four consecutive hours, 1,440 consecutive minutes, and 86,400 consecutive seconds of honoring good times had with your favorite liquor over salt & lime.
Just enjoy those good times responsibly, don’t swig that beautiful blue agave elixir behind the wheel
July 29: National Chicken Wing Day
Waterfalls of ranch dressing? Check. Gobs of blue cheese? Check. Napkins? Check. An insatiable hunger for the ultimate party food, complete with a willingness to eat far beyond your comfort level? Definitely! Oh, and don’t forget the full bottle of antacids.
While Fried Chicken Day made it’s appearance within the first 7 days of the month, Chicken Wing Day is here at the end of the month to remind us that we still love our chicken in the summer. I mean, think about it: How many of us just rush for chicken on a cold winter day? Yeah, not many.
Chicken is one of the foods of the summer… and we’re happy to see it twice on this list.
The best way to celebrate: Find some free wings. That’s right! Similar to the Mac and Cheese Day, many bars and restaurants around the country offer free chicken wings to customers who make some kind of purchase — typically a drink or an entree. Don’t let that deal fly away.
Related reading(s): National Chicken Wing Day – July 29, 2021
July 30: National Cheesecake Day
We’ve talked about pies. We’ve talked about cookies. Now we can talk about what happens when you basically stick a pie on top of a cookie crust. The cheesecake is the creamiest and yummiest “cake” (it isn’t actually a cake… and it isn’t a pie either… it’s actually considered a torte).
Now, chances are, when you think of cheesecake, you’re thinking of New York-Style (and if you aren’t, well, you are now). Unlike other cheesecakes, New York-Style uses heavy cream, eggs, and loads of rich cream cheese. This cheesecake has a dense, smooth, velvety consistency.
But why get on a plane when you can travel the world through your mouth? Taste test regional variations of cheesecake, including New York style, by visiting local bakeries that specialize in different regions. You’re bound to find a New York style cheesecake.
Related reading(s): National Cheesecake Day – July 30, 2021
July 31: National Avocado Day
We love avocadoes because we also guacamole and guac is basically the best chip dip during the summer. Avocados are creamy, delicious, vitamin-heavy symbols of nature offering us the good life at a bargain price. All this, plus their versatile value for your body both inside and out make avocados well worth celebrating.