LOUISVILLE, Ky (WDRB) -- Fourth of July weekend is the perfect time for a celebration.

WDRB's Keith Kaiser got some entertaining ideas from America's CEO, Tim Laird.

A good hot dog with some fixings can make your weekend memorable.

Start off with a Buffalo Chicken Dog or a Chicago Dog with a side of Hot Dog Fries and Tomato Watermelon Salad.

Wash it down with an Easy Mint Lemonade or Patriotic Cocktail.

Then, finish off the meal with a Dessert Dog or Lemonade Bars with a choice of flavorful toppings.

Tomato Watermelon Salad

Makes: 6 servings

 3–4 medium heirloom tomatoes, assorted colors, cored and cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 small English cucumber, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes

1 cup ¾-inch cubed yellow or red seedless watermelon flesh

¼ cup sliced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh basil and mint (or any herbs you prefer)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, red onion, and herbs. Toss gently.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly. Serve chilled.

Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.

Buffalo Chicken Dog

  • Toasted Hot Dog Bun
  • Chicken Hot Dog
  • Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Diced Celery
  • Crumbled Blue Cheese

Note: Always brush your hot dog bun with butter or olive oil before toasting to prevent it from drying out.

Chicago Dog

Make a topping for your dog that includes all of the traditional ingredients in a Chicago hot dog. This also makes a great dip for chips.

In a small bowl combine: yellow mustard, sweet green relish, diced sport peppers, diced tomatoes, diced onion, diced dill pickle, and a dash of celery salt and poppy seeds.

Wheatley Mint Lemonade - Pitcher Version

1½ cups sugar

1½ cups water

2 cups mint leaves

2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice 

4 cups Wheatley Vodka 


Lemon wheels, for garnish

Mint sprigs, for garnish

  • Combine sugar, water, and mint leaves in sauce pan. Bring to boil and stir until all sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool before straining simple syrup through strainer to remove mint. 
  • Combine lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, and ice in large pitcher. 
  • Stir to combine. 
  • Pour into prepared glasses and garnish with lemon wheels and mint sprigs.

Hot Dog Fries

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut a hot dog in half by slicing it lengthwise. Then cut each half in half again to make 4 long hot dog “fries”. Repeat with desired number of hot dogs.

Place the fries on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve with your favorite condiments or try them with the Chicago Dog topping.

Lemonade Bar

Create a unique build-your-own experience for your guests by setting up a Lemonade Bar. Set out a pitcher of lemonade and a variety of juices/nectars to add additional flavor. Our favorites include strawberry nectar, peach nectar, cranberry juice, passion fruit juice, and pomegranate juice with garnishes of sliced strawberries, sliced peaches, and pomegranate seeds.

Your guests will love building their own custom lemonade cocktail by adding their favorite fruit flavor to their Wheatley Vodka and lemonade.

We recommend:

In a rocks glass with ice, add:

1½ ounces Wheatley Vodka

3 ounces lemonade

Splash of your desired juice

Garnish of your choice

Note: For an alcohol-free version, simply leave out the Wheatley Vodka.

The Sparkler

In a rocks glass with ice, add:

1½ ounces Wheatley Vodka

3 ounces tonic water or lemon-lime soda

1 ounce blue curacao

Stir and garnish with sliced strawberries to create your red, white, and blue cocktail.

Click here to get other ideas and to get connected to Tim Laird, America's Chief Entertaining Officer.

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