I have no issues leaving family behind for most holidays, traveling to far-flung destinations (Christmas in London anyone?), but there are two holidays that keep me home each year. The first is Halloween, which guarantees a few hundred local kids banging on my door, screaming “trick or treat” through the screen. It gives me instant flashbacks to my own unsupervised childhood wilding nights of All Hallows Eve a few decades ago.
The second is July 4th, a day and night punctuated with a cacophony of illegal fireworks that makes neighboring Disneyland’s nightly display both superfluous and ineffective. It’s a surround sound and visual extravaganza that reminds one of a middle-East war zone.
This 4th, I combined forces with my neighbors for a street party BBQ. For libations, Don and Carlos brought 4 flavors of homemade limoncello, Susie made white sangria and I brought out my go-to red version packed with oranges, lemons, apples and strawberries.
During the warmer months, this is my fruity and refreshing go-to alcoholic beverage to quench a thirsty crowd.
- 1 – 1 ½ oranges, cut into ¼ inch slices and then cut crosswise into chunks
- 1 lemon, cut into ¼ inch slices and then cut crosswise into chunks
- 1 apple, cut into chunks
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
- ¼ cup brandy
- 2 bottles red wine
- 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries
- 1-2 cups lemon-lime soda (7-up or Sprite)
- Combine orange, lemon, apple, sugar, orange juice, Triple Sec and Brandy in a large container. Stir for a few minutes until sugar is completely dissolved. Add red wine and refrigerate for at least six hours and up to 12.
- Add frozen strawberries (to act as ice cubes) and lemon-lime soda and serve over additional ice, if needed.