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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

Sparkling drink recipes, tips for your Fourth of July festivities
Tips for hosting a fun, casual gathering for friends and family
 
Published Tuesday, July 1, 2014 9:50 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

PHOTO COURTESY LA MARCA
Planning an Independence Day celebration? Wow guests by incorporating the red, white and blue theme into everything from the decor to the menu. Try one of these sparkling cocktail recipes made with La Marca Prosecco.

The Fourth of July holiday weekend is finally upon us. It’s a great time for gathering with family and friends to celebrate our nation’s independence.

If you’re hosting a fete this year, event planner and certified meeting professional Karen Lawrence, founder of It’s My Affair, LLC. recommends keeping it relaxed and casual.

“The main thing is to just have fun,” she said. “This is a time of year that’s more relaxed. People just want to get together, socialize, relax and have fun. I would not go with something formal. I would do something very informal this time of year.”

Instead of fussing with complicated menus, white linens and seating charts, Lawrence suggests finding simple ways to get creative with the holiday’s patriotic theme. Decorating for your Fourth of July bash can be as simple as finding fun ways to stick with the red-white-and-blue color scheme.

This time of year, party supply stores like Party City are treasure troves of patriotic décor. Pick up a few flags, banners or bunting to hang on the wall. A few helium-filled latex balloons are another simple but effective way to set a festive mood for the holiday.

Another suggestion, Lawrence said, is painting a basket red, white and blue and using it as a utensil holder or table centerpiece.

She recommends not only tying the theme into your décor, but your food and beverages can be color coded as well.

“You can buy different color soft drinks in clear bottles,” she said. “Find a drink that’s blue or a punch that is red and something that’s clear. You can incorporate those colors into your tub of drinks if you are doing an outdoor party.”

You can also craft a few delicious cocktails of your own. Wow guests with one (or all) of the following sparkling drink recipes:

Picnic Perfect
4 ounces La Marca Prosecco

1 ounce bourbon
3/4 ounce homemade sweet and sour (recipe follows)
1/3 cup sliced strawberries
1 whole strawberry for garnish

Directions: Muddle sliced strawberries with bourbon and strain liquid into serving glass. Combine with sweet and sour and top with 4 ounces La Marca Prosecco. Garnish with whole strawberry and serve. Makes one cocktail.

Homemade Sweet & Sour Mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice

Directions: Simply combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Store in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.

Simple Summer
4 ounces La Marca Prosecco
1 ounce coconut rum
1/2 ounce triple sec
Fresh coconut garnish

Directions: Crack a fresh coconut open, remove a portion of the flesh and cut out a star-shaped garnish. Add the coconut rum and triple sec to serving glass, followed by 4 ounces of La Marca Prosecco. Garnish with the coconut star and serve. Makes one cocktail.

Blue Breeze
4 ounces La Marca Prosecco
1 ounce gin
1/4 ounce elderflower liquer
Squeeze of a lemon wedge
Fresh blueberries for garnish

Directions: Combine the gin, elderflower liqeur and lemon juice in a serving glass. Top with La Marca Prosecco, garnish with fresh blueberries and serve. Makes one cocktail.

For more sparkling cocktail recipes, visit www.LaMarcaProsecco.com.

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