July the Fourth is Thursday but with it being so close to the weekend, I’m sure many families will be holding gatherings all weekend long.

With the recent muggy weather, I thought I’d pull a couple of recipes from an older column to reshare as they would definitely be refreshing if the heat and mugginess holds for this week. These two recipes were given to me in response to a discussion I had with Carole DeLarme many years ago about a Christmas holiday beverage my family made when I was a teenager – Russian Slush. I have no idea where the recipe came from, likely from one of Mom’s friends who always seemed to have new food or drink recipes to share.

While the Christmas slush recipe has things like tea and apricot brandy in the ingredients, these “summer” slush recipes included strawberries and lemonate or bananas and pineapple juice. They sounded so refreshing for a warm summer evening, especially with the hot and humid weather we’ve been having –Strawberry Slush and Sunshine Slush.

Since they are both “slushes” the recipes are similar and yet so versatile. Think of other combinations that could work. Change the Strawberry Slush recipe to a Peach Slush by substituting peaches for the strawberries and apricot brandy or peach schnapps for the strawberry liquor.

While there is not a lot of alcohol in these summertime drinks, it is the alcohol that it keeps the “slushy” texture of the mixture and doesn’t allow it to freeze solid. Since ginger-ale is added to the slush to make the drink, more ginger-ale means less of the alcohol, as does only using a small amount of the slush in each glass. That’s another think that I like about the slushes, you can adjust the amount of alcohol you actually get in any serviing by adjusting the amount of slush and the amount of ginger-ale. The amount of alcohol (as the recipe states) can also be cut to lessen the alcohol content.

As with any drink that contains alcohol, please drink responsibly this Fourth of July holiday.

STRAWBERRY SLUSH

6 cups water

1 cups sugar (Can use 2 cups if want it much sweeter)

2 12-oz. cans lemonade

2 10-oz. packages strawberries, sliced or crushed

2 cups creme-de-strawberry (can cut to 1 cup to limit alcohol content)

Combine water and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil. Allow to boil until sugar dissolves. Let cool.

Add lemonade, strawberries and strawberry liquor.

Place in a container and put in freezer, stirring every few hours to get the mixture slushy.

To use, fill a glass partway with the slushy mixture, then add ginger ale. Besides limiting the amount of alcohol in the recipe, the drink can also be “watered down” by mixing 2/3 soda to 1/3 slush.

Note: This recipe uses Jackquins strawberry liquor, which may not be available any more. Strawberry-flavored vodka can be substituted.

SUNSHINE SLUSH

3 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 ripe (medium) bananas, cut up

2 12-oz. cans (3 cups) pineapple juice

1 6-oz. can frozen orange juice, thawed

1 6-oz. can frozen lemonade, thawed

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 ½ cups light rum or vodka (can cut to 1 cup to limit alcohol content)

In sauce pan combine water and sugar. Heat until boiling, stir until sugar dissolves. Boil gently for three minutes.

Remove from heat and cool.

In blender, combine bananas and half of the pineapple juice, blend until smooth.

Stir banana mixture into cooled syrup. Stir in remaining pineapple juice, orange juice, lemonade and lemon juice.

Stir in vodka. Freeze to make slush, stirring every few hours until it turns slushy.

To use, fill a glass partway with the slushy mixture, then add ginger ale. To cut alcohol, add more soda than slush.

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