Slice of Life, July 4th

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29 Jun 2011
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Please note: Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer. The Orthodox Union makes no endorsements or representations regarding kashrut certification of various products/vendors referred to in her articles, blog, or web site.

Every year for the past 10 years our friends come to our house for a 4th of July BBQ and fireworks. I do the grilling they bring the fixings and we chow down on ribs and chicken and we all pitch in a couple of million dollars and buy fireworks. We’re a friendly bunch so once it gets dark, all the rest of the neighbors (we average about 20 or 30 every year) and a few other friends come over for dessert and liquid libations suitable for all ages (and some just for adults).

Every year the show gets bigger, more extravagant, longer and buggier but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Last year the show lasted about 45 minutes and they (those manly men who shoot fireworks) shot off over 30 rockets/big boomers/streaking/screaming/sparklers and ground based multi colored spinning exploding thingamajigs. Best time ever and rest assured all safety precautions were taken.

Since it’s usually really really REALLY hot even when the sun goes down one of my most requested 4th of July treats is Sangria. I make two kinds, one for the over 21 crowd and one for the junior set and every year I try a new recipe just for fun…

Sangria is the quintessence a red wine punch, said to have been “born” in Spain and popularize at the US at the 1964 World’s Fair. It’s supposed to consist of red wine, brandy, and fruit. However, it can be made with a plethora of other interesting ingredients and with red and or white wine as the base. There is no one “right” recipes, just a lot of really good ones you can use strawberries, raspberries, oranges, lemons and limes or whatever fruit is available or suits your taste buds.

So in the most patriotic frame of mind I say ask not why all the fireworks have to be in the sky on the 4th of July. Rather, why not ask to have a little bit of sparkle and dazzle in a pitcher and serve Sangria while enjoying the rockets’ red glare.

NOTE: Where possible I’ve added some alternative ingredients so that some of the recipes can be made non alcoholic. Some recipes call for brandy. Since brandy is fortified wine please make sure it has proper certification.

Mango and Orange Sangria (alcoholic or non alcoholic)

12 servings



  1. In a large pot combine the mango, orange, lemon and lime
  2. Mix in the wine, lemonade, rum and orange liqueur
  3. Add sugar to taste
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours to let the fruit marinate
  5. Ladle the sangria into an ice filled pitcher and serve.

Submitted by Roger Mackelson Toronto Canada

Nectarine Sangria

8 to 10 servings

Be warned this is a VERY potent concoction! A little goes a long way.



  1. Combine all the fruit in the bottom of a large stock pot
  2. Add the red wine and brandy and top it off with the lemon lime soda
  3. Mix to combine
  4. Fill a pitcher with ice and ladle the punch and fruit into the pitcher
  5. Refill as necessary.

Modified from

Watermelon Sangria (alcoholic or non alcoholic)

10 to 12 servings



  1. In a pan boil the water, lime zest and sugar together
  2. Let cool
  3. In a blender, puree the watermelon
  4. Pour the puree through a strainer into a pitcher
  5. Add the white wine, vodka, orange liqueur and lime sugar water
  6. Stir and refrigerate for at least 4 hours
  7. Stir and pour the sangria into ice filled pitcher
  8. Add the watermelon balls and serve.

Cheaters Sangria (alcoholic or non alcoholic)

6 to 8 servings

This is one of my all time favorite sangria recipes.



  1. Mix together the wine, rum, fruit, and cloves in a large container
  2. Tightly seal and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours
  3. Before serving, add the orange juice and soda
  4. Serve in glasses or in a large pitcher.

Unknown source

Simple Sangria

6 to 8 servings



  1. In a large pitcher, combine all the ingredients
  2. Mix to combine
  3. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

Submitted by Ana Marino-Gasparei

Browse through the OU’s growing collection of nearly 3000 recipes by visiting: OU Kosher & Holiday Recipes

Eileen Goltz is a freelance kosher food writer who was born and raised in the Chicago area. She graduated from Indiana University and the Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Paris. She lectures on various food-related topics across the U.S. and Canada and writes weekly columns for the Chicago Jewish News, and the OU Shabbat Shalom Website. She is the author of the Perfectly Pareve Cookbook (Feldheim) and is a contributing writer for the Chicken Soup for the Soul Book Group, Chicago Sun Times, Detroit Free Press and Woman’s World Magazine. You can visit Eileen’s blog by clicking: Cuisine by Eileen

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.