Labor Day

Labor Day: bittersweet holiday. Summer’s wrath wanes. Kids back to school. Your baseball team drives for playoffs—or not. Football kicks off.

Day for a footloose outdoor party where iced beer and wonderful wines mix with splashes in the pool and flourishes at the grill.

If the weather will be hot, hardly unlikely, consider a heat-friendly, party-friendly, lower-alcohol sangria punch. Suggested recipe:

• Wine—red or white, doesn’t matter. Do not buy sangria; use a California Merlot (Franzia box will do), Yellow Tail Shiraz, Texas Ste. Genevieve Pinot Grigio, Bogel Zinfandel, or other sweeter value wine. Figure two-four people per 750 ml bottle. Bigger party, multiply ingredients. Makes fruity punch non-wine drinkers will enjoy.

• 1 lemon, 1 orange, 1 lime, 1 red apple—all cut into thin wedges, do not squeeze to make juice
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 1 cup orange juice
• ½ cup lemonade
• 2-3 shots triple sec or Grand Marnier
• 1 can (20 oz) of diced pineapples (include the juice)
• 1 cup raspberries or strawberries (fresh, thawed, or frozen)
• 4 cups ginger ale, chilled

Pour wine in pitcher. Add lemon, orange, lime, apple slices. Add pineapple, sugar, orange juice, lemonade, triple sec/Grand Marnier. Chill overnight—important, best sangria marinates 24 hours.

Add chilled ginger ale and whole berries before serving. Ladle so people can eat fruit; serve straight or over ice.

Experiment/modify to taste. Make on high side; people will gulp down this delight on a warm, bittersweet day. Labor to enforce designated driver rules.