Memorial Day is a day of celebration. It is a great day to get together with friends and family, have picnics and enjoy the unofficial beginning of summer. It is a national holiday, where many people enjoy the day off, kick back, relax and have a drink. Memorial Day was created as a day to remember the sacrifices of those who fought to preserve and ensure the freedom we all enjoy today. So, let’s take a moment to recall why Memorial Day was established as a national holiday and then I’ll recommend some delicious libations to celebrate in style!
I have always looked forward to Memorial Day. As a kid, Memorial Day meant school was coming to a close and summer vacation was around the corner. Growing up in a small town, we went to Memorial Day parades and although my parents surely told me what it was about, it remained in my memory as a day for picnics and swimming pools. Today, as Memorial Day rolls around each year, I still think of it as the beginning of summer and a day for grilling and getting together with friends.
The concept of Memorial Day was evolutionary. It began after the Civil War, a war that resulted in the most lives lost in US history and in the establishment of national cemeteries. By the late 1860s people around the country were having springtime gatherings in these cemeteries, decorating the graves of fallen soldiers, and reciting prayers. In 1868, General Logan, the leader of the Northern Civil War Veterans, declared May 30th Decoration Day - a day to decorate graves and commemorate the fallen soldiers. The date was chosen as it was a neutral day where no battles had been fought. This was solely an idea and each township, city or state could embrace it or not. As new conflicts and wars broke out, the newly fallen soldiers were included in this day of remembrance and decoration. This day became known as Memorial Day. In 1968 Memorial Day became a Federal holiday, exactly 100 years after the concept was declared, and was changed to the last Monday of May to allow for a 3 day weekend. So now you know the background of Memorial Day!
Photo credit: triphobo.com
The wars and conflicts that our American Soldiers have fought and died for are certainly a cause for remembering, honoring and appreciating. The sacrifices of these young men and women, and their families have afforded us the freedom that we know today. It is no wonder that there are so many parades. If you have had the opportunity to go to Washington DC for Memorial Day, there is an impressive parade, motorcycle rally, and concerts. You’ll also find countless families visiting the names of their loved ones on the walls of the National Mall and all the Memorials. You don’t have to travel to DC to see a parade as they are in every small town and large city across the US. As a matter of fact, I just found out that the neighboring town I grew up in, Waterloo NY, was named the birthplace of Memorial Day since they had been celebrating since 1866 by hosting a community event, decorating graves and closing businesses.
This Memorial Day, let’s stop, pay respect, and honor the lives who have been lost for our freedom and make sure we thank active servicemen and veterans. There surely is reason to get together with friends and family on Memorial Day to remember and celebrate!
So here are a couple of drink ideas to get your Memorial Day Celebration started that look and taste just like an unofficial start to the summer! Three Cheers to the Red, White & Blue!
Courtesy of PasteMagazine.com
1 ½ oz IZZE Sparkling Juice Blueberry
¾ oz coconut milk
½ oz blueberry schnapps
1 oz rye whiskey
Add all ingredients to shaker except IZZE® Sparkling Juice – Blueberry, lemon wheel, and fresh blueberries. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with IZZE® Sparkling Juice – Blueberry. Garnish with blueberries.
*Note: Make this an N/A drink by removing the alcohol - still delish!
Courtesy of wideopeneats.com
3 oz coconut rum, divided
3 oz red gatorade
3 oz limeade (We like Simply Limeade for its neutral color)
3 oz blue gatorade
Fill the blender about halfway with ice, then pour in the gatorade and 1 oz coconut rum. Blend, then pour into the cups. Place the glasses in the freezer to keep them solid while working on the remaining layers.
Rinse the blender, then fill it about halfway with ice. Pour in the limeade and 1 oz coconut rum. Blend, then spoon this onto the red layers, then return the glasses to the freezer.
Rinse the blender, then fill it about halfway with ice. Pour in the blue gatorade and final 1 oz coconut rum. Blend, then spoon over the blue layer.
This might be one of the best holidays to use a PortoVino! So grab your USA Canvas Tote - load it up with your picnic blanket and games. Fill your party pouch with one of these new drinks to keep you hydrated while you watch the parade go by!
Happy Memorial Day!
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