Why you should never buy fireworks in brown packaging

It’s the duty of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to test and approve all fireworks. If CPSC doesn’t deem the firework safe, it doesn’t get the CPSC seal of approval for consumer use.

What’s so dangerous about fireworks in brown packaging?

The CPSC warns against buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because it is a sure sign the fireworks were made for professional displays and could be dangerous for consumers to use. In addition to the CPSC warning, Julie Heckman, executive director at American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) adds, “be aware of fireworks not packaged with warnings and labels as they may be illegal explosives and very dangerous!” If you’re gearing up to use legal fireworks, here are some firework safety tips you shouldn’t be without from the CPSC and APA.

Coolest destinations for July 4th
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Coolest destinations for July 4th

Bristol, Rhode Island

The town of Bristol may only have a population of under 23,000, but it's known country-wide for its Fourth of July celebrations and has earned the impressive title of "America's most patriotic town."

In fact, the New England charmer is home to the oldest Foruth of July parade in the United States. Founded in 1785 by Rev. Henry Wight, who was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War, the celebration has gone on to attract over 200,000 people for its annual "The Military, Civic and Firemen’s Parade."

Addison, Texas

The Dallas suburb regularly makes it onto the list of the most spectacular firework shows in the United States. The show, aptly named "Kaboom Town," is held on July 3rd and can be seen anywhere from the 13,000-resident town.

All of the town's 23 hotels sell out in anticipation of the event, which features 3500 pounds of fireworks and a $300K price tag.

San Diego, California

With an eye-popping attendance of 500,000 people, the San Diego spectacular ranks as Southern California's largest fireworks show.

Titled "Big Bay Boom," it expands from Point Loma to Shelter Island to the Coronado Ferry Landing and will bring together visitors and residents for an 18-minute choreographed show filled with pyrotechnics and the most "technically advanced" displays. 

Coney Island, New York

Nothing says 'Merica like a hot dog eating contest, specifically one most historic to the East Coast food scene. For 102 years, Nathan's has been putting on its iconic International Hot Dog Eating Contest, which sees contestants compete for prize money by stuffing their faces with over 70 hotdogs. 

Fireworks are included, but the hot dog contest is the main attraction of this Brooklyn staple.

Lead, South Dakota 

You probably don't get more off-the-beaten-path than South Dakota, but the midwestern state is home to a very unique and historic Fourth of July Celebration.

Every year, residents of the small town gather for patriotic celebrations above the Homestake Mine, which used to be the largest and deepest gold mine in North America until it closed in 2002. The mine produced more than 1.25 million kilograms of gold and though closed, continues to remain a historic site for South Dakotans. 

Nashville, Tennessee

There's a reason the southern gem's July 4th celebrations have been included by leading travel publications. The event comes at no cost to spectators, but features an impressive lineup of country music stars, like Brett Eldredge and Mac McAnally, for their "Let Freedom Sing" concert. The evening then culminates in a spectacular and ear-popping fireworks show with over 1000 fireworks and 200,000 attendees. 

Charleston, South Carolina 

Guests have the ability to celebrate the Fourth of July in one of the most historic cities in America. Furthermore, spectators can spend the holiday aboard one of the most significant warships in American history, the USS Yorktown. The carrier was built in 1941 and was the tenth to serve in the United States Navy. It now remains the "centerpiece" of the city's beloved Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum. 

Lake Tahoe, California

The "Lights on the Lake" celebrations in Lake Tahoe make for some of the country's most scenic and entrancing patriotic displays during the holiday. Bringing together over 125,000 visitors for a 25-minute display, the show will feature both patriotic bursts and fireworks in the form of smiley faces and butterflies. 

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota 

Over 200,000 people take over the shores of Lake Minnetonka for one of the area's most exciting events of the year. The annual patriotic evening, which was established in 1853, kicks off with its signature Firecracker Run followed by a spectacular fireworks display worth over $100K. For the first time, guests can experience the show from the top of the Ferris Wheel, which will provide the ultimate view of the festivities. 

Boston, Massachusetts 

The biggest Fourth of July festival takes place in one of the oldest and most historic cities in America. Boston's celebrations have brought in 14 million people in the past 40 years for its annual celebrations for a 5-day celebration full of Revolutionary War reenactments, speeches, and cruises around Boston Harbor. Of course, the festivities end with fireworks and churchbell rings. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What better way to celebrate America's independence in the City of Brotherly love, home to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? The annual Wawa Welcome America concert takes over the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (yes, everything is revolutionary-tied) with a spectacular performance by Jennifer Hudson and Meghan Trainor. Two light shows take place over the Deleware River, as do three fireworks displays, and 50 activities over the 6-day event. 


How dangerous can they be?

The fireworks sold in big variety packs at your favorite store can’t be that dangerous, right? After all, they look like they could be sold in the toys section. But all fireworks, even those fun novelties, and sparklers can be dangerous when not used safely. According to the 2018 CPSC fireworks safety report, there were an estimated 5,600 injuries just in the one month surrounding the Fourth of July in 2018, and about 2,000 of those injuries happened to kids 14 years old and younger. Smaller fireworks are often the most dangerous, especially these ones.

Adult supervision is a must

When it comes to firework safety tips and children, the CPSC makes it pretty clear—never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks. Even sparklers, which kids have been waving around for hundreds of years, are quite dangerous. When you get down to it, it’s a very pointy object that burns as hot a blow torch—about 2,000 degrees. “Extreme care must be practiced when sparklers are used and only under close adult supervision,” says Heckman. Sparklers injuries accounted for about 500 injuries in tots five years old and younger. Watch this new sparkler safety video from the APA with your kid’s before lighting one.

Red, white and blue finds for July 4th
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Red, white and blue finds for July 4th
CALIA Limited-Edition Lumia Printed Capris, $45.50

Ignite the firework, not yourself

If you’re going to set some fireworks off, don’t do it barefoot. Heckman says to wear closed-toe shoes and safety glasses to protect your eyes, keep long hair pulled back, and don’t wear clothes with loose hanging fabric that could catch fire. Use a utility style lighter for a safer distance between your arm and the fuse. Also, absolutely do not smoke while around fireworks.

Be alert and sober

BBQs and beer go hand in hand on the Fourth, but if you don’t want to lose a hand (or hurt someone else) don’t drink and set off fireworks. An incident in the CPSC report tells of a 40-year old man who admitted to drinking before lighting the fireworks. Although he felt impaired, he lit a mortar type firework. The mortar exploded unexpectedly, and he broke three fingers. Spectators, be careful when it comes to drinking alcohol because these weird factors could make one drink feel like two, and you could unknowingly stumble into danger.

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Pet care

Keep your pets inside. Even if they aren’t afraid of the noise or lights, a dog or cat’s curiosity of the fireworks could get them hurt or they could walk or run into the path of a firework. If your dog gets anxious during the Fourth of July, learn how to calm him or her down.

Where to ignite fireworks

Firework safety begins at home but don’t shoot them off near your house or off your deck. That’s just too close and could start a fire. Heckman says fireworks should be lit away from buildings and on a flat, level, hard, and fireproof surface with no debris like trash or vegetation that could catch on fire. Also, don’t light fireworks under powerlines or anything combustible, like a propane tank. Keep a bucket full of water close by and a garden hose. Be sure to turn the faucet on and ensure the water is running to the hose, so should you need to, you can put out a fire immediately.

How to make a flag cake for the Fourth of July
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How to make a flag cake for the Fourth of July

Bake your cakes, using about 25 drops of food coloring for the red cakes and about 20 for the blue cake. Let them cool in their pans for 15 minutes, then invert them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While they cool, make your frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until they're light and fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, then add the cream gradually, mixing until you get a smooth, creamy texture.

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Cut the red and white cakes into layers about 3/4 inch thick. You'll want six layers total: three red, and three white. (Leave the blue layer whole -- it has to be thicker to represent the square on the flag.)

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Using a 5-inch round cookie cutter (or a paring knife to trace around a small plate or bowl that's roughly 5 inches in diameter), cut one of the red layers into a smaller circle. Then do the same with one of the white layers. These small circles will be the shorter stripes that line up with the flag’s blue square. (You won't need the outer rings for the cake, but save them to munch on!)

Then, use the same technique to cut a hole in the center of the blue cake. You won't need the inner blue circle, so set it aside.

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To build the cake, start with a red layer and top it with a thin coating of frosting. The key is to make it thin, otherwise you will interrupt the "stripe" effect. Top the red layer with a layer of white cake and another thin coating of frosting.

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Repeat with another red layer and another white layer so that you have four layers total.

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On top of this, place the blue cake doughnut (the thick layer with a hole in the middle).
Spread a thin layer of frosting onto the small red circle, and insert it into the hole of the blue cake. Top it with a thin coating of frosting and the small white circle. Gently press the small layers into the hole of the blue cake. 
Now you're golden. Frost the cake with creamy frosting using a small offset spatula -- be sure to make it swirly.  

The cake will look lovely from the outside, but the real kicker is when you cut into it! Make sure there's a hungry crowd nearby to watch.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


Check the weather

The weather is actually a significant factor in firework safety, and it’s not just rain that can dampen the festivities. High winds conditions aren’t safe for lighting fireworks. Fireworks can tip over or the wind could send them in the path of spectators or passersby. Light fireworks with the prevailing wind blowing away from the spectators.

Keep spectators safe

Spectators should be watching from a safe distance. Heckman says for fountain and cone fireworks; spectators should be at least 25 feet away and for aerial fireworks at least 40 feet away. Remember, each state and municipality have specific laws regarding fireworks; check to find out which are legal in your state.

Never do these things with fireworks

Don’t shoot fireworks from a metal or glass container and never aim fireworks at another person. Don’t carry fireworks in your pocket. Never place any part of your body directly over a firework device. Never bundle fireworks for a bigger bang. It be might be tempting to combine fireworks or take them apart to make your own creation, but the CPSC says never to light more than one firework at a time.

Don’t relight a dud

Don’t relight a firework that didn’t go off the first time; it still could go off and explode. That’s what happened to a 29-year-old man who tried to relight a mortar. The mortar exploded and came out at a weird angle and hit him in the eye. It blew out his eyebrow ring and injured his eyeball, according to the CPSC report.

Don’t pick up fireworks you find

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to a public fireworks show at your local park or just walking around your neighborhood, if you see a firework on the ground, leave it. There’s no telling why it’s on the ground. Report it to the police or fire department. If you’re a parent, be sure to warn your kids of this danger. Kids may pick up a discarded firework and think it’s an opportunity for some fun, but it could actually be one of the most dangerous fireworks out there.

Fourth of July cocktails we love
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Fourth of July cocktails we love

Red, White and Baileys (Created by Lo Bosworth)


Step 1

  • 2.5 oz. Baileys Almande
  • 1 Cup Frozen Blueberries

Step 2

  • 1 oz. Baileys Almande
  • 2 Frozen Bananas 

Step 3

  • 1 oz. Baileys Almande
  • 1 Cup Frozen Raspberries
  • Blueberries for Top


Blend each fruit separately with corresponding Baileys Almande in a food processor until smooth. Pour individual layers into a Collins glass to create red, white and blue color scheme. Top with blueberries. 

Ideal Serving Glass:

Mason Jar

Red, White & Berry Crush

  • 1.5 ounces Smirnoff Red, White & Berry
  • 4 ounces raspberry lemonade
  • 2 ounces lemon-lime soda
  • Garnish: lemon wedges and fresh raspberries

Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Add vodka and raspberry lemonade. Top with lemon lime soda. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with lemon wedges and fresh raspberries.

Red, White & Rosé


  • 1 Part Three Olives Rosé Vodka
  • Top with Soda Water
  • 2 Dash Peychaud's Bitters


Pour vodka into a glass with ice, top with club soda and a dash of bitters. Garnish with grapefruit twist.

The Adult Lemonade


  • 1 oz Deep Eddy Vodka
  • 2 oz. Fresh Lemonade
  • 1 oz. Club soda
  • Lemon peel garnish

Red, White & Berry Limeade (Courtesy of Karly Gomez, A Simple Pantry)


  • 1 cup Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry or Smirnoff No. 21
  • 1 cup black raspberry liqueur
  • 3 cups limeade


In a large pitcher, combine the Smirnoff, black raspberry liqueur, and limeade. Chill until cold, then serve over ice with blueberries, raspberries, and apple stars for a patriotic twist.

Red, White & Blue Boozy Slush (Courtesy of Taylor Bradford, Pink Heels Pink Truck)


Blue Slush Layer:

  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 1 cup homemade lemonade

White Slush Layer:

  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 oz. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry
  • 1 cup homemade lemonade

Red Slush Layer:

  • 1 ¼ cups strawberries, quartered
  • 2 oz. Smirnoff Red, White & Berry vodka
  • ¼ cup of homemade lemonade


Blend each layer separately until smooth. Store in freezer until ready to build your cocktail. Pour each layer into a highball glass and serve immediately.

Aperol Spritzer


  • 2 oz Aperol
  • 6 oz Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime
  • Orange twist, for garnish


In an ice-filled Collins glass, add Aperol and float with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.

Santa Margherita Blackberry Smash


  • 2 oz Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • Fresh blackberries
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 oz gin
  • ½ oz simple syrup
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice


Find some fun glasses to use –- rocks glasses or stemless wine glasses look great. Muddle 6 blackberries and 3 basil leaves. Add gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice. Top off with Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore DOCG. Garnish with an extra few blackberries and a sprig of basil.

Frozé Watermelon Granita


  • 1 bottle Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé
  • 1-quart watermelon-rosemary sorbet (store bought or recipe below)
  • 2 cups diced, seedless watermelon


Spoon a scoop of sorbet into the bottom of a chilled glass and top with a tablespoon or so of the watermelon cubes. Pour the Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé over the sorbet and melon. Garnish with mint. Serve immediately with a silver spoon.


Purchase sorbet from a gourmet market instead of making your own.

To Make Watermelon Sorbet:


  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary
  • 3 pounds seedless watermelon cut into cubes (about 10 cups)
  • ½ cup lime juic
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons tequila


In a small saucepan bring the sugar, water, and rosemary to a boil. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature, then strain. Combine the rosemary syrup, watermelon, lime juice, and tequila in a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and refrigerate overnight. Freeze the sorbet “granita-style” by putting it in the freezer and stirring every hour for five hours.

Red, White and Blue, Berry Mule


  • 2 oz berry Vodka (blueberry or raspberry)
  • 6 oz Extra Spicy Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries


Muddle blueberries and blackberries in shaker. Add vodka and shake. Fill Moscow mule mug with ice. Pour in muddled berries and vodka and fill with Brooklyn Crafted (roughly 6oz). Garnish with blueberries and blackberries.

Red Lady


  • 2oz. The Botanist Gin
  • 1oz. Cointreau
  • 1oz. Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 6 strips Julienned Red Bell Pepper
  • 3 drops Orange Bitters


In a shaker, muddle the red bell pepper, then add all remaining ingredients. Shake without ice vigorously, then add ice and shake briskly. Double-strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a strip of julienned Red Bell Pepper.

Strawberry Mule (Created by Macchina's Jason Madera)


  • 9 slices of strawberries 
  • Small bunch of mint 
  • 2 droppers Angostura bitters
  • 2oz Belvedere Vodka  
  • 1/2 oz ginger liqueur
  • 3/4 oz lime juice

Directions: Muddle strawberries and mint. Add Belvedere Vodka, Angostura bitters, ginger liqueur and lime juice. Add ice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a strawberry slice and a bouquet of mint

Tanqueray Strawberry Rhubarb Fizz


  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 12 ounces Tanqueray Gin
  • 24 ounces Fever Tree Tonic
  • Fresh Strawberries (garnish)
  • Lime (garnish)


Over med-high heat, cook rhubarb, sugar, and water until soft. Add strawberries and continue to cook until completely cooked down (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly. Cool and strain. (Refrigerate until ready to use.) In a highball or tall glass, add ice, add 2 tablespoons of strawberry sauce, and top with 1½ ounces of Tanqueray Gin and 3 ounces of Fever Tree Tonic (per serving). Garnish with strawberries and lime. Enjoy!

Why Is That Ginger Blue? (Created by Moses Laboy)


  • 1 ½ oz Johnnie Walker Red Label
  • ¾ oz Ginger/Butterfly Pea Flower Sweetener*
  • ½ oz Fresh Lemon juice 
  • ¾ oz Fever tree seltzer 
  • Half drop of Chefs liquid royal blue 
  • Pansy flower for garnish


Add all ingredients in shaker (except seltzer) Shake till cold and double strain over fresh ice. Top with soda. Pansy flower garnish. Enjoy! 
Glassware: Rocks Glass

Ginger/Butterfly Pea Flower Sweetener: 

1 quart water / 1 quart sugar, 6oz peeled and shredded ginger, 50 dried butterfly pea flowers. Cook the water, ginger and sugar till simmer, then add flowers, strut with a spoon. Let sit till cool. Strain and store in fridge till ready to use. 

Monte Watermelon Sangria


  • 2 oz Amaro Montenegro
  • 1 oz Riesling
  • 2 oz Fresh Watermelon Juice
  • ½ oz Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Lime Juice
  • ½ oz Agave


Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a high ball glasses. Garnish with orange slice and mint.

Clos du Bois “Clos Say Can You See” 


  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1 bottle of Clos du Bois Lightly Bubbled Chardonnay
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries (fresh)
  • 20 oz lime raspberry sparkling water
  • 1 pint raspberries


Add water and frozen strawberries to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes and smash the strawberries. Simmer another 5 minutes. Reserve the liquid and remove any larger pieces of fruit that did not reduce when heated. Combine strawberry mixture, Lightly Bubbled Chardonnay, and sliced strawberries to a large pitcher. Let sit for at least one hour
Just before serving, add sparkling water and raspberries. Serve over ice

Layered Berry Ketel Cocktail


  • 1.5 oz Ketel One Vodka
  • .25oz honey
  • 1/2 cup mashed strawberries
  • Ice
  • 1/2 cup mashed blueberries
  • Basil leaf, for garnish


Mix the vodka and honey in a rocks glass. Top mixture with the mashed strawberries. Then add shaved or crushed and then add a layer of mashed blueberries. Garnish with basil leaf.

POM Blueberry Smash    


  • 3/4  oz. POM Blueberry 100% juice    
  • 1  1/2 oz. Bourbon    
  • 1/2  oz. fresh lemon juice    
  • 3/4  oz. honey syrup (Mix two parts honey with one part hot water and stir. Cool.)
  • Garnish: Mint sprig, one blueberry   


Shake all the ingredients well with ice. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and one blueberry.

Stars & Stripes


  • 1-1/2oz Breckenridge Vodka
  • Blueberry jam ice cubes
  • Sprite
  • Sugar and strawberries for garnish


Over medium heat, add 12oz blueberry jam, (you can muddle fresh blueberries in addition) 16oz water, 4oz sugar. Stir until dissolved. Let cool, then pour into ice molds. Add vodka to serving glass with jam ice cubes. Top with Sprite. Garnish with a strawberry and sugar rim.

Watermelon Paloma


  • 2 parts Hornitos® Plata Tequila
  • 1 part watermelon juice
  • ¾ part agave nectar
  • ¾ part fresh lime juice
  • 1 part seltzer
  • Handful cilantro
  • Pinch of sea salt


Add all ingredients into a mixing glass, excluding seltzer. Shake well for approximately 5 seconds. Add seltzer and double strain into a Collins glass. Garnish with a watermelon wedge and rim the class with paprika sea salt.

Blueberry Mint Smash


  • 1 ½ parts Hornitos® Black Barrel® Tequila
  • ½ part fresh lime juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • Blueberries
  • Mint sprigs


Lightly muddle 6-8 blueberries and 3-5 mint leaves in a shaker. Add remainder of ingredients into the shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a julep cup over crushed ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and blueberries.

Red, White & Berry Slushie


  • 2 cups Limeade, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 16 oz. Smirnoff ICE Red, White & Berry
  • 6 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 2 oz. orange liqueur


Freeze 2 cups of limeade. In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Blend to desired consistency

Layered Red, White & Berry Lemonade


  • 6 oz. Smirnoff ICE Red, White & Berry
  • 0.5 oz. Blue Curacao
  • 0.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 1 oz.  Lemonade
  • Splash Grenadine


Fill a Mason Jar with Ice. Pour in the Smirnoff Ice. Add the vodka, blue curacao, and lemonade. Top with a splash of grenadine



  • 2 parts BACARDÍ Superior Rum
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 part freshly squeezed lime juice


Place sugar and freshly pressed lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then pour in the BACARDÍ Superior rum and fill the shaker with half-cubed ice, followed by some half-crushed ice. Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously until thoroughly chilled. Finally, strain through a fine tea strainer into a chilled coupette.



  • 1 part BACARDÍ Añejo Cuatro rum
  • 2 parts sparkling apple juice
  • 2 lime wedges


Squeeze and drop one lime wedge into a highball glass. Add ice and build other ingredients. Serve with one lime wedge.

Orchard Rosé Sangria


  • 2 bottles Angry Orchard Rose Cider
  • 3 oz Gin
  • 3 oz Lemon Juice
  • 3 oz Simple Syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part water)
  • 9 oz Basil Watermelon Juice (Add about 2 cups diced watermelon, and 5 to 6 basil leaves to a blender and blend until liquified)


Build in a wine glass with ice and top with Cider. Garnish with an orange twist. 

Kiwi Dreamsicle


  • 1.5 ounces Kiwi HI-CHEW Infused Dry Gin
  • 2 ounces Cream Soda
  • Seltzer
  • 1 Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream


Measure the infused gin and cream soda into a parfait or pint glass. Fill 2/3 with seltzer, then top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve with a spoon and straw, and garnish with kiwis and Kiwi HI-CHEW Candies.

Garden Party


  • 8 oz rosé, chilled
  • 4 oz Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice
  • ½ oz honey
  • Sugar, for rim
  • Edible flowers, for garnish


In a sugar-rimmed Collins glass, combine rosé, Cherry Limeade Sparkling Ice, and honey. Garnish with edible flowers and serve.

Berry Punch Authentic Jose Cuervo Margarita

Bursting with blueberry sweetness, this ready-to-drink margarita is a blend of true to fruit natural blueberry flavors, crisp Bartlett pear, tangy lime and bright orange notes for an authentic and refreshing taste. Not only is it refreshing, it is also easy to enjoy with friends at any spring/summer soirée. Simply pour over ice, garnish with fresh berries, place a decorative straw and enjoy! 

Tequila Colada


  • 2oz Jose Cuervo Especial Silver
  • .75oz Coco Lopez
  • .25oz Simple Suga
  • .5oz Lime Juice
  • Pineapple Wedge
  • Mint Sprig


Add all ingredients to tins and shake until chilled. Strain over cubed ice in a Rocks Glass.

Garnish: Pineapple Wedge and Mint Sprig

Royal American Negroni


  • 0.5 oz. Boodles Gin
  • 0.5 oz. Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz. Capitoline bitter orange liqueur
  • 2 dashes Dillon's Bitters
  • Top with champagne


Add all ingredients in a mixing glass except champagne with ice and stir until cold. Pour into a champagne flute and top with champagne.

Owney’s Mojito


  • 1.5 oz. Owney’s Rum
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 0.15 oz. Granulated Sugar
  • 8 Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Club Soda to top
  • Garnish: Lime wedges & mint


Muddle mint leaves and sugar in a shaker. Add all ingredients with ice, shake and pour into a tall glass. Top with soda water and serve.

Rosé Sangria


  • 2 oz. Hangar 1 Rosé Vodka
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Watermelon Juice
  • 0.25 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
  • Club Soda to top
  • Garnish: Handful of Blueberries


Combine vodka, watermelon juice, lime juice, and fruit in a shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a stemless wine glass. Top with club soda.

Five Points Pavilion


  • 2 oz. 1800 Coconut
  • 0.5 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 0.5 oz. Honey
  • 1 oz. Green Tea

Minibar Delivery's Red, White, and Blue Vodka Lemonade


  • 9 cups of ice
  • 1 cup of grenadine
  • 1 cup of blue curaçao
  • 1 cup of vodka
  • 1 cup of lemonade


Separately crush 3 cups of ice and grenadine, then 3 cups of ice and blue curaçao, then ice, vodka, and lemonade. Layer in that order and cheers to the birth of our great nation.

Plus One


  • 1 ½ parts Courvoisier V.S. Cognac
  • 4 parts San Pellegrino® Pomegranate/Blood Orange
  • Orange slice for garnish


Pour cognac in a glass, add ice and top with San Pellegrino®. Garnish with an orange slice.

Bluecoat American Dry Gin All-American Gin & Tonic (By Philadelphia Distilling, Philadelphia, PA)


  • 2 oz. Bluecoat American Dry Gin
  • 3-4 oz. Q Tonic Water
  • Orange peel


Add gin to a highball glass filled with ice. Add tonic water, stir to combine. Garnish glass with an orange twist


Clean up

Don’t be in a rush to pick up spent fireworks. Let them stand for at least 20 minutes before you pick them up, or you could get burned. Next, submerge all the fireworks in a bucket of water and let them soak overnight. (The same goes for duds, except to be extra safe and scoop them up with a shovel and then submerge in water.) Remove the soaked fireworks from the bucket and place in a trash bag and dispose of them with your other household trash. Firework safety, prep, and clean up are a lot of work. You might just want to head to the best firework show in your state and let the pros do it for you.

The post Why You Should Never Buy Fireworks in Brown Packaging appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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