The Fourth of July has always been an opportunity to celebrate with food. From the first July 4 in 1776, patriots have gathered together for love of country — and fried chicken. One of the oldest cities in the nation, Charleston has been celebrating the July 4th tradition — despite a brief hiatus from the union — from the very beginning. Like most seasonal holidays, Independence Day has its own food rituals. The first Fourths always included turtle soup and ice cream. Tastes have changed — turtle soup is no longer in vogue — but cocktails, barbecue, blueberries, and ice cream still make command performances at July 4th celebrations. Here is a patriotic and pedigreed recipe to add some flavor to your Fourth. —EL

This recipe comes from the Foods of the Founding Fathers cookbook. Red, white, and ridiculously strong, those old white guys knew how to get schnockered.

1 quart red wine
1 quart white wine
1 quart brandy
1 quart bourbon
The juice of 2 lemons
2 ounces Triple Sec
1 tablespoon bitters
A couple dashes of grenadine for sweetness

Combine the ingredients in a punch bowl loaded with ice. Just before serving, add a bottle of club soda.

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