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In 2018, a trio of experts gathered in my kitchen to determine which of three children’s fruit punches rated the top three stars.

Sisters Tori and Jaida and their cousin, Annabella, were the three grade school-age judges.

They put their heads together and taste buds on alert and today’s fruity punch was declared the winner. The judging was very mild mannered. They saw eye-to-eye with no arguments, skirmishes, or arm-wrestling.

I thought someone might be getting thirsty after the pasta-chili recipe from last week. It’s been a while since I’ve given any particular drink, so now is as good a time as any.

There may be youthful birthday parties in the future and you might want to go a few steps further with a festive beverage other than the already prepared pouches and boxes. Although there isn’t anything wrong with them. I never downplay their taste and convenience.

After the younger set is satisfied, I haven’t forgotten adults. For any grown-up occasion you could mix up the fruity punch, adding your favorite joy juice.

Or give yourself a relaxing time with good company and today’s refreshing beverage that still has a hint of summer from the lemonade, yet provides a taste of coming holidays by way of the cranberry juice.

Look for the sparkling lemonade where the soft drinks are sold. It’s usually in a two-liter with the Pepsi, Coke, etc., and generally a store brand. Omitting the vodka in that punch makes it acceptable also as a children’s punch.

I tossed in one more possible go-to for an adult party. Some years back, the wine punch was unfailingly mixed and served by a member of the Sons of Italy at every festive occasion of the lodge.

The author of the simple recipe called it her “substitute for champagne.” It was always well-received. The lower-than-champagne cost of ingredients made it most inviting.

Reach Judy Grigoraci at

judy.g@suddenlink.net.