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The Chinese have used fireworks for at least two thousand years - at first to scare away evil spirits, then shooting them off at weddings and other celebrations. It’s not hard to imagine that they started chasing away evil spirits at weddings to help the marriage survive. Most couples need all the help they can get. Usually with traditions, we forget the reasons behind them. Soon it was forgotten that the evil spirits were the target, and the joy part of the celebration became the focus.
America might have inherited the tradition from our parent, Great Britain. In England, the year 1486 witnessed the display to honor the wedding of King Henry VII. In the next century, Queen Elizabeth appointed a fireworks master and really institutionalized the practice of celebrating national events with a fireworks display. So it was the natural thing to bring fireworks into the US celebration of our independence, though that was really more of a divorce than a wedding.
The US Congress authorized a fireworks display on July 4 1777, the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and the tradition stuck. That year there were displays in Philadelphia as well as Boston, each featuring thirteen rockets – one for each state – and the resulting thirteen fireworks “stars”.
What does all this have to do with coffee?
Let’s see - I could tell you how to make:
• Coffee creamer fireballs, but don’t want the responsibility for your safety,
• firework flowers out of coffee filters, or
• a flaming Spanish coffee, but again, I don’t want to cause burns.
Let’s go with two “revolutionary” recipes, also in keeping with the 4th of July.
Because Margaritas are a 4th of July tradition for many Americans, here’s a revolutionary Margarita!
Margarita Coffee Revolution
1 oz tequila
3 oz Margarita mix
½ oz Triple Sec
3 oz Espresso, chilled; or cold-brewed coffee
Ice cubes or crushed ice
Brew espresso or coffee. Espresso is recommended. If you use coffee, you might want to make adjustments to amounts, according to taste.
Mix ingredients and pour over ice in 8 oz.-10 oz. glass.
Enjoy, and have a Happy 4th of July!
Ja-mai-can a Revolution Iced Coffee
1 T dark or light rum
1 T Tia Maria® coffee liqueur
½ cup black cold coffee
Mix rum and liqueur into coffee. Pour over crushed ice in tall glass.
Top with whipped cream and garnish with festive topping, candies, etc.
Add swizzle stick topped with foil streamers.
*For stronger coffee flavor, use coffee ice cubes
Enjoy your festive coffee or any coffee while you watch the fireworks. If you can’t get to a display, never fear. Here’s one that is LOUD, impressive, and totally ecologically green. You will, however, need to supply your own firework viewer “aws” and “ooohs”.