Fruity Drinks

I'm working on a little family get-together for my mom's birthday this weekend, and my current project is to figure out what beverages to serve. I'm a big sucker for fruity drinks during the summer, so that's what I'm currently checking out for options.

Here are the front-runners:

(My mom is a huge peach-nut!)

3 cups water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1 3-oz. pkg. peach-flavored gelatin
1 29-oz. can peach slices in light syrup
4 11.3-oz. cans peach nectar
1/2 cup lemon juice
8 10-ounce bottles ginger ale or club soda

1. In large saucepan combine water, sugar, and gelatin. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve.

2. Place undrained peach slices in blender. Cover; blend until smooth. In extra-large bowl combine gelatin mixture, pureed peaches, peach nectar, and lemon juice. Divide peach mixture among four 1-quart containers. Cover and freeze overnight or until firm.

NOTE: Mixture can be frozen up to 3 months. Use as many containers as needed to continue with Step 3. (Each quart makes 6 servings.)

3. To serve, place one or more containers at room temperature for 1 hour. Break in chunks with large fork. Place in punch bowl or jug. Stir in 2 bottles of ginger ale per container of peach mixture until slushy.

Makes 24 servings (four 6-serving batches)
2 cups orange juice, chilled
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice, chilled
1 cup reduced-calorie cranberry juice
1 1-liter bottle diet lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled
Ice cubes
2 cups assorted fresh fruit (such as oranges, cut into wedges; thinly sliced and halved lemons and/or limes; pineapple wedges; seedless red or green grapes; sliced, peeled and pitted peaches; and halved strawberries)
Fresh mint sprigs

1. In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together chilled orange juice, white grape juice, and cranberry juice.

2. Add the lemon-lime beverage; stir gently. Fill each of 10 glasses about two-thirds full with ice. Divide fruit among glasses. Pour juice mixture into glasses. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs.

Makes 10 servings

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 12-ounce can diet lemon-lime carbonated beverage
Ice cubes

1. In a blender, combine strawberries, raspberries, and apple juice concentrate. Cover and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard pulp.

2. Pour strained mixture into a small pitcher; slowly stir in carbonated beverage. Serve over ice cubes in chilled glasses.

Makes 4 servings.
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