This past weekend, in true Elena fashion, we celebrated my 26th birthday starting on the 4th. Growing up we would celebrate for months, traveling around from family vacation to family vacation. The latest I’ve ever started gearing up was Independence Day, the day when I tell myself the fireworks are really for me.
Our July 4th was wonderful. Sol Food was here (I’ll talk more about their visit in a post next week), and we were welcomed into the homes of four close friends. First we headed down to Catonsville, a neighborhood in Baltimore County that feels like small town America- especially on Independence Day, where our friends Jen and Bill live with their amazing and precocious daughter Finley. The parade in Catonsville is one of my favorites with floats including Baltimore’s best waitress (Miss Peggy) and marching bands galore. In the afternoon we headed to Overlea to watch the fireworks (and my favorite Will Smith movie) with our friends Jamie, Cheryl, Chris and (another) Jen. It was wonderful and when my head hit the mattress many dehydrated hours later I slept like a rock. Day drinking is taxing.
The next few days were full of being with my brother and the rest of Sol Food, eating a lot of ice cream, and trying to stay cool during the insane heat wave (my birthday has been record heat for the past three years). Then, on Saturday, we hosted a cookout for 45 or so friends, family, and new friends. It was amazing. Good friends came from far away (Julia came from Durham!), and we ate, drank, laughed, and gobbled down vodka soaked peaches. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.
One thing I wanted when we decided to have this party was a signature cocktail. A few weeks ago I had a beer sangria at our favorite Bmore restaurant, Ale Wife. It was so delicious I knew we had to immediately try it at home. A combination of vodka infused peaches and a white beer, it was the perfect refreshing cocktail for a record heat day.
On Sunday we had a bloody-Mary fueled Durham-tastic brunch with Julia and two other DSA alums, Mattie and David. From the heartfelt cards and birthday toasts to the treat of watching friends from across our lifetimes bond over the littlest things (like an intensely long game of Cards Against Humanity) it was a magical birthday. Thanks, guys. You rock.
Inspired by Alewife Baltimore
Handle of vodka
5 peaches, ripe
White beer (such as Allagash White)
At least 24 hours before your party combine sliced peaches and vodka. When you’re ready to serve mix 1 oz vodka and 6-8 oz beer. Enjoy!