I don't know when it last happened but its surprisingly regular, it's just that this time it coincides with Mars' opposition to earth and an almost full moon, it means that it is more visible with the naked eye.
In all odds the red star probably was Mars, without a telescope it can be difficult to tell stars and planets apart, especially Mars, due to red shift tinting light to a reddish colour and atmospheric aberration causing both to appear to shimmer or twinkle but as a general rule the visible planets are far closer than most stars and so are not moving away as rapidly therefore they typically appear brighter than most stars.
I've never actually seen Jupiter as anything other then red. I've been watching Jupiter change within our view in the northern hemisphere for the past three months, its been confirmed after several people have called in asking about a red star around or near the moon, which through telescopes is Jupiter.
With my eyesight, the color isn't that of a red-brown, its a light red, but no cream.
You can typically tell stars and planets apart in the night sky by the way that stars twinkle while planets do not.
Stars twinkle due to our atmosphere jumping the light of which back and forth.
The stars are moving away, yes, but we see them as they were thousands of millions of years ago.
Light speed, baby.
Ok I'm not great at describing colours but my point is that Mars appears more red then Jupiter on earth. Planets will also twinkle due to the atmospheric aberration and is particularly noticeable in the when the planet is seen a short distance above the horizon. I don't think you understood my point of the relative astrological movement, the faster something moves away the more the light waves emitted are stretched and less light remains within the visible spectrum and so most of it filtered out in the higher atmosphere. I wasn't sure which planet it was people were seeing so I looked it up, Jupiter from the United Kingdom was not visible last night at the same time as the moon (so it wasn't visible at all as the sun over powers it) the only few that were for any length of time were Mars, Saturn and Uranus. Of these the only one that is almost, for lack of a better word, in 'phase' of the moon was Mars