The Perfect Summer Cocktail

Hi ya’ll! Nap time seems to be getting harder and harder. Right now I can hear Lila in her room chatting away to her stuffed animals instead of laying her head down to sleep. These nap time struggles have me dreaming of the weekend and this amazing drink. This drink is everything I want in a summer cocktail. It is crisp, fresh, and delicious. I love this drink so much that I’m thinking about converting it into a punch for the adults at Lila’s first birthday party. It really is that good!

The first thing you need to do for this drink is make some lemonade. This could be optional and you could use store bought, but to me the fresh lemonade really makes the difference. When I was making the lemonade I had to explain in detail to Wyatt what I was doing. He had never made real lemonade before! To me, real lemonade is so easy and so worth it. I have an electric citrus juicer which really cuts down on the effort too. You’ll need the juice from six large lemons, and then I went ahead and strained the juice through a mesh strainer to get the pulp out. If you like pulp, totally skip this step. After you get the juice ready, you will make a simple syrup. This sounds so much harder than it is. You’ll take equal parts sugar and water ( I did one cup) in a small sauce pan and very slowly heat it up until the sugar dissolves. Let this cool for a minute. Then add the juice and simple syrup to a pitcher and fill with water until you have 2 quarts of fresh lemonade!

The lemonade is the main base for this drink, that is why I love the fresh lemonade. I do not have all the fancy bar gear, but I make what I have work when I am trying out a fun cocktail. I do have a shaker and I use that to muddle in my basil and blueberries. HEB (a Texas grocery store) has a great selection of fresh herbs. That is where I always go for my herbs. You will want about 3 leaves of basil per drink that you make. I ripped them all in half then added that and about six blueberries to the bottom of the shaker. I just used a spoon to muddle (mush) all that together. I love this step because the muddling releases that amazing basil aroma. You can leave this in the shaker while you add everything else.

With your muddle mixture still in the shaker, add a handful of ice. Then go ahead and add two ounces of lemonade and one ounce of vodka. The last ingredient is ginger beer. I love any drink with ginger beer. Ginger beer is the big ingredient in a Mule cocktail. It is like a stronger ginger ale. You can find it at the grocery store by the bloody Mary mix. You’ll add one ounce of the ginger beer to the shaker. You’ll shake all this up and pour into your favorite fancy glass! This drink deserves a fun glass for sure. My glass is an oldie from Anthropologie. If you ever need a fun glass, that is always my first stop.

One of my favorite parts of making a fun and yummy drink is to make a fun garnish. This drink is no exception. I use these mini skewers that are longer than a traditional toothpick. I just took a three blueberries and stuck them on the stick. Then I added one end of a large basil leaf and stuck both ends on the skewer, wrapping the blueberries in basil. Now the drink looks as glam as it tastes! Even if you’re having date night at home, or just feel like you, your man, or your girls deserve a treat, this drink will definitely make your night at little more special!

Also another great thing about this drink is if you take out the vodka, you have a very special mocktail for those pregnant or non-drinkers in your life. Even your kids will love a fancy lemonade to celebrate a hot summer day! Since it’s only Wednesday I have a few more days before I can enjoy this since I’m only drinking on weekends. So if you’re like me, we can dream together and add all the ingredients to our Friday grocery list. Hope you all enjoy making my current favorite! And maybe one of you can help me think of a great name for this drink. Everything I come up with is a mouthful!

 

Lemonade

6 large lemons juiced

1 cup sugar

1 cup water for simple syrup with sugar

2 quarts water

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher after you have made the simple syrup. Store in refrigerator.

                   Basil Blueberry Lemonade Cocktail    

3 basil leaves

6 blueberries

2 ounces lemonade

1 ounce vodka

1 ounce ginger beer

Muddle blueberries and basil in shaker. Add all your liquids and a handful of ice. Shake all and pour into glass. Garnish with blueberries and basil on a skewer.