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cocktail

Strawberry Basil Mint Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

After a successful batch of strawberry-basil muffins, I decided I needed to use that flavor combo again. And again. And again. So, following a trip to my local strawberry patch, I was back at it. This time with strawberry basil lemonade (along with some mint thrown in there too for fresh measure).

Honestly, I’m not a huge lemonade fan. All the sugar takes the fun out of lemons for me. I like making funny faces upon their tartness, and shocking my tastebuds with their startling sourness. I also enjoy dousing my salads with vinegar, and for those of you who do to, I bet you can relate here.

When I order lemonade out, whether it’s homemade or not, it’s generally hard for me to tell whether there’s actually lemon juice in it or not. This is especially true for the strawberry variety. And don’t even get me started on that pseudo, crappy powdery kind.

Hence, lemonade is a rare occurrence in my diet. That’s not to say, however, I don’t find the thought of a cold cup of it to sound incredibly refreshing. What could be more elegant and alluring than a tall, iced glass of Strawberry Basil Mint Lemonade? With a splash of vodka (..ahem, use responsibly), even better.

Strawberries and Basil

So, I set out to make my own. Don’t worry, it won’t make you pucker until your eyes bulge out. In fact, it likely won’t make you wince at all. However, this is no sugar water. Instead, this lemonade is packed with taste. I’m talking basil, mint, and the actual fresh flavors found in strawberries and lemons. (You know, the real fruit flavors you should find in every glass of lemonade!) Feel free to add a splash of vodka, but I’m warning you. This is an incredible flavor-masker, so while the lemon flavor will be evident, the alcohol flavor may be not. It will, however, make for quite the refreshing summer cocktail. Enjoy.

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Red Wine Sangria

I’m not a huge cocktail girl. Take me to the Caribbean and places where fresh pineapple and coconut trees grow and I could sip my weight in fruity drinks. But around here, they’re often just too sweet for me to crave more than a sip or two, fresh mint mojitos excluded.

However, I’ve always been a fan of sangria, especially the red variety when it’s not on the overly sugary side. I love the summery feel of cold red wine, the only time I typically drink it chilled, and I especially love the wine-drunken fruit. The drink also just speaks of fun and immediately draws memories of leisure, so it’s always nice to serve at friendly gatherings.

I won’t claim I’m a sangria expert, but I recently made this fairly simple version and it was a hit among all of my house guests that evening. I stuck with the classics – apples, oranges, limes – but feel free to experiment with adding any seasonal fruit. I really doubt you could go too wrong by throwing in some fresh berries to the mix. That thought alone leads me dreaming up a peach sangria. Looks like I might have to switch back from the dark side. Peach raspberry white wine sangria? Yes please. Though I won’t forget this recipe too.

Click here for recipe…