I truly can’t believe that my last half attempt at a post was in October of 2012. So depressing how fast time has flown on by…
I do have to say though … so many wonderful things have been happening (my wedding, other people's weddings, home renovations, new job, vacations, honeymoon) that I can’t be too sad for too long.
Well, I figured the best way to jump back on this bandwagon is to start off with one of my favorite things on one of my favorite weekends…. 4th of July themed cocktails. I love me a good themed drink and this weekend offers a host of opportunities to consume one or ten. The only tricky part is that they need to be easy. When the BBQ is going, the sun is shining and the pool noodles are calling your name, the last thing you want to do is waste time in the kitchen mixing up a complicated cocktail. Here are my suggestions for deliciously simple and refreshing drinks to help you celebrate the land of country music, Step-Up movies, water parks and 64 oz beverages!
(My hubby and I made quite the sacrifice last night and painstakingly consumed all three concoctions to determine the best scenario for each… oh wait, it was awesome and patriotic and in the end a little messy but like I said, awesome.)
Red, White and Blueberry
Fun, fruity and fabulous, this combines the classic mojito with some berry and melon flare. The muddling adds a little extra work but we timed it out and it took only 2 minutes from counter to sip. We had the limes and watermelon precut and the simple syrup chilled and ready.
For boats, beaches, pools and all things water related.
For hanging out, picnicking, lounging or doing any other sort of leisurely activity that requires minimal effort.
You will need:
- About 8 mint leaves
- 2 ounces white rum
- 3 lime wedges
- Club soda
- 1 oz blueberry simple syrup*
- Watermelon garnish**
*For the simple syrup, I loosely followed the All Recipes’ instructions for blueberry sauce.
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix 1 cup blueberries in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the berries begin to pop and the syrup thickens, about 10 minutes. Pull of heat and mash the berries with a potato masher. Strain liquid and refrigerate.
** Summer = fresh watermelon and this sweet treat adds the perfect garnish. Cut watermelon into small slices and make a cut ½ way through the tip so that they can adorn the edge of the glass. Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt (if you haven’t tried this yet, I would highly recommend it. Your relationship with watermelon will never be the same again).
The Betsy Ross
For watching fireworks light up the night sky, sitting under the stars or around a campfire and listening to the sweet sounds of John Philip Sousa.
As a reward because you just drove over the state line into Wisconsin or Indiana, didn't get caught, and snagged yourself some pretty awesome things that you will get to blow up later.
You will need:
- 2 ounces vodka (Mine are generally made by me going “a little more, a little more, I guess that’s enough… so add however much you like in your drink.. I’m clearly not here to judge)
- Club soda
- 1 oz strawberry simple syrup*
- Star spangled garnish**
*For the simple syrup, I once again followed the All Recipes’ instructions.
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix , 2 cups strawberries into saucepan and bring to a boil; boil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until strawberries are mushy and sauce is thick, about 10 minutes. Strain liquid into a container and refrigerate.
** Show off your flare for the festive with these themed fruit skewers. An easy peasy creation, all you have to do is line the spear with blueberries and top with a perfectly cut piece of pineapple. Want to make it functional? After assembled, line a cutting board or baking sheet with wax paper and toss your star spangled garnish in the freezer.
Really, the only thing similar about this drink and its Moscow Mule counterpart is the vodka... and that is clearly questionable. Although, after several of these and you might be feeling like an @$$ so you'll have that going for you, which is nice. This simple concoction can be whipped up in under a minute so get ready to get your 'Merica on! We had the garnish preassembled and the simple syrup chilled and ready.
For eating various meats that are cooked outside... whether they are smoked, grilled or on a stick over an open flame. Time to BBQ like a boss!
For a pick-up softball game, Frisbee, jarts or bags game (I should say anything that is mildly athletic and by that I mean activities that require you to not be in the seated position).
You will need:
- UV Blue
- 1 oz pear simple syrup*
- Raspberry garnish**
Fill a rocks glass to the top with ice. Pour in the UV Blue (its really all about how big you want this celebration to be) and top with the simple syrup. Stir. Add the raspberry garnish. You'll be whistling "Oh Say Can You See.." in no time!
* For the simple syrup, I simply follow the ratios from earlier.
Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix , 1 pear (peeled and cut into bite sized pieces) into saucepan and bring to a boil; boil on high for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the pear is mushy and sauce is thick, about 10 minutes. Strain liquid into a container (I really had to use my spatula to get the juices out) and refrigerate.
** For the raspberries, simply wash and skewer. For an added bonus (the leftovers were simply devoured later as a sweet treat), mix up a small bath of plain simple syrup (clearly I'm forming an addiction) using 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir in a saucepan on high till the sugar dissolves and the water is clear. Place the skewers into a deep dish and pour the syrup over. Freeze for at least an hour, at best overnight. The syrup becomes thick and coats the raspberries so they have a crispy shine. It is much simpler than trying to candy coat them. I simply don't have the patients.
CHEERS! To a Happy 4th of July and an explosion of festiveness!