Three Quick and Easy Summer Drinks

My hooligans are all away this week….two at sleepaway camp and one at Grandma Camp in Oklahoma.  That means I’ve had the week to do what I want, when I want.  The hubs and I have eaten out every night, watched “Bad Moms” (so inappropriate, but so hilarious), and been able to actually converse one on one in the evenings while walking the dog.  You know, rather than constantly reminding kids to skate/bike/skip on the right side of the street.  It’s been very pleasant. I’ve also had time to concoct a few beverages that may or may not contain alcohol…it’s up to you!  This week, mine do.

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This one I didn’t actually create…Pimm’s Lemonade is a specialty at the Napoleon House in New Orleans, and I just tweaked it a bit. I first served this to my cooking club back in February when I taught a class on Mardi Gras menus. It’s perfect for summer, though (who am I kidding…I love it anytime!).  The Pimm’s liqueur may be a little hard to find. My amazing husband stopped at a big liquor store in “the city” on his way home from work. It’s also pricey…around $25 per bottle, but that makes at least a couple of pitchers of deliciousness.  Here’s how to make a single serving; it can easily be doubled, tripled, or made for a pitcher.

Pimm’s Lemonade

  • 1-1/2 ounces of Pimm’s (3 Tablespoons)
  • about 1/2 cup lemonade
  • about 1/4 cup seltzer water (I use lemon seltzer)
  • Tall thin spear of cucumber

Pour the Pimm’s over a tall glass of ice, add lemonade to fill 3/4 of the way, then top off with seltzer.  Use the cucumber spear as a swizzle stick, or give it a quick stir to combine.

Drinks-Blackberry-ChaosServThis Blackberry-Amaretto Refresher is a stroke of genius, y’all. My kids love the Izze sparkling sodas (and they’re really pretty healthy for them), so we usually have a big variety pack on hand. I was making a blueberry pie with amaretto in it and thought how fabulous blackberry and amaretto are together, as well. When I realized there were a few blackberry sodas in the pack, I just had to try it. It is the bomb, I tell you. To make yourself one, just pour a blackberry Izze over ice and add a shot of amaretto. See…I told you it was genius. It pairs well with popcorn for dinner, if you’re wondering.

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Those other two drinks are really, really good, but this Lavender Limeade takes the cake for me.  Lime and lavender, on their own, are two of my favorite summer flavors, so I decided to combine them. I used some lavender syrup from Le Monin, but you can make your own following this post from last summer. It’s very easy to do. Like the Pimm’s Lemonade, this could easily be made as a pitcher of drinks. And I bet your friends would thank you!

Lavender Limeade

  • 8 oz lime seltzer water
  • 2 tablespoons lavender syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Pour the seltzer over ice, add the lavender syrup and lime juice, and stir!  Garnish with fresh lavender, if you’d like.

I accompanied the limeade with a baguette slathered with gorgonzola and a plateful of fresh figs, some of my favorite things!  You could easily make this a cocktail by adding a shot of vodka or rum.  Vodka would make a sort of lavender Moscow Mule, and rum would be a bit like a lavender mojito (minus the mint, but you could add that, as well!).

We’re finally getting a few days over 80 here in the Pacific Northwest, so I’m sure I’ll find lots of reasons to make all of these drinks as summer winds down in the next few weeks. I hope you will, as well!

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Throwback Saturday: The Very Best Raspberry Limeade Ever!

This post is a couple of years old, but my views on limeades haven’t changed!  This is still my favorite limeade, and I’ve been craving it as our days have grown warmer (and sunnier).  Why don’t you grab a good book, mix up a pitcher of these, and spend the afternoon reading on your porch?  That’s what I’m planning to do!

Now, don’t be hater, but I can’t stand limeades made with Sprite or 7-Up.  I’d rather have no limeade than those. The best limeades in the whole wide world come from Braum’s, a dairy and ice cream chain that’s found in Oklahoma and a little bit of Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas. I think their limeades perfectly combine tart, fizzy, and a bit of sweetness with cherries and syrup.

When I was in college in Colorado, I’d try to time my drives back and forth to pass through Salina at a time that would justify a limeade, since it was my first or last chance, depending on my direction of travel.

DSC_0039On Fathers’ Day, I was trying to come up with a festive drink to have with dinner, and found a can of limeade concentrate in the freezer. Obviously I had forgotten to use it to make another pitcher of margaritas.

Anyway, I combined it with 48 ounces of sparking water (made with my Sodastream…best Mothers’ Day gift ever, last year!) and about 1/4 cup raspberry syrup (the Torani kind, for coffee or Italian sodas).  It was perfect and tasted almost exactly like Braum’s Cherry Limeades. Wahoo!

To serve it, I poured it over ice in pint Mason jars.  I used a cupcake liner in place of the metal lid, and tightened the metal band to hold them in place. After poking an “x” with a small knife, I popped in some straws.

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While not spill-proof exactly, it made it easier on the kids…and harder on the bugs to get into our drinks on the deck!  That’s not an original idea, by the way…I saw it on Pinterest. But I did copy and execute it well, dontcha think?

Limeade is the perfect summer drink, I think…and who doesn’t love a pink, icy drink, that’s what I’d like to know?!