3 SUMMERTIME LEMONADE RECIPES

Lemonade is the perfect combination of sweet and tart, making it just the right refreshment to reach for when you’re looking to quench your thirst. There’s just nothing better than taking that first big swig of ice cold lemonade when you’re outside enjoying a hot day. But classic lemonade — a simple combination of lemon juice, sugar, and water — is really just the starting point for so many exciting summer lemonade recipes.

I realize that sometimes simple is perfect. I love a three-ingredient recipe myself, but when you’re ready to add a little flair and have a few friends over to celebrate all that beautiful sunshine, adding a boozy element to that simple lemonade makes things much more fun!

So why go for plain lemonade when you can add a few simple ingredients and take that classic lemonade up a notch? I’ve come up with a few quick summer lemonade recipes that still provide the cooling refreshment of lemonade while surprising your guests with a beautiful burst of flavor.

Let’s get things started for all you DIYers out there. Here’s the recipe for a classic lemonade to use as a base for the following cocktail and mocktail or to simply enjoy on its own.

GidgetClassicLemonade

GIDGET’S CLASSIC LEMONADE
Making a batch of lemonade is just the thing for adding the perfect level of summer to picnics and backyard BBQs alike. Having a pitcher on hand in the fridge means that fresh lemony flavor is just a glass away, so mix up a batch of this classic lemonade and get ready for some summer drinks.

INGREDIENTS ::
Note: The bonus of making your own lemonade is you can control the level of sweetness — or tartness — by adding more lemons or sugar to your liking.

  • 1-1/2 cups freshly-squeezed lemon juice (from about 12+ lemons, I prefer Meyer lemons)
  • 1-3/4 cups sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • Lemon slices to garnish

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup of water.
  2. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Cool mixture to room temperature.
  4. In pitcher, stir together cooled syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 7 cups of water.
  5. Before serving, add lemon to garnish and plenty of ice.

A SUNSHINE DAY LEMONADE COCKTAIL

It's a SUNSHINE DAY!

It’s a SUNSHINE DAY!

There’s nothing like lemonade in the middle of the day or to kickstart your early evening dinner party with friends. A sweet and sour classic lemonade is mighty tasty indeed and while it’s is great on its own, a little jigger or two of flavor-enhancing liquor certainly doesn’t hurt (and gets your party rolling). This sophisticated cocktail owes its flavor pop to a combo of elderflower liquor and Italian limoncello. Bellissimo!

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, jigger
GLASS :: Stemless champagne flute or stemless wine glass
EXTRAS :: Lemon twist
SERVINGS ::  2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS :: 

  • 4 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces classic lemonade (above) or fresh, purchased lemonade
  • 2 ounces St. Germain elderflower liquor
  • 1 ounces Limoncello
  • Club soda
  • Optional: Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  1. Fill each glass to the top with ice and add lemon twist.
  2. In ice-filled cocktail shaker, add remaining ingredients except club soda.
  3. Shake well to mix all ingredients and distribute between glasses.
  4. Top with club soda and stir to combine.

I LOVE BLUEBERRIES! MOCKTAIL

Here’s a non-alcoholic twist on the classic lemonade that will make the non-drinkers at your party feel loved. It’s time to build a drink that looks just as beautiful and specially prepared as its boozy counterpart. Made with an easy blueberry simple syrup, this summer lemonade recipe brings tangy, sweet, and refreshing together in a trifecta of summer wonder. The perfect way to cool yourself down on a hot day!

GidgetBlueberryLemonade1

 

TOOLS ::  Saucepan, fine wire sieve, jigger
GLASS :: Collins or highball
EXTRAS :: Lemon wheels and blueberries for garnish
SERVINGS :: 4 cocktails

INGREDIENTS :: 

  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup classic lemonade (above) or fresh, purchased lemonade
  • 1 can of San Pellegrino Limonata sparkling lemon beverage
  • Lots of ice!
  • Lemons cut into wheels

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Blueberry Simple Syrup 

  1. Combine first three ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium until sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
  3. Simmer until blueberries have broken down, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Strain blueberries through a fine wire sieve to remove solids.
  5. Set syrup aside and let cool. Keep any leftover syrup chilled in your refrigerator for up to one month. 

Blueberry Lemonade 

  1. Fill each glass halfway with ice and add lemon wheels. Once lemons are inserted, fill rest of the glass with ice.
  2. Add 1 ounce of blueberry syrup to each glass.
  3. Add lemonade or lemon juice to within 1 1/2-2 inches from the top of each glass.
  4. Top with San Pellegrino Limonata sparking lemon (or club soda or lemon-flavored sparkling water).
  5. Stir to combine and garnish with blueberries.

Spike it! This cocktail would pair wonderfully with either some citrus vodka or gin, so if you want to turn up the fun a little on this recipe, simply add 1 1/2 oz of either spirit after you add the blueberry syrup!

 

REFRESHING CUCUMBER COCKTAIL ~ THE ROYAL KEW

Garden-to-glass ~ The Royal Kew

Garden-to-glass ~ The Royal Kew

Ok, so here’s the deal: Cocktail-friendly plants can be grown in your garden, and with backyard entertaining just a few months ahead of us, this is the time of year to take full advantage of that bounty. If you’re still in the planning stages of your garden, there are a plethora of plants and herbs to consider in your planting plan to bring that garden freshness right into your summer cocktails!

Doesn’t this make gardening seem all the more exciting? You can venture into your garden and encounter a seasonal array of cocktail mixers and garnishes to create a whole new farm-to-glass revolution of your own right in your backyard. There are lots of herbs — think basil and mint — that go beyond simple salad enhancers and add a whole new level to your cocktail. Flowers such as a simple sprig of lavender can elevate your garnish game. Then you have the wonderful world of citrus with lemons, limes, grapefruits, and oranges. The possibilities are endless! And let’s not forget vegetables — they’re right there just waiting to be infused or muddled as the star attraction of your next cocktail party.

So where to start? I’ve got a delicious cocktail that comes straight out of the garden to get you headed in the right direction. The balance and garden power of this cucumber cocktail comes from the refreshing flavor of cucumbers, the delicate and oh-so-delicious floral sweetness of St. Germain (made from Elderflowers), and fresh lime juice. Muddle in aromatic spearmint and add botanical-rich gin as your base spirit and you’re on your way to garden-fresh greatness.

It’s true, this cocktail includes a vegetable, an herb, a flower-based liquor, and citrus, so it’s pretty much the ultimate garden cocktail, wouldn’t you say? While you may not have the exact ingredients growing quite yet, get those seed packets ready because after one sip of this libation you’re going to want these ingredients at your fingertips all summer long!

PREP YOUR GARDEN

Outside of planting a lime tree (which I highly recommend — I love my Tahitian lime tree!), there are two plants for you to add to your garden this summer to fuel making this cocktail all season: Cucumber and spearmint.

Cocktail_CucumberCucumber
Few foods are as cool as a cucumber. These low-calorie veggies contain many nutritional benefits, including hydrating properties and valuable nutrients. Cucumbers are a great addition to your garden and belong to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe). In order to get your garden ready for this cocktail, make sure you’re planting slicing cucumbers vs.pickling cucumbers, which are generally smaller and have thinner skins.

SpearmintSpearmint

Spearmint is a pleasantly aromatic herb packed with numerous health benefiting vitamins, antioxidants, and phyto-nutrients. Often overlooked due to its more famous garden cousin mint, spearmint brings a subtle hint of flavor to cocktails where mint packs a real punch. Give this herb a try and you’ll be thrilled with the results. 

 

GIN FOR THE WIN!

I know there are many of you out there who thought, “Oh no, it’s made with gin? I don’t like gin!” Well, it’s time you gave gin a chance.

From a garden freshness standpoint, you can’t get a spirit any closer to the delicious herbs of our world than with gin. While the origins of the clear liquor are often questioned, someone most likely in Holland or Belgium began to infuse alcohol with juniper berries and a variety of other botanicals way back in the Middle Ages. (Think of this spirit as the first flavored vodka!) Gin is still made this way today and each brand has its own recipe and techniques for infusion.

While all gin has some juniper flavor, the other botanicals highlighted in gins today can include a wide array of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits, spices, and even tea. So please check out the wide flavor range of gins available now at shops like BevMo and give gin a chance to blow you away with it’s refreshing and summer-sunshine-and-herbs-in-a-glass flavor.

CUCUMBER COCKTAIL RECIPE

National Geographic’s list of the Top Ten Most Beautiful Gardens named the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as number two in the list. With over 326 acres and 100 world-class attractions created over the past 250 years, what’s not to love about Kew Gardens in Surrey, England?

And since it’s Great Britain who singlehandedly made gin famous over the years with their world-class London Dry Gin, I thought it only fitting to give a shout out to our gin-imbibing partners across the pond.

GidgetGardenCocktail2THE ROYAL KEW

TOOLS :: Mixing glass, muddler, cocktail shaker, metal mesh cocktail strainer
GLASS :: Chilled Coupe
EXTRAS ::  Cucumbers for garnish — make spears, wheels, wafers, or spirals
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 2 ounces St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 10-12 chunks peeled English cucumber
  • 10-12 spearmint leaves
  • 4 ounces gin
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice

Gidget_GardenCocktail_Muddle

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In a mixing glass, add cucumber, mint and St. Germain. Using your muddler, gently massage the cucumber and mint — you aren’t trying to pulverize them, you’re muddling to extract juice from the cucumbers and essential oils from spearmint leaves. Go easy!

Add gin and lime juice into a cocktail shaker, then add in muddled ingredients from the mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously.

Using metal mesh strainer, double strain into chilled coupe and garnish with cucumber.

EXPAND YOUR GARDEN ~ AND YOUR COCKTAIL MENU!

For a look back at other cocktails that can utilize the herbs, fruits, and flowers from your garden (or local farmers market), take a peek at a few of my other garden-fresh recipes. As if you weren’t excited enough to get started gardening!

  • Blueberry Basil Cocktails: These two cocktails – The ZIGGY and The VIOLET BEAUREGARDE use a basil and fresh blueberry simple syrup (and it’s simple to make!) to get you started on a cocktail journey you won’t regret.
  • BACKYARD MOJO :  I created this cocktail to celebrate the minty goodness of a mojito and added garden fresh strawberries and lemons for a new twist on the classic.

SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED: HOW TO BUILD A DIRTY MARTINI

Martinis play an important role in the life of James Bond. They’re nearly as famous as his fast cars and the Bond girls. But it’s that phrase, “shaken, not stirred,” that many of us have tried to mimic with just the right amount of 007 swagger when ordering a cocktail. Admit it, you’ve tried!

Well, with the latest and greatest Bond film which hit theaters on November 6th, I thought it was time to dive a little deeper into the mystique of the martini. Daniel Craig will be playing the debonair spy for the fourth time in the film, which was filmed on location in London, Mexico City, Rome, Tangier, and Erfoud in Morocco. All so exotic! When it comes to world premieres, nobody does it better than 007, so I’m here to help you embrace the secret agent way of life and mix an impressive dirty martini along with the best of them.

James certainly would have loved this one...

James certainly would have loved this one…

GETTING INTO THE SPY GAME

Bond’s cocktail of choice is the vodka martini, but did you know the reason he asks for the cocktail to be ‘shaken, not stirred’ is because a traditional martini should actually be stirred?

Mixology rule number one states that any cocktail containing only spirits — in this case vodka and dry vermouth — should be stirred over ice in a cocktail mixing glass, not shaken in a cocktail shaker. Bond claims to appreciate the extra chill shaking provides, and many people like to see those small ice shards in their cocktail, as well. If you want to follow in the footsteps of James, get that shaker out and get ready to chill that martini.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, there are other considerations for creating the ultimate martini:

Vodka or gin?
First you need to decide if you want your cocktail created with vodka or with gin. Either spirit works well, so it’s a matter of preference. We all know Mr. Bond prefers vodka, but gin is the original ingredient for a martini.

Did you know that three different vodkas have been featured in the Bond films? Smirnoff was the original endorsed brand, then it was replaced by Stolichnaya. InDie Another Day, Finlandia was the vodka of choice.

How dry?
Dry vermouth is the only other ingredient in a martini, and it’s up to you to determine how much you’d like in your cocktail. Ordering a martini without specifying will give you anywhere from six drops to about a half capful of vermouth. Ordering your martini “dry” reduces that by about half.

Some bartenders merely place the vermouth into the martini glass, swirl it around to coat the insides and then toss the leftover liquid. An “extra dry” martini either has no vermouth or less than a splash.

How dirty?
Ordering a dirty martini means you’ll get a few splashes of the briny olive juice from the cocktail olive jar mixed into your martini. Lots of people love the extra flavor this juice provides, so feel free to ask for “extra dirty” if you want to really taste that olive flavor.

Olives or onions...no one is judging...

Olives, onions or even a lemon peel  – no one is judging…


Garnish

Chances are if you’ve ordered a dirty martini, you’re looking for a few olives in your cocktail. All good — feel free to ask for the number you’d like if you don’t know your bartender. Another standard garnish for a martini is a long lemon peel. Be sure to ask if you have a preference.

 

 

 

 

The “other” martini
Keep in mind that if you’d prefer your martini garnished with a cocktail onion instead of an olive, you are ordering a Gibson martini, which is made in the same fashion as steps one and two above, but ensures you’re substituting an onion (and onion juice if you’re inclined) for your cocktail.

LIVE & LET DRINK
Now that you’ve got the intel on martinis, let’s get down to actually shaking one up for you and your guests. You’ve had time to think about your base spirit, your vermouth, and your garnish, so get all those lined up like a pro and let’s get shaking!

HOW TO MAKE A DIRTY MARTINI
Tools :: 
Cocktail shaker, extra ice
Glass :: Martini
Extras :: Cocktail olives in juice (or cocktail onions in juice or lemons for twists)
Servings :: 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS ::
2 1/2 ounces vodka or gin
Half a capful or less of dry vermouth
2 teaspoons of olive brine from a jar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Before mixing cocktails, place ice into martini glass and fill with cool water. Set aside. This method ensures the coldest of glasses for your cocktail. Fill shaker with ice and pour vermouth and vodka into shaker. Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of olive brine into shaker. Shake until your hand chills — about 30 seconds or more. Dump ice and water from martini glass. Strain martini into chilled glass. Garnish with olives and enjoy!

Once you’ve made a few martinis, you’ll be able to fine-tune your flavor preference by adding or reducing the amount of vermouth or olive brine to your liking. You can also experiment with the Gibson martini and see how you like the onion versus the olive.

These days, bars are also substituting dill pickles and juice instead of the olives for a whole new take on the dirty martini! While I’m not sure Mr. Bond would look quite so debonair with a dill pickle garnish, just get that accent down and you might be onto something! For another James Bond martini, check out the Vesper cocktail made famous in the movie Casino Royale.

LABOR DAY PARTY IDEA ~ THROW AN END OF SUMMER BASH!

I have mixed emotions about the end of summer. While I’m going to miss the warm nights and long days with family and friends, I do look forward to the Labor Day holiday as a time to transition into that fall state of mind. Although I’m not quite ready to turn in my summer sandals for tall black boots, I am ready to embrace the last weeks of summer the right way by launching into the Labor Day holiday and throwing an End of Summer cocktail party!

With delicious food, refreshing drinks, and good company, everyone loves a great party. But how do you make sure your end of summer cocktail party is truly great? I think throwing a picnic-style party extends the casual feeling of summer for all your guests. From there you’ll need a fantastic cocktail (or three!), some entertainment to keep your guests mingling and amused, and one final surprise to send them all home smiling. Check out the article we wrote for TheGoodStuff to see how to easy it can be!

As always, we think it’s fun to start off with the cocktail menu, so here’s a great way for you to have a little fun pumping up the patriotic theme for the Labor Day holiday. Everyone loves a good cocktail, and what a better way to get your party started then by offering them three delicious drinks to choose from?

Mason jar cocktails in red, white & blue? 'Merica!

Mason jar cocktails in red, white & blue? ‘Merica!

Pre-mix each cocktail and place them in Mason jars (you can use the 8-ounce size) so have time to enjoy mingling with your guests. With a simple, hand-drawn sign, a stack of lime wedges, and a bucket of ice you’re ready to celebrate in red, white, and blue style! Your guests simply grab a jar with their libation of choice, remove the cap, and add some ice and a lime wedge. Voila, cocktails are served!

Recipes below and ingredients listed are per cocktail.

Red Cosmo

  • 2 ounces citrus vodka (regular vodka works fine, too)
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice

White Gin & Tonic

  • 2 ounces quality gin
  • 5 ounces tonic (I love Schweppes or Fever Tree)
  • Juice from one wedge of fresh lime

Blue Margarita

  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 ounce blue Curaçao
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

As the carefree days and warm nights of summer come to a close, let everyone enter into fall with wonderful memories of an afternoon spent with friends enjoying the warmer weather and a few cocktails. There will be smiles all around!

Gidget_LaborDay2

 

GET BRUNCH STARTED RIGHT WITH AN EASTER LILY COCKTAIL

The Easter bunny’s not the only one who can bring treats to your Easter brunch celebration! How about a delicious cocktail to kickstart your brunch menu?

The foundation for this cocktail is a drink that debuted in New Orleans, called the Ramos Gin Fizz. Created by a guy named Henry C. Ramos in 1888, the original instructions dictated that it be shaken for a total of 12 minutes, requiring a bit of a bartender relay. We’ve modified the recipe and the shaking method (Hello blender!) to make this easier for all you hostesses out there! Trust us – this cocktail is known for its deliciousness and its ability to kick-start many a brunch celebration, so plan to greet each of your guests with an Easter Lilly as they arrive ~ the perfect set up for a beautiful day.

The ultimate "cocktail appetizer".

The ultimate “cocktail appetizer”.

EASTER LILY

TOOLS :: Blender
GLASS :: Highball or Wine Goblet ~ your choice
EXTRAS :: Fresh ground nutmeg for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 4 oz. gin {you can use Vodka if you want, but give the gin a try!}
  • 1 oz simple syrup (1:1)
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 fresh egg white
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp Orange Flower Water
  • 1 oz. club soda, chilled

HOW TO MAKE IT :: Combine the first 7 ingredients in a blender without ice and blend on low to combine for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of ice to liquid ingredients and blend on medium-high for at least 2 minutes. Pour into a glass, top with club soda and stir. Garnish with ground nutmeg.

OLD HOLLYWOOD COCKTAILS FOR YOUR OSCAR PARTY

From red carpet interviews and designer ball gowns to acceptance speeches and parties, the Academy Awards are hard to resist watching. And we’ve found that the best way to enjoy the show is with a bunch of friends and, of course, a delicious cocktail in hand.

While any good cocktail will do, we’ve discovered a number of recipes that are inspired by classic movie stars. We’ve done some research on the Golden Age of Hollywood and its classic cocktails. Who knew the French 75 played a role in Casablanca?! This year, elevate your Oscars viewing party by mixing up one of these delicious old Hollywood cocktails and raise a glass to all the nominees — and Neil Patrick Harris! Lights, camera, cheers!

With such glamour and history, we think the best salute to 87 years of the Academy warrants an elegant martini bar for your awards party. With recipe cards and the simplest of ingredients, your guests will be shaking & stirring their way into Hollywood’s Golden Age in no time. To learn all about the movies in which these delish martinis played a starring role, and for more cocktail + movie trivia, visit our latest article HERE.

With just a few simple ingredients and some instruction signs your guests will be mixing and shaking away!

With just a few simple ingredients and some instruction signs your guests will be mixing and shaking away!

For all Martinis:
Tools: Cocktail shaker, ice, strainer & garnishes. Recipe cards for instructions (optional)

Gibson Martini

  • 2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • Splash of dry vermouth (use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add)
  • Cocktail onion

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with pearl onion.

Classic Martini

  • 2-1/2 oz. Vodka
  • Splash of dry vermouth (use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add)
  • Twist of lemon rind

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Dirty Martini

  • 2 oz. Vodka
  • Splash of dry vermouth  {use the bottle’s cap, fill halfway and add}
  • 1/2 oz. olive juice from jar
  • 1-3 green cocktail olives

Shake with ice and strain into glass. Garnish with two olives.

Here’s a printable PDF of the martini signs. We backed them with black glittery paper found at the craft store to give them a bit more ‘umph’!

OscarMartiniBarSigns

THE COOLEST REINDEER GOES ROGUE

It was bound to happen. All those years of running between Prancer and Comet just has a way of getting under the skin of a reindeer who’s heart runs with a little more adventure than the other reindeers. And today the coolest reindeer – VIXEN – went a little rogue. In the spirit of Vixen and in the spirit of HOLIDAY GIVING, Gidget+LaRue partnered with an amazing non-profit, Growing Gardens, out of Portland, Oregon to create a fundraising cocktail. Utilizing the amazing Pink Spruce Gin small batch spirit from Rogue Distillery, we happily introduce you to The ROGUE Vixen. But this isn’t about us. It’s about lending a hand to Growing Gardens who’s mission is to reduce hunger by providing people with the resources and education they need to grow their own food.

With a simple gift of only $10.00 (or more if you’d like), you’re entered to win an entire case of hand-crafted Rogue distilled spirits! Just imagine…Dead Guy Whiskey, Hazelnut Rum and Pink Spruce Gin right there at your fingertips! So in the spirit of Vixen, go a little rogue, take a chance and donate today!

THE ROGUE VIXEN

TheRogueVixen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, wire mesh strainer
GLASS :: Coupe or Martini
EXTRAS ::  candied ginger chunk for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 3 oz. ROGUE Pink Spruce Gin
  • 1 oz. PAMA Pomegranate liqueur
  • 1.5 oz. Elderflower liqueur (we used St. Elder for this recipe)
  • 3/4 oz. fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Add all ingredients to ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled and double strain into chilled glass. Garnish with ginger and enjoy!

 

FRIDAY TEST KITCHEN – Cheers!

It’s Friday night in the G+LaR Liquid Kitchen and we’re just having some fun with what’s in the fridge and on the bar. Working drink name: “Another, Please“, because that’s what everyone said after they sipped this simple, 4-ingredient wonder.

For 2 cocktails, here you go: 4 oz. Bombay, 3 oz. Passion Fruit juice, 1 oz. Canton ginger liqueur. Shake over ice, strain into a coupe. Top with champagne. Rose or Brut works. We added a blueberry and crystallized ginger garnish for flare. Have fun and thank goodness it’s Friday! Cheers!

Go find some Passion Fruit juice and have some fun!

Go find some Passion Fruit juice and have some fun!

A COCKTAIL TO CELEBRATE SUMMER SOLSTICE

Today is the longest day of the year and the 1st day of summer. That’s like a double dose of sun, fun and entertaining potential! We think the best way to honor that extra sunshine is to grab a cocktail shaker and capture that wonderful solstice feeling by mixing your friends up a summer libation! Summer brings with it lots of juicy {and cocktail-ready!} fruits and today we’re focusing on RASPBERRIES. This drink is a real treat and will have you enjoying these little ruby colored gems in no time. So gather some friends and let’s capture that first day of summer with this delish twist on a classic French 75 ~ the raspberry infused RUBY 75. Now get out there, embrace the beginning of summer and take advantage of those extra hours of sunshine to celebrate!

The perfect pre-dinner summer party cocktail!

The perfect pre-dinner summer party cocktail!

The RUBY 75

TOOLS :: Shaker, muddler, fine wire mesh strainer
GLASS :: Coupe
EXTRAS ::  Raspberries for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::
4 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin (this lighter, floral gin is the perfect match for this drink)
2 oz. St. Germaine (elderflower liqueur)
6-8 fresh raspberries
Champagne – well chilled (Rose is a fun alternative, too)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • In cocktail shaker add St. Germaine and raspberries.
  • Muddle gently to juice raspberries.
  • Add Gin and ice to shaker then shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain cocktail through fine wire mesh strainer over each coupe glass, dividing evenly.
  • Top each cocktail with ~1.5 oz. of Champagne. No need to measure, just top the cocktail off with the Champagne.
  • Garnish each glass with raspberry.

Enjoy!

TAX DAY RELIEF ~ THE CORPSE REVIVER

Regardless of whether you did your taxes yourself or paid someone to trudge through the effort on your behalf, let’s face it – taxes are no fun. They’re exhausting and stressful and once finished, we’re often left feeling relieved but dead tired. We’ve come up with a way to revive your spirits! Awaken you from the toll taxes have taken on your life! Now that Tax Day is done, we want you to celebrate in style with a CORPSE REVIVER No2!

Aptly named because of it’s purported ability to bring a painfully hung-over person back to some semblance of life, the CORPSE REVIVER No2 dates all the way back to 1930 and provides delicious citrus notes and a well balanced sweet, floral flavor with the use of Lillet Blanc and gin.

Even Ben Franklin himself stated, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. Well, here at Gidget+LaRue we are done with our taxes and we’re excited to have you try this wonderfully enlivening – and classic – cocktail to get back out there and live a little!

CORPSE REVIVER No2

Taxes are done ~ time to come alive with this classic!

Taxes are done ~ time to come alive with this classic!

TOOLS :: Shaker
GLASS :: Martini or coupe
EXTRAS ::  Cherry – optional
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS* ::
1 oz. Gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ oz. Absinthe

 HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Add absinthe to chilled glass. Swirl to coat insides of glass. Set aside.
  • Add remaining ingredients to shaker filled with ice and shake it like you mean it!
  • Strain into the absinthe coated glass
  • Garnish with cherry (optional)

 

SHAKE UP A VALENTINE’S DAY COCKTAIL ~ JAMES BOND STYLE

Bond. James Bond. This British secret agent embodies all things sexy and mysterious. For an unforgettable Valentine’s Day, we introduce you to a martini straight out of a 1953 James Bond novel, Casino Royale, called the Vesper Martini.

For some secret agent background on this Bond girl libation, here are two of the spirits you’ll need to celebrate Valentine’s Day Bond-style.

1. LONDON DRY GIN. Gin’s characteristic flavor is primarily juniper, enhanced by a variety of other botanicals and/or spices. The traditional style of gin called out in the original James Bond recipe calls for a London Dry style gin. We selected a premium small batch gin, made in a 200-year old distillery near Birmingham, England. How very British, and oh so good.

2. LILLET. Lillet (pronounced li-lay) is a French Aperitif made from a blend of wine, liqueurs, fruits and herbs. This divine wine includes sweet orange peels from Morocco and bitter green orange peels from Haiti. The Vesper Martini recipe calls for the Blanc version, which has a beautiful golden color with candied orange, honey, lime and mint aromas.

Here’s how to make your Bond-worthy martini.

cropped-The-Vesper-Martini.png

VESPER MARTINI

TOOLS: Shaker filled with ice
GLASS: Martini
EXTRAS: Lemon spiral for garnish
SERVINGS: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS:
6 oz. London Dry gin (we’ve chosen Brokers but Tanqueray or Bombay are also good)
2 oz. vodka
1 oz. Lillet Blanc

HOW TO MAKE IT:

  • Place all liquid ingredients into ice-filled shaker and shake it like you mean it. This martini must be served well chilled so shake it and shake it again.
  • Strain contents into chilled martini glass
  • Top drink with a long, thin lemon peel. Peel lemon directly over the martini so the essential oils drop directly into the glass for that extra touch of flavor.

Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend or a candle-lit dinner with your sweetheart, this simple Valentine’s martini will make your celebration that much more romantic.  Cheers to a happy Valentine’s Day!

vesper-martini

HAPPY HOUR No3 ~ G&T

Have any of you noticed that with this week’s heat wave it feels more like summer than spring? We LOVE it – sunshine, sandals and refreshing cocktails on the patio at night. For this G+LaR Happy Hour, we’re going to let you select your favorite base alcohol ~ Gin or Vodka. This simple vintage cocktail ~ The Gin (or Vodka) + Tonic is perfect for these summer-like days. The key ingredient in this famous drink is tonic water, which owns it’s distinctive bitter flavor to quinine. Did you know that under ultraviolet light, the quinine in tonic water is said to become fluorescent? Hit the tonic bottle with direct sunlight at your next outdoor party and amaze your guests with a great drink and a little science.

For a special addition to your Gin/Vodka + Tonic, see our special NOTE listed below.

GIN [or VODKA] + TONIC

Refreshing and classic!

Refreshing and classic!

TOOLS ::  Swizzle stick
GLASS ::  Collins (tall, thin)
EXTRAS ::  lime or lemon wedge, 4-5 tonic water ice cubes (see NOTE below)
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

2 oz. Gin (give St. Georges Botanivore a try)
~or~
2 oz. Vodka (give Hanger One a try)
Tonic Water  (always use the glass bottled tonic, not plastic)
Lemon or Lime wedge

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

  • Place the ice tonic ice cubes in a tall, narrow glass making sure the cubes come near the top of the glass
  • Add the Gin or Vodka, then fill to the top with Tonic water
  • Squeeze your lemon or lime wedge into the cocktail and drop into the glass
  • Using your swizzle stick, stir cocktail until blended

NOTE ::
To make ice cubes, simply fill an empty ice cube tray with tonic water and let the cubes freeze. It only takes a few hours and improves your drink significantly. If you cover any leftover cubes well they will remain fresh tasting in the freezer for a few weeks.