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!

 

SPOOKY COCKTAILS FOR YOUR HALLOWEEN MONSTER MASH

Ghosts, goblins, witches, and werewolves — Halloween is filled with plenty of spooky and bewitching spectacles to make the evening a thrilling event. It’s also a treat to hang out with friends and have a ghoulishly delightful time engaging in a little cocktail mischief. If you’re planning a wicked Halloween party the following cocktails are sure to create an unforgettable All Hallow’s Eve event. No matter what your Halloween guests’ favorite poison is, I’ve got you covered with these cocktails — all guaranteed to raise spirits at your monster mash.

If you’d like a full list of my Top 10 Spooky Cocktails (including the two I created below), visit the article I wrote for TheGoodStuff for the full list of recipes.

R.I.P ‘RITA

Gidget RIP Rita


Get in the Halloween spirit with this lo-cal twist on a margarita. A dash of red food coloring gives the glass an eerie twist.

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, 1 small plate
GLASS ::  Martini
SERVINGS ::  2 cocktail
INGREDIENTS ::

  • 3 ounces TY KU citrus liqueur
  • 1 ounces silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
    Glass rim

    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 3 Tablespoons corn syrup (I used Karo)
    • Red food coloring

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
On a small plate, mix together granulated sugar, corn syrup, and 5-7 drops of red food coloring. Mix to combine and add more food coloring to get desired results. Dip glass rims into mixture briefly and hold glass horizontally to let excess syrup drip off rim. Place rimmed glasses in freezer until ready for use.
Combine remaining ingredients ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into rimmed cocktail glass

THE DEVIL’S CHOICE

Gidget_DevilsChoice

What would Halloween be without a devilish twist? This wondrous, blood-red cocktail comes with a haunting punch of two kinds of rum and delicious pomegranate juice. Hell won’t freeze over if you make this your cocktail of choice!

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker, 1 small plate
GLASS :: Old Fashioned
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails
INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 ounces light rum
  • 4 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 2 ounces simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce dark rum per cocktail
  • Cranberries for spooky eyeball garnish
  • Black sanding sugar (I found mine at Williams Sonoma)
  • Lime wedge

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Pour 4 Tablespoons black sanding sugar on a small plate. Rub a lime wedge around the rim of each glass, then dip into sanding sugar. Add ice to glasses. Combine first 4 ingredients to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well and strain into rimmed glasses, leaving space at the top. Gently pour 1 oz. of dark rum onto each cocktail so it floats on top.

REFRESHING + DELICIOUS WATERMELON COCKTAIL

Today is National Watermelon Day! It’s true — there’s a day dedicated to celebrating the amazing qualities of this luscious summer fruit. What is it about watermelon that makes it simultaneously cooling, refreshing and thirst-quenching all at the same time? We just love it!

There’s something about this wonderfully juicy fruit that seems to conjure up memories of backyard BBQs and picnics in the park. With these joyous feelings surrounding this summer fruit, we decided it was time to dream up a new watermelon cocktail recipe. Now you can shake up a few drinks, get your summer smile on and create a few more happy (watermelon) memories.

Juicy sweet and irresistibly fresh, watermelon juice is like pouring summer into a glass. This easy seasonal sipper features fresh-muddled watermelon combined with Limoncello, fresh lemons, vodka, and a hint of orange to provide a concoction ideal for sipping your way through a summer afternoon.

Watermelon Cocktails are like summer in a frosted glass!

Watermelon Cocktails are like summer in a frosted glass!

GIDGET’S WATERMELON COOLER

TOOLS: Cocktail shaker, muddler, fine mesh sieve
GLASS: Collins
EXTRAS: Watermelon ball and lemon wheel for garnish
SERVINGS: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS

4 oz. vodka
4 oz. fresh watermelon juice
1 3/4 oz. Limoncello
1 3/4 oz. Grand Marnier
Juice from 1 lemon (in a pinch for fresh lemons? You can sub a good scoop of frozen lemonade concentrate)

HOW TO MAKE IT:

Cut about 1 cup of fresh watermelon into chunks and place into cocktail shaker. Using muddler, press to make juice. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. Once juice is made, assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it, then strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

STRAWBERRY + LEMON + MINT MOJITO ~ THE BACKYARD MOJO

Give yourself a whole new level of mojo with this lovely summer libation

Give yourself a whole new level of mojo with this lovely summer libation

Everywhere we look we’re surrounded by the beautiful fruits of summer. Strawberries call out from the supermarket aisle just waiting to be added to cereal. Raspberries gather like little red gems ready to be mixed into a smoothie. We’re here to help you step away from that standard-issue fruit salad and see these delicious summer fruits in a completely different light–in a cocktail! So grab that shaker and some ice and let’s capture the tastes of summer with these four fresh summer fruit cocktails.

Let’s jump into this by grabbing some juicy strawberries. This first drink is great when you’re in the mood for something refreshing and fruity. Perfect for sharing with friends, the Backyard Mojo pairs strawberries with lemons and mint to create a sweetened, summer fruit mojito.

TOOLS :: Shaker, muddler
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS ::  Strawberries (2 berries, cut in half) and mint sprigs for garnish
SERVINGS :: 4 cocktails

INGREDIENTS :: 

  • 8 oz. gold or aged Rum
  • 2 oz. Limoncello
  • 3 oz. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1 sugar to water)
  • 15-20 mint leaves
  • 5 strawberries, each cut in half
  • 1 large lemon, cut into 8 wedges

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In cocktail shaker, muddle lemon wedges with the strawberries and mint leaves. Muddle for at least a minute to release flavors.  Add ice to shaker then add the Rum, Limoncello, lemon juice and Simple Syrup.  You need to really blend those ingredients together, so “shake it like you mean it” for at least a minute or more.
Add crushed ice to each of your glasses, filling completely to the top.  Strain cocktail into ice-filled glasses.
Garnish each glass with strawberry half and mint sprig.

For 3 more delicious Summer fruit cocktails, check out the recipes we designed for our cocktail supporter – TheGoodStuff. You can find them HERE. 

Strawberries, Raspberries, Lemons & Watermelon ~ Summer is here!

Strawberries, Lemons & Mint ~ Summer is here!