TIPSY ARNOLD PALMER ~ A SUMMERTIME CLASSIC

Have you ever noticed that as soon as summer hits, most things in life become less complicated? Life in the summer simply slows down a bit. Meals during the summer equate to anything quick on the BBQ, grilled veggies and a salad. Summer simplicity even takes over my wardrobe. I just reach for that light and flowing summer dress, slip on my jazzy sandals and I’m out the door, ready for the day.

Even when our family schedule boasts errands and to-do lists, there’s always an undercurrent of an upcoming vacation to calm me, or the promise of summer evenings that go on forever that beckon me back into that slower summertime pace.

For those uncomplicated summer get-togethers and impromptu afternoons on the front porch watching the sunset, I’ve got a drink for you that partners well with the effortless mood of the season. Enter the Arnold Palmer, a classic cocktail made by combining equal parts of tea and lemonade with ice.

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While I think we can safely say that the combination of lemon and tea have been enjoyed for centuries, it was golfing great Arnold Palmer who made the mixture famous during the 1960s and we’ve been enjoying his namesake ever since. When you think about it, there’s nothing better to quench your thirst and cool you down more than either ice tea or lemonade so combining the two is sheer genius!

Even though it’s tough to enhance a true classic like iced tea or the Arnold Palmer, I’m going to add a little booze to the mix for a truly delicious — and simple — summer cocktail that you can have at the ready to enjoy on one of those awesome summer evenings.

TIPSY ARNOLD PALMER

Get started by making your Arnold Palmer base of tea and lemonade. Once you’ve got these key ingredients made and chilling in the fridge, simply grab a glass, add a little booze and you’re ready any time for celebrating or just satisfying that summertime thirst. Besides, I think spiked tea is the best tea of all!

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TOOLS ::  Saucepan for boiling, measuring cups, pitcher for chilling and muddler
GLASS ::  Mason jar in any size
EXTRAS :: Oranges, lemons (make wheels, wedges, or spirals) and mint for garnish
SERVINGS ::  1 pitcher

INGREDIENTS ::
Iced tea
6 cups water
8 bags of black tea
1/2 cup sweetening agent (honey, turbinado sugar, crystals, or granulated sugar)

Lemonade
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. If you’re short on time and just want to get your party started, a good quality pre-made lemonade is perfect!
For all you DIY’ers out there, check out our Classic Gidget+LaRue Lemonade, check out our recipe HERE.

For each cocktail
1.5 ounces Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon

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HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Iced tea
 – Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
– Remove from heat, add tea bags and let steep for 5-10 minutes.
– Remove tea bags and add sweetening agent of your choice, stirring until dissolved.
– Taste for your desired level of sweetness, adding sweetener until you’re happy with the       flavor and set aside.

Tipsy Arnold Palmer
 – In a pitcher, combine equal parts of sweetened tea and lemonade and let chill for at least 1 hour or refrigerate overnight. Stir again before serving.
– Garnish pitcher with citrus slices.
– Place a few slices of lemon and orange in bottom of each cocktail glass and muddle gently to release flavors of citrus.
– Add bourbon and fill glass to top with ice.
– Fill glass with Arnold Palmer tea/lemonade mixture and give it a good stir.
– Garnish with mint and additional citrus.

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TIP :: The “Vodka Hack”

If you aren’t willing to dive into the sweet deliciousness that is Wild Turkey American Honey Bourbon (even though I really think you should try this!), you can always keep your tipsy Arnold Palmer more on the lemony side of things by using only lemons and Citrus Vodka instead of the oranges and bourbon.

This version keeps the flavor very refreshing and you’ll be amazed at how you can’t even tell you’re drinking spiked tea!

TIP #2 :: The “Life is Busy Hack”

While making fresh lemonade and black iced tea will make this cocktail epic, sometimes we need to embrace the simplicity of summer and cut some corners to keep life easy.

I found Arizona Sweet Tea in jugs at the dollar store nearby and when added to some store-bought lemonade, it did the trick in a pinch.

The mixture will certainly be sweeter than making your own tea and lemonade, but you can balance that out with fresh lemons and oranges muddled into the drink or added to your chilled pitcher.

BLUEBERRY COCKTAILS FOR NATIONAL BLUEBERRY MONTH

July is National Blueberry Month and we think there’s no better way to celebrate this wonderful little berry than by mixing it into our summer cocktail menu. It’s well known that blueberries are packed with antioxidants and loaded with vitamin K and vitamin C. They’re also high in fiber and low in calories, so it’s no wonder the month of July is dedicated to enjoying these little blue dynamos.

Did you know that blueberries are grown in 35 states in the U.S. and that the U.S. produces over 90% of all the blueberries in the world? Now that they’re in full harvest and likely tempting you as you stroll through your local farmers market, we’re going to help you take advantage of this fruit bounty. We’ve rounded up a few blueberry cocktail recipes to help you make the most of this sensational super-fruit! Visit our latest article on TheGoodStuff for a variety of blueberry cocktails and read below for one of the cocktails we created exclusively for them!

A DELICIOUS COMBINATION

Now that you’ve got your basket filled with a pint or two of blueberries, you might also notice the smell of summer herbs is bursting from every fresh veggie aisle in your grocery store — are we right? Just as you’re passing the lettuce section, a deliciously sweet smell hits you — its basil! It makes you pause for a minute and take a deep breath in. “Mmmmmm!”

Are you lucky enough to have this in your backyard? Mmmmm...basil!

Mmmmm…basil!

Some of you might be lucky enough to have this amazing herb right in your backyard. To get you started on your blueberry cocktail journey, you’ll need a bunch of basil along with those berries, because we’ve discovered that blueberries and basil make an amazing base for delicious summer cocktails!

BLUEBERRY BASIL SYRUP

Put aside about a half hour to make this Blueberry Basil Simple Syrup and refrigerate until ready to mix up a few outstanding drinks for your next gathering.

Little Blue Dynamos!

Little Blue Dynamos!

TOOLS :: Medium saucepan, stirring spoon, fine wire mesh strainer
SERVIINGS ::  Makes about 1 1/2-2 cups

INGREDIENTS ::
– 1 cup water
– 1/2 cup sugar
– Zest from one lemon {be careful not to get too much of the white pith in the zest}
– 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 cup packed fresh basil sprigs

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

In saucepan, stir together all ingredients over medium heat until the sugar has melted. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Using fine wire strainer, pour contents into a bowl, pressing blueberries and basil against the strainer to release all juices. Discard solids. Let cool to room temperature, then pour into airtight container and store in the refrigerator until cold. Your syrup will last for up to 3 weeks.

TIME FOR A BLUEBERRY COCKTAIL!

Now that your yummy blueberry basil syrup is ready, here is a cocktail to entertain your friends and celebrate National Blueberry Month in style! This first cocktail adds a blueberry basil twist to your traditional margarita. We’ll be releasing another Blueberry cocktail tomorrow so come back for a visit!

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ZIGGY

TOOLS :: Cocktail shaker
GLASS :: Highball
EXTRAS :: Limes and blueberries for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS ::

  • 4 oz. Silver Tequila
  • 4 oz. Blueberry Basil Simple Syrup
  • 2 oz. Cointreau
  • Fresh-squeezed juice from 2 limes

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

Assemble all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker. Shake it like you mean it, then strain into ice-filled glasses. Garnish, serve, and enjoy!

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