Dani’s Blog: THE JUICE

Sunset Basil Lemonade

Lemonade has been a hot topic lately and everybody knows I love a good theme. This is the perfect cocktail to make in a pitcher when guests are coming over to the porch. Use fresh basil or mint from the garden (or in my case, my neighbor’s garden!)

SDB Sunset Lemonade_lemons and basil

Sunset Basil Lemonade… Introduced to me by a friend who copied the recipe from a drink she enjoyed in Napa, the ingredients are so simple I had to share!

Lemons and basil are always easy to find… either at your local farmer’s market or the supermarket. While you are there, pick up some honey too!

As a natural sweetener I have been using honey. Some honey is thinner than others but you can also make it more syrup like by adding a tablespoon or two of hot water to it.

As a natural and delicious sweetener I have been using honey in cocktails lately. Some honey is thinner than others but you can also make it more syrup like by adding a tablespoon or two of hot water to it (be sure to use immediately- thinned honey will not keep).

Using lemon vodka in this lemonade makes this drink extra smooth (and a bit dangerous- remember to sip!) There are so many yum lemon vodka choices… I prefer Kettle One Citron but Stoli Citros and Absolut Citron are very good also.

SDB Sunset Lemonade_shake

Using the honey as sweetener requires giving this drink a good amount of shaking. As much as I love a beautiful cocktail shaker, I prefer to mix cocktails in a deli container. Its very practical for measuring and storage and for drink shaking… The 32 oz. size is perfect to mix 3 to 4 drinks and you can really get your shake on.

SDB Sunset Lemonade_basil chiffonade

Once your drink is mixed and ready to serve, add the basil. (If you add too early it will darken) I have tried the basil in this cocktail a few ways, chopped finely or torn… Since its not every day you have basil in a cocktail, I think the fine chop is preferred with most people. Did I mention mint would be delish here too?

Garnish with thin lemon slices and a cute straw!

Garnish with thin lemon slices and a cute straw!

SDB Sunset Lemonade_double mason jar beauty

Sunset Basil Lemonade Ingredients & How- To:

1.5 Cups Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

6 to 12 Fresh Basil Leaves

3/4 Cup Lemon Vodka

1/4 Cup of Honey (I like wildflower honey)

1 to 2 Tablespoons of hot water

Using the hot water, thin honey to desired consistency and shake or whisk to combine. Add lemon juice and vodka to deli container and shake to mix. Just before serving, add chopped basil to taste and shake again. Pour over ice and add thinly sliced lemon and a cute straw for garnish! Report to patio, deck or front lawn and cheers to summer and sunset!

 

 

 

 

Flower Pot Cookie Greetings

SDB Flower Pot Cookies_flower pot beauty LR

I have been making versions of these cookie flower pots for years now. Last year I used Mason Jars and added critters (see them here), the year before I set flower cookies in dirt pie (see them here)… This year, I wanted my sweet niece Cecelia to help me out with these, so I simplified the process a bit. This is such a great little cookie project for kiddos to help with!

Bake your flower cookies on sticks like so.

Bake your flower cookies on sticks. This is a cute little cutter I picked up at the craft store. While the oven is on, cure your mini flower pots. I baked mine at 350 for 10 minutes. Get our sugar cookie cutout recipe here.

 

Mix one or 2 colors of royal icing. Ice the flower solid then use candy to decorate and add color to the center.

Mix one or 2 colors of royal icing. Ice the flower solid then use candy to decorate and add color to the center.

 

Candy beads, nonpareils, M&Ms... so many pretty options!

Candy beads, nonpareils, M&Ms… so many pretty options!

 

Cede decorated each flower with a recipient in mind so I labeled them in drying position for her.

Cece decorated each flower with a recipient in mind so I labeled them in drying position for her. Let your flower cookies dry for 8 hours or overnight.

 

This one is my favorite!

This one is my favorite!

 

Smush a fig newton into the bottom of each pot...

Smush a fig newton (or Fig Newman in this case) into the bottom of a pot. Smush another on top of that one if this is one of your favorite cookies like me.

 

"Aunt Dan, don't eat all the fig newtons!"

“Aunt Dan, don’t eat all the fig newtons!”

 

Scoop some jellybeans into each pot...

Scoop some jellybean grass into each pot… (we used apple Jelly Bellies)

 

Then add a heart candy to each pot.

Then add a heart candy to each pot.

 

We then placed the pots in the cello bags Cece will deliver these cookie pots in- that way all she and her Mom needed to do was add the flower cookie once it is dry.

We then placed the pots in the cello bags Cece will deliver these cookie pots in- that way all she and her Mom needed to do was add the flower cookie once it is dry.

 

Once your flower cookies are totally dry (8 hours or overnight) stick your cookie flower into the pot. The fig newtons will add support for the flower to stand up.

Once your flower cookies are totally dry (8 hours or overnight) stick your cookie flower into the pot. The fig newtons will add support for the flower to stand up.

SDB Flower Pot Cookies_final flower packaged

Its such a fun and sweet little greeting for Mother’s Day or a fabulous way to say “Happy Spring”. Packaged these would eve be adorable for a Wedding or Baby Shower. Can’t you just picture at each place setting on a long table looking fun and festive?

Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing Moms out there!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms out there!

Sending you big cookie hugs! Thanks to Cecelia for the amazing cookie & crafting assist!  Xo Dani