Recipe Inspiration

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!

 

 

 

 

The Strawberry Bourbon

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

A Summer Strawberry cheers!

A Summer Strawberry cheers!

I have a confession to make… I’ve been cheating on vodka with bourbon this summer. Don’t get me wrong- the dirty martini will always be my signature drink, but sometimes Summer calls for something a bit more festive…

Besties and fellow cocktail lovers, Jaime & Ryan Pryor encountered a delish cocktail on one of their date night excursions, took a photo of a cocktail they loved on the menu at Atrio Wine Bar in NYC and re-created it for us one night at happy hour. A few rounds of strawberry muddles and squeezes of lemon later and we have been sipping this Summer strawberry goodness ever since! It is the perfect Summer cocktail.

SDB Strawberry Bourbon Cocktail_ingredients low res

Aren’t the ingredients lovely?

I promise, you will want to give it a try… This recipe make 4 cocktails plus a bit of refill for all (of course this depends on how large your glasses are).

I love using honey as a cocktail sweetener. It doesn't work for everything, but when it does work, its just so yum. Check your local Farmer's Market for some of the best you will ever try. Hope is Delicious Honey from JBJ Soul Kitchen

I love using honey as a cocktail sweetener. It doesn’t work for every drink, but when it does work, its just so yum. Check your local Farmer’s Market for some of the best you will ever try. “Hope is Delicious Honey” from JBJ Soul Kitchen

The honey/ lemon/ strawberry mixture

The honey/ lemon/ strawberry mixture

Love this muddler from my friends at Heirloom Kitchen!

Love this muddler from my friends at Heirloom Kitchen!

One slice down the center of a plump, red strawberry makes for the perfect garnish. I like to leave the leaves on for looks.

One slice down the center of a plump, red strawberry makes for the perfect garnish. I like to leave the leaves on for looks.

The Strawberry Bourbon

Bourbon (We liked Bullit best but Maker’s Mark is very good too)
Honey (local fresh is my fave plus a good help to anyone with allergies)
Mint
Strawberries
Lemon

Thin out 1 cup of honey with 2 to 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice until it is liquid-y enough to mix evenly into your drink and not settle at the bottom (note: some honey is thinner than others). Add 8 to 12 diced fresh strawberries. Mix and muddle in the strawberries a bit. Let this mixture marinate for about 30 minutes or up to overnight (planning ahead always makes a drink like this so much yummier!*) Your honey will take on a lovely pink hue. Just before serving add chopped mint leaves to the strawberry mixture and muddle in with the strawberries a bit (if you do this too far in advance, the mint gets dark and doesn’t look very appetizing). Add ice to your glasses and fill 2/3 with bourbon, 1/3 with the strawberry honey mixture. You could make this cocktail stronger or weaker depending, I like this ratio, KF likes his a little stronger. Using an empty glass to transfer back and forth to mix and combine. Add a few more ice cubes to top off final cocktail and garnish with a beautiful Summer strawberry. Mmmm!

*If preparing the night before, store in fridge. Store any extra strawberry honey mixture in fridge as well.

** Adding some raspberries is also a delish option!

August cheers… let’s make it last! Thanks to Jaime & Ryan for such yum recipe inspiration! Life is Sweet! Xo Dani