Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Serve It Up Tuesday: No Bummer Summer Cocktails

Summer is officially here, and what better way to celebrate the sunny season than with delightfully simple summer cocktails!

It seems that lemonade is the official drink of the long, lazy days of summer, so here are two lemonade cocktails that you can make in a flash.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Just Add Vodka Cocktail
Make your favorite lemonade, either fresh with your own lemons, or with a powdered or frozen mix.  Pour ¾ cup of lemonade over ice.  Add ¼ cup of flavored vodka (strawberry, cherry, raspberry, etc) and serve.  Throw it in the blender for a frozen version!

Lemonade Sparklers
Mix 1 cup of lemonade with 2 cups of champagne or sparkling wine.  Add 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice and serve over ice.

For me, it’s just not summer until I mix up a batch of this peach sangria.  I received this recipe from a good friend (thanks, Helene!), and every single person who tries it asks for the recipe because it is just. that. good.

White Peach Sangria
Into a large pitcher, add the following:
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of your favorite white wine
  • ¾ cup peach flavored vodka
  • 6 tablespoons of frozen lemonade concentrate
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 pound sliced peaches, fresh or frozen
Stir until the sugar and lemonade mix have dissolved, then chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight, for the flavors to blend together.  Serve over ice, and be sure to include some of the peach slices in each serving!

And what summer cocktail showcase would be complete without a watermelon recipe?  I think I could live off watermelon for the next three months and be perfectly happy.  Here’s a trick I’ve learned for picking the best one:  look for the one with the most scratches on it.  These are usually animal scratches, which mean those coyotes could smell just how sweet that watermelon was, and tried to get into it before you did.

Water You Waiting For Watermelon Margaritas
Before making the margaritas, you can prep your glasses by adding a sugar rim – just spread a thin layer of sugar on a small plate and rub the rims of your glasses with a lime wedge, then spin the rim of each glass in the sugar to coat.  If you do this first, your fresh margaritas won’t have to sit too long after they’re made.

Next, cut up a watermelon into small chunks, taking care to remove any seeds (or save yourself the trouble and buy seedless), until you have about 3-4 cups.  Add these to the blender, along with the following:
  • ¾ cup tequila (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon Triple Sec
Pulse ingredients to blend up the watermelon, then top off with ice, and blend until smooth.  Pour into your margarita glasses, which are ready to go with their sugar rim, and serve!


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