A Bit Of Cocktails and Dressings

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Though it’s May it appears summer is already here in Louisiana. With that, the weather also brings cocktails and summer salads. I thought it could be fun, per some conversations with friends and family, to dedicate a few posts to my favorite homemade mixes of fresh drinks and salad dressings for the health conscious. I am certainly a fan of a salad and a cocktail which to me equals a guilt free meal. đŸ™‚ Since I’ve referenced it before, I’ll start with my recipe for strawberry lemonade. I am guilty as charged of mixing it with everything from New Orleans spiced rum that has been steeped in herbs, to pineapple vodka. There are certainly many tasty variations to appeal to your palate. Enjoy the recipe and certainly drink responsibly (as they say). The dressing can go on an avocado and tomato salad (add shrimp if you’re feeling adventurous) or on any traditional salad with your favorite toppings. Below are the ingredients for the lemonade, the cocktail and a  dressing as well as the directions. Enjoy and share your thoughts!

Strawberry lemonade ingredients:

1.5 cups of lemon juice
1 pint of strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup of local honey
8 cups of water

Directions:
1. Peel and juice lemons in a juicer. If juicing by hand, cut in half and juice fruit (9-12 lemons). Add juice to a clean pitcher.
2. Rinse and cut green tops off of strawberries. Put in blender or food processor with a cup of water and blend until smooth.
3. Add strawberry mixture to pitcher and sugar and honey and stir until completely dissolved.
4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients for cocktail: (serves 2)
1-1.5 ounce rum per person
1 spring Rosemary
5 large basil leaves
3 ounces club soda
4-6 ounces of strawberry lemonade
2 lemon wedges
Directions for cocktail:
1. Add rosemary and basil leaves to a cup and add the rum you plan to serve in beverage. (1 to 1.5 ounce per person on average).
2. Let steep for at least 30 minutes before use.
3. Add a serving of rum then 4-6 oz of strawberry lemonade and half of club soda to each glass.
4. Squeeze the lemon wedge over each glass and use as a garnish.

Dressing ingredients:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and coarse black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Dissolve sugar in balsamic vinegar by stirring with a whisk or fork.
2. Stream in olive oil until well incorporated.
3. Sprinkle in salt and pepper in half tsp increments until desired taste.

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