With Labor Day fast approaching, it’s a great time to start planning the drink menu. This is the perfect time to kick back with a small group of family and friends and take a moment to relax. Why not do it in style? I’ve been experimenting with homemade simple syrups after my friend Carolyn showed me just how easy it is. Check out this recipe for my lavender mint simple syrup to make a simply superb French 75. During my time in Rochester NY, I fell in love with a local lilac gin by Black Button Distillery, but this cocktail can be made with any favored infused gin or vodka. I recommend making the simple syrup ahead of time over the weekend or the day before, just to save yourself some time. Any left over syrup can be used for cold or hot tea!
Simple Syrup Ingredients:
1 /2 cup dried organic lavender
2 sprigs of fresh or dried mint
2 cups of distilled water
1.5 cups of raw sugar
3 clean food pouches or a glass jar.
Bring water to a boil. Add measured lavender and mint to a bowl.
When water boils, cover lavender and mint and cover bowl with a plate or lid.
Let lavender water steep for at least a hour but no more than 2 hours.
Strain water into a measuring cup and add water and sugar into a medium pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to medium low heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes.
Add to food pouches or glass jar with an airtight lid. Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerate.
The drink below serves 1. Just multiply each ingredient for the number of drinks prepared. 🙂 If you are making more than two drinks, I’d recommend buying cold pressed lemon juice or your preferred product to save on the manual labor.
French 75 Ingredients:
1.5 oz infused gin
1 oz cold pressed or fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 oz of simple syrup (double if you like sweeter drinks)
3 oz of champagne
Add gin to a glass, add simple sugar and mix with a spoon
Sangria is a great addition to any day whether celebrating the end of the week, hosting a girls night or simply having a staycation, sangria is a versatile, easy win. I love that you can add virtually any fruit to truly make this drink your own. It can me made ahead of time if you are hosting something within a few hours, and will last a couple of days in the fridge. I made this quick win with fruit I had on hand, and can’t wait to try other combinations! And of course you can always eat the fruit in your glass for an added bonus. While traditionally sangria is made with wine and brandy, I’m a big fan of trying out other liquors, or even a combination of a couple if you are feeling adventurous and empowered. Check out my recipe below.
1 bottle of white wine (table one or preferred mix)
1 cup of sliced grapes
1 orange sliced
1 lime sliced
2 sprigs of mint (orange or any preferred)
1/2 cup of tequila ( or 1/4 tequila and 1/4 gin or vodka)
Rinse and slice fruit and add to a pitcher. Muddle gently with the back of a spoon or muddled.
Add mint, top with wine and liquor. Stir and refrigerate until ready to enjoy.
From my recent travels, I have certainly been inspired with different flavors and dishes that will inspire the next few posts. My current focus is the beloved strawberry. Strawberries are great as a snack, addition to breakfast and in desserts. When they are in season, I use them in as many ways as I can she I love the challenge of finding new ways to use them. I decided on a cocktail and a different take on a salad with strawberries and the beautiful onions that are now in season at the farmer’s market. In case you are worried about onion breath, onions are transformed through the picking process and becomes a completely different flavor. Below are the recipes of two new additions that are sure to be memorable and delicious. Share your thoughts and as always enjoy!
Strawberry Jalapeño Cocktail
1/2 cup of fresh strawberries
1 medium jalapeño
Juice of two limes
1 1/2 -2 oz of vodka
6 oz of club soda
1. Cut the tops off a handful of strawberries and cut them into fourths.
2. Reserve two cut up strawberries for your glass. Add them to a martini shaker.
3. Rinse two limes and cut them in half. Juice them into the martini shaker and add the limes.
4. Cut one medium jalapeño in half and remove the seeds. Put half into the martini shaker.
5. Muddle the ingredients until broken down.
6. Add vodka, top and shake.
7. Muddle the remaining strawberries in your glass, add strained contents of the shaker, club soda and the remaining half of the jalapeño.
Picked Onion and Strawberry Salad
1 cup of chopped strawberries
1 cup of sliced onion (1 small)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. chopped lovage or parsley
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. cayenne
1. Combine sugar and vinegar in a medium-sized bowl until sugar is dissolved.
2. Cut an onion in half then peel each half. Slice each half thinly and add to the vinegar mixture. Let sit for 10 minutes.
3. Cut strawberries and add to the bowl.
4. Rinse and chop fresh herbs and add it and seasoning to the bowl and mix well.