4th of July Cocktail

blueberry peach sparkler top viewI am working on 4th of July party food ideas. I will have Sewing Sister and my nieces with me, and we want to do a good picnic at the beach and watch fireworks. I think the adults will need a refreshing cocktail to balance out the meal. I first made this vodka sparkler when Aunt B was here last year. At that time, we used strawberries and peaches. At the swim meet last week, I mixed it up again using blueberries and peaches. Either fruit combination will be perfect for July 4th!

Ingredients

  • 12 strawberries (~10 for the fruit vodka and extra for garnish)
  • OR 1/2 pint of blueberries in place of the strawberries
  • 1 peach (peeled if it is not too soft)
  • 2 c. vodka
  • 1 c. simple syrup (see the notes)
  • 1 c. fresh lemon juice
  • Prosecco (or other sparkling wine)
  • fresh mint for garnish

strawberry peach sparkler ingredients

Directions

  • Cut 10 strawberries into bite sizes and place in a pitcher OR put blueberries in a pitcher. Cut the peach into bite sizes and add to the pitcher. Pour vodka over the fruit and let steep in the refrigerator 3+ hours.
  • Make simple syrup and let cool (see notes below).
  • After the vodka finishes steeping, strain the fruit from the vodka.
  • Mix equal parts fruit vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice. I mixed 1 cup each of fruit vodka, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice, which yielded about 4 cocktails. You can double or triple (or reduce) as needed.
  • Fill a glass about 2/3 full with crushed ice. Pour the drink mix over the ice; top with a splash of Prosecco (~2 oz.).
  • Garnish with a mint sprig and a slice of strawberry (or a few blueberries) and serve.

Notes

  • The color of the strawberries leeches out while sitting in the vodka, so it is not very pretty to leave the soaked fruit in your cocktail, but you certainly can. The blueberries retained their color, so I did use the vodka soaked blueberries as a garnish in the blueberry version.
  • To make simple syrup, Put equal parts water and sugar in a pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved. Swirl the mixture a few times while heating. Remove from heat and let cool. If you only need a few cocktails, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar. If you are mixing cocktails for a large group, double or triple. Leftover simple syrup can be kept in a container with a lid in the refrigerator for a long time.
  • Sonic Drive-In sells their really good pellet ice by the bag, cup, or will even fill your cooler! It is the perfect ice if you are making this cocktail in picnic/tailgate conditions. I find Reusable Tumblers and colorful straws add a nice touch too.

blueberry peach sparkler

Summer Cocktail Series

watermelon vodka slushie

After I posted the Blackberry Vodka Lemonade last week, I decided to run a series this summer testing fruity cocktails. I am on summer vacation, and my productivity levels go in the toilet unless I have some goals. This seemed like a worthwhile project, and I already had the Pinterest board for drinks that look refreshing. Last night I tweaked a recipe for a watermelon cocktail. Overall, I like tart, citrus drinks better (like a margarita), but this cocktail was pretty good.

Watermelon Vodka Slushie

Ingredients

  • ~1 1/2 c. watermelon, cut into small chunks
  • ~1 1/2 c. vodka
  • ~ 2 c. cranberry juice
  • Sprite, 7up, or gingerale
  • crushed ice

watermelon vodka

Directions

  • Add watermelon chunks to vodka and let it steep for about an hour. After about an hour, blend the vodka and watermelon until it is a slushie consistency. I used an immersion blender, but you could use a regular blender.
  • Add equal parts cranberry to the vodka mixture. I had ~2 c. watermelon vodka and added 2 c. cranberry.
  • Fill glass with crushed ice. Pour watermelon vodka cranberry mixture over ice. Fill about 2/3 full.
  • Add a splash of Sprite, 7up, or gingerale on top.

watermelon vodka mixHere are options I am considering for next weekend. Anyone have any opinions?

  • Cherry Margarita
  • Raspberry Lemon Drop
  • something called a Paradise

Drinks Are on Me

blackberry vodka drink with garnish

I have a new Pinterest board called Yummy Drinks. I pin any yummy looking drink I find, but there seems to be a trend emerging of fresh, fruity drinks that lend themselves to summer consumption. On the horizon is our neighborhood 4th of July party and the unbelievably oppressive heat of South Carolina summers. I will need good cocktails for both events, so I tested one of my finds this weekend.

My father-in-law was visiting and gave the drink a hearty approval. You know if it is in-law approved, it has to be good.

Blackberry Lemonade with Vodka

Ingredients

  • fresh blackberries
  • 1 c. sugar
  • vodka
  • fresh lemon juice
  • club soda
  • crushed ice

fresh lemon juice

Directions

  • Make a simple syrup by bringing the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes; do not stir. Remove from heat and let cool. Simple syrup recipe can be doubled or tripled.
  • In the bottom of a glass, smash 4-5 blackberries with the back of a spoon. Add 1 oz. vodka (about a shot), 1 oz. simple syrup, and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice (I like a little more lemon juice).
  • Fill the glass about 2/3 full with crushed ice.
  • Pour a splash of soda on top and stir gently.
  • Can be made alcohol free too!

blackberry vodka drink

TheRoomDad, Mr. Star Wars, and my father-in-law spent the day fishing and brought home a fresh catch for dinner. We served drinks with grilled fish tacos and the Mexican Chopped Salad that I shared last week. I even remembered the cilantro this time!

mexican chopped salad with cilantro