If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a stroll over to fantasy land for a moment.
You know, the one where you have your own private island, endless free time, and people to fan you with palm leaves while you sip something delicious?
Maybe we can even keep this fantasy going into a world where I don’t have to work on Memorial Day? Perhaps I’m throwing a leisurely party instead? The kind where everything is done ahead of time, including drinks made in a large batch? Why yes!
Well… anyway. Let’s get real.
If you’re lucky and your reality doesn’t involve working on a holiday, I’m willing to bet you’re hosting a party. I’d also bet you’d like to serve up a refreshing drink that can be made in mass quantities ahead of time!
And look at that: I happen to have one right here.
I’m not gonna lie – there is a lot of lemon juicing involved in this recipe. It’s good to have a hubby around who’s willing to work for his drinks.
Muddling is a great stress reliever.
Now, I’m not going to say that the two of us made this pitcher this afternoon and boozed our way straight through to tonight’s Mad Men…
But… I’m not going to say that we didn’t either.
What I will say is this: my jaw is still on the floor after that episode. Woah. Woah!
Boozy Mint Lemonade
This recipe is for a pitcher of 8 drinks, but as long as you keep the same proportions, you can make any size batch. To make individual drinks, muddle a few mint leaves & cucumber slices with the syrup in each glass, then add ice and remaining liquid.
- 8-10 sprigs mint, leaves torn off
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 cups lemon mint syrup, recipe follows
- 2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cups gin
- 2 cups sparkling water
- extra mint for garnish
- In a large pitcher, muddle the mint leaves, cucumber slices, and syrup. Add the lemon juice and gin, stir well. At this point, you can put the pitcher in the fridge to keep until ready to serve.
- Just before serving, add the sparkling water to the pitcher and stir. Fill 8 glasses with ice, divide lemonade among glasses and garnish with mint.
Lemon Mint Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 4 strips lemon zest, pith removed
- 4 sprigs mint
- Combine all ingredients except the mint in a medium pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until simmering. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Add the mint leaves to steep in the pot as it cools to room temperature.
- Strain the syrup and refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to use.