In preparation for my backyard BBQ housewarming party, I tried to compile a list of “lemonade-inspired” drinks to serve to my guests. Here are a few of my favorites!
1. Old-Fashioned Lemonade (found on Pizzazzerie) ~ non-alcoholic
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- Peel of 1 lemon
- Juice of 6 lemons
- Sliced lemons, limes and fresh mint for garnish
In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil, add peel, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let sit to bring to room temperature. Strain peel from liquid. In a 2 quart pitcher, add lemon juice, 1/2 of sugar water, 5 cups of water – and taste. Add in rest of sugar water to taste. Serve with fresh lemon and lime slices topped with a mint garnish!
tips: Place lemons in microwave for 5 to 10 seconds to easily squeeze juice. Double recipe for larger parties (this lemonade will go fast!)
2. Spiked Lemonade (MyRecipes)
YIELD: Makes 3 1/4 cups
- 2 cups lemon-flavored sparkling water or club soda, chilled
- 1/2 cup citrus-flavored vodka, chilled
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- Crushed ice
- Garnish: lemon slices
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice, if desired.
3. Champagne Limoncello Cocktails (MyRecipes)
YIELD: 8 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)
- 8 (3 x 1/2-inch) lemon rind strips
- 8 tablespoons Limoncello (lemon-flavored liqueur)
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 (750-milliliter) bottle brut Champagne, chilled
Roll up each strip of lemon rind; place 1 into each of 8 Champagne flutes. Add 1 tablespoon liqueur and 1/2 teaspoon juice to each glass. Divide Champagne evenly among glasses. Serve immediately.
4. Sparkling Meyer Lemon Cocktail (MyRecipes)
YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, chilled (about 8 lemons)
- 1/3 cup chilled vodka
- 2 cups chilled prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup. Microwave at HIGH for 2 1/2 minutes; stir until sugar dissolves. Let stand 10 minutes; discard rosemary. Chill.
Combine sugar mixture, juice, vodka, and prosecco, stirring gently. Serve immediately.
5. Ginger-Rosemary Lemon-Drop Cocktails (MyRecipes)
YIELD: Makes 8 drinks
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 piece unpeeled ginger, about 1 1/4 in. by 1 1/4 in., sliced into 1/8-in.-thick coins
- 2 sprigs rosemary (5 in. each), plus 8 sprigs (1 1/2 in. each) for garnish
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice (at least 5 lemons)
- 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups citron vodka
Make lemon concentrate: In a medium saucepan, bring 2/3 cup sugar, ginger, 5-in. rosemary sprigs, and 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Let steep at room temperature 20 minutes. Strain into a medium bowl, discarding rosemary and ginger, and stir in lemon juice.
Pour remaining 2/3 cup sugar onto a plate. Slice 2 thin slices from lemon and quarter the slices. Insert a 1 1/2-in. rosemary sprig through center of each quarter. With a wedge cut from remaining lemon, moisten the rims of 8 cocktail glasses. Twist rims gently in sugar to coat.
Fill a large pitcher half-full with ice cubes. Pour in vodka and lemon concentrate and stir vigorously. Strain into glasses, dividing evenly. Float a rosemary-skewered lemon quarter in each.