strawberries, lemons, sparkling water, mint leaves, vodka, sugar
Lemonade is basically synonymous with summer, so it’s the perfect drink for any sporting or family shindig. A friend of ours whipped up this recipe at a Memorial Day cookout, and it is everything you could want from a lemonade. It’s so refreshing and tastes just like summer.
Keep this drink virgin and serve it to the kids, or add some vodka (or your liquor of choice) to make it into a delicious seasonal cocktail for the grown folks. The tart, sweet, fresh flavor profile will make everyone’s lips smack in delight.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar (we prefer Demerara)
16 ounces fresh strawberries, tops removed
Juice of 15 lemons
1 cup simple syrup (see above)
5–6 cups sparkling water (or more, to taste)
8–10 fresh mint leaves
1 ½ cups vodka or other liquor, or more to taste (omit vodka for mocktail)
Cocktail / Mocktail
To Make Simple Syrup
Combine 2 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the sugar completely dissolves, stirring as needed.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
To Make Mocktail/Cocktail
Add the strawberries into a large mixing bowl. Using a muddler, smush the strawberries until you’ve got mostly juice with small bits/lumps of strawberries.
Add the contents of the mixing bowl into a large cocktail dispenser, ideally one that has a tap. Then, add the lemon juice, simple syrup (start with a cup and add more to taste after you’ve added the rest of the ingredients), and sparkling water. Stir well.
Add in your mint and stir again.
If making this batch entirely boozy, add in your vodka, to taste. We recommend starting with about 1 ½ cups, which is equal to 8 shots.
Place the mixture in the fridge for about 30–60 minutes. Serve cold as-is or over ice.
Have a party coming up? Make a big pitcher of this lemonade (we make about a gallon) and leave it virgin. Then you can mix in your adult beverage of choice on a glass-by-glass basis, allowing everyone to enjoy a deliciously refreshing sip!