Tag: summer cocktail

Watermelon Basil Coolers

Watermelon Basil Coolers

I did something wild, guys – I juiced an entire 12 lb watermelon in my blender.

In my tiny kitchen.

It was mayhem but I lived to tell the tale and the Watermelon Basil Coolers that were borne of that sticky afternoon were worth every drop.

Firstly, cutting a watermelon is messy business; they are obviously juicy and made mostly of water, but given the minuscule amount of counter space and patience that I have, I’m not sure what I was thinking. No sooner had I quartered it, I realized how much watermelon and flesh, and ultimately juice, I was dealing with. I cubed it up and blended 4 batches of deep pink, pulpy juice. As it whizzed around in the blender I helped myself to the remains and cleaned all the pink from the rinds and thought about how sticky the kitchen was. But how amazing is this: that one watermelon yielded almost 4 litres of juice!

This begs the question: what does one do with nearly a gallon of fresh watermelon juice?
If you’re me, you add vodka. So that’s exactly what I did. (more…)

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade

An odd thing happened yesterday: I was home alone with nothing in particular that I had to do. No people, no plans, no restrictions. Sure, I could have done some laundry or spent some hot humid hours weeding the garden, but a solo day with no distractions and the possibility of total relaxation is too glittery a gem to squander on chores. So what did I do? I worked on a quilt I am making for my friend Meghan’s baby girl who we will get to meet in November when she finally gets around to being born. I also made some plans/preliminary designs for a quilt for my niece Lizzy with some gorgeous fabric I bought on etsy at this little shop. I puttered, I pottered, I lazed and I wrote. I also worked on a couple of recipes, one of which I will share here. For the other you’ll have to wait until mid-week.

So… not only was I home alone with my thoughts, it was one of the hottest days so far this summer. By mid morning I had the curtains closed to hold out the blazing sun, the fan cranked and I was keeping cool in the studio, which faces north and never gets sunny. As I put away the sewing machine I remembered the little zip-top bag of lavender blossoms and the case of sparkling lemon mineral water in the pantry. Not only was I mentally half way to highball heaven, I had all the fixings at my fingertips for what I am calling a Lavender Lemonade Fizz.

I promise you, it couldn’t be simpler. A quick, sweet syrup steeped with the blue-grey lavender buds, poured over ice with lemonade (and gin if you’re feeling in the mood). Dead easy. Good for what ails you. Delicious. Good for scorching summer afternoons (alone or with friends).

Lavender Lemonade Fizz

1 part Lavender Syrup

1 part your favourite gin (optional)

8 parts sparkling lemonade

Pour lavender syrup and gin into the bottom of a highball glass. Fill with ice, top up with lemonade.

Or just make a pitcher full. They’ll be quickly consumed, don’t worry.

Lavender Syrup

1 C water

1 C sugar

1/2 C lavender blossoms*

Heat water, sugar and lavender blossoms over medium high heat until the mixture reaches a gentle boil. Boil 1 minute. Turn off heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain through fine strainer into a clean container that can be tightly sealed.

*When buying food grade lavender I opted for ‘organic super’. The organic made sense since flowers are so often heavily doctored with pesticides and the “super” seemed to be about the colour. The regular organic lavender was a much more grey/brown colour and didn’t have the same beautiful grey/blue. I wanted the colour to come through in the syrup so I opted for the “super” and I’m glad I did, as the colour of the syrup turned out very nicely.