Strawberry Smash Cocktail

I had a few days off from work this week and the weather has been amazing. What better way to spend a summer day in the backyard than with a refreshing summer cocktail??  This cocktail is fruity without being too fruity and perfectly refreshing.  The recipe calls for gin, but we were out of it so I used vodka instead.  I definitely want to try it with gin since I’m sure it is equally delicious, so feel free to try it with your choice.

Strawberry Smash Cocktail - LiveDineParty

Adapted from thekitchn.com

Serves 1

1/2 teaspoon sugar or agave (I tried it with both and preferred the agave)
1 lime wedge
3 fresh strawberries, 2 hulled and sliced and 1 reserved for garnish
3 ounces gin or vodka
Club soda
Fresh mint sprig, to garnish

In a shaker, combine the sugar or agave and the juice from one lime wedge.  Stir with a spoon to dissolve the sugar.  Add the sliced strawberries and lightly muddle.

Fill the shaker with ice and add the gin or vodka.  Shake to chill and then pour in a Tom Collins glass.  Top with club soda and garnish with the last strawberry and a sprig of mint.

For a pitcher…

Serves 8

2 tablespoons sugar or agave
2 limes, juiced
1 pound fresh strawberries
2 cups gin or vodka
Club soda
Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

Follow the same steps above.  You can make this ahead of time and mix everything except the club soda and ice.  Refrigerate until you are ready to serve and then add the ice and club soda.  Enjoy!

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The Traditional Mojito

We have been eagerly awaiting the installation of our central air conditioning.  With the high temps and humidity this past week, it really can’t come soon enough.  I only have to survive one more week.

So, what better way to try to stay cool than with  an ice cold mojito.  We are growing fresh mint in our garden and every time I walk by it, I think to myself “we should make some mojitos soon”.  Well, yesterday was that day.  It was the perfect way to kick off the July 4th holiday weekend.  And, it felt like it was about 100 degrees out so the fresh mint and lime flavors were so refreshing.

Mojito - LiveDineParty

Mojito - LiveDineParty

Adapted from foodnetwork.com courtesy of Bacardi

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 8-12 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 lime, cut into wedges
  • Ice
  • 1 1/2 ounces Bacardi rum
  • Club soda

Directions

Muddle the mint leaves, sugar and lime. You can either do this directly in the glass or with a mortar and pestle.  Fill a glass with ice.  Add the muddles mixture and the rum.  Top with club soda, stir well.  Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint.

 

Happy 4th of July!

Cucumber Vodka Cocktail

After a miserable winter, it is finally starting to warm up here in the Boston area!  I never thought our piles of snow would melt, but I’m actually starting to see some buds on our plants.

With all of the sunshine and warmer weather, I have found myself staring out of our French doors in the family room and admiring our empty screened in porch more and more.  I can’t help dreaming of the day when it is furnished and I am sitting out there enjoying one of my favorite summertime cocktails.  There is nothing better than enjoying a refreshing cocktail on a warm spring/summer day.  Well, besides enjoying a refreshing cocktail on a warm spring/summer day and being protected from mosquitoes at the same time!

Screened in Porch - LiveDineParty

Ever since our honeymoon, I have been obsessed with cucumber vodka, but not quite obsessed to the point where I have developed a drinking problem…yet.  I should have known it would be good because I love how refreshing cucumber water is so why not vodka???  Not all liquor stores/bars carry it, but it is worth the hunt.  I have tried both the EFFEN and Square One brands’ version and both are really good.

This is one of my favorite cocktails to make with cucumber vodka.  The combination of the cucumber flavored vodka and lime juice is very crisp and the St. Germain, which is an elderflower liqueur, adds a nice sweetness to it.  It can serve as a great signature cocktail at any gathering or it can be great way to end a long work day.

Cucumber Vodka Cocktail - LiveDineParty Cucumber Vodka Cocktail - LiveDineParty

Cucumber Vodka Cocktail - LiveDineParty Cucumber Vodka Cocktail - LiveDineParty

Adapted from Quality Social in San Diego – The “H” via st-germain.tumblr.com

Servings:  1

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ oz. Cucumber Vodka
  • ¾ oz. St. Germain
  • ¾ oz. fresh lime juice
  • ¼ oz. simple syrup (Combine 1 part water and 1 part sugar in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves.  Let cool before adding to your cocktail.)

Directions

Combine cucumber vodka, St. Germain, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice.  Shake and serve with ice, top with soda water and a slice of fresh cucumber.

I hope you enjoy!!  I know I will be enjoying a lot of these very soon.  Furnishing and decorating the screened in porch is in progress and I can’t wait to share it with you.  I have a feeling it is going to be my favorite space in the house.