Our handmade fresh (hard) lemonade

Warm weather makes me crave sparkling cocktails, and Kevin is a master bartender. I usually don’t order a mixed drink when we’re out anywhere, too often disappointed in comparison to his. Here’s our made-fresh-per-glass hard sparkling lemonade recipe. It’s definitely a keeper.

Ingredients:

About 2 fresh lemons per drink
Killer simple syrup (recipe below)
Sparkling mineral water or seltzer
Vodka, optional
Ice
Fresh mint and thinly sliced lemon wheels

In a tall, sexy glass, combine 2 oz. of fresh lemon juice (about two lemons), 1-3/4 oz. of killer simple syrup, and 1 to 2 oz. of vodka, depending on your guests’ preferences and ability to sip something deeply refreshing and luscious! Stir, add ice, top off with sparkling water, and stir well again with a long spoon or knife. Crush a sprig or two of fresh mint gently between your fingers, push it down into the glass and give one last stir, then add a wheel of lemon to the edge of the glass. Voila! Amazingly tasty and cravable refreshment. 

Killer simple syrup:

We got our simple syrup recipe from some super-pro bartenders a few years back at a great establishment’s bar, lingering over exquisite cocktails, gorgeous raw oysters and melt-in-your-mouth garlic bread. (Remember, you deserve special occasions for small bites of deliciousness. Choose your moments and enter fully into them, savoring the experience!) The recipe’s killer secrets that blast it into a high hemisphere of flavor are its 2:1 ratio of sugar to water and–wait for ita combination of two sugars.

Bring a cup of water to a boil, stir in two cups of sugar, and squeeze in a swirl of high-quality honey. Continue stirring until the syrup is smooth. (Don’t overdo the honey or you won’t like the resulting color.) Store it in a covered jar in the fridge for up to a month and use for lemonade, mojitos, etc. Both drinks evoke summer beautifully, don’t they?

ENJOY!