Strawberry Mint Lemonade Cocktails

August 10, 2015

It is no secret that I love to entertain. I love inviting guests for elaborate meals or for casual get togethers Before I had kids (i.e. back when I had free time) I would start looking through recipe books on Shabbat afternoon to start planning for the following week’s Shabbat menu for guests. I would start cooking on Wednesday so that I could make all kinds of elaborate recipes. Now my life is a bit too busy to dedicate quite that much time to each menu, but I still like to entertain, albeit with slightly less involved recipes.

While the menu is an important factor in the success of a get together, I have realized that having a signature cocktail is something that can take a great event and push it over the top. This past year we started our Passover seders with a “red sea” cocktail and, in spite of an evening full of delicious food, it was the cocktail that people were talking about the next day. Because of that I have been trying to create a signature cocktail to go with the menu each time we entertain, and I have been having so much fun in the process!

When the Kosher Connection decided to have a virtual dinner party to celebrate three years of the group I knew I wanted to make a cocktail to add to the festivities. Since it is summer I wanted to make a cocktail that is summery and light, so I decided a grownup lemonade was the way to go. This drink is made using homemade strawberry mint lemonade concentrate. I have been really into canning this summer, and homemade lemonade concentrates are a great base item to have in the pantry. They are quick to make and having them on hand means that you are always ready with a drink when friends drop by. (If you aren’t into canning the concentrate can be made fresh for this drink, or made in a larger batch and stored in the freezer).
Strawberry Mint Lemonade concentrate 400

Now depending on the type of get together, I like different types of drinks, so I am providing a couple of different recipes based on the same basic ingredients. For a dinner/evening party I like a stronger drink, more like a martini in style. But on a hot afternoon in the sun, a strong drink is too much. Instead, I like a more sip-able drink that quenches your thirst while still bringing that “grown-up” vibe that makes it feel like a party. For these drinks I chose gin, because I like the depth of flavor it provides, but if gin isn’t your thing they would be great with vodka too. To enjoy it as a non-alcoholic treat mix the concentrate in equal parts with water or seltzer, and then add more water or seltzer to taste.

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Ingredients & Quantities

Strawberry Mint Lemonade Concentrate Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup packed mint leaves (30g)
  • 3 cups (630g) sugar, divided
  • 1 cup (225g) water
  • 2 cups (450g) lemon juice
  • 3 cups (336g) fresh strawberries, pureed in a food processor or blender
 

Strawberry Mint Lemonade Cocktail Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Strawberry Mint Lemonade Concentrate (see below)
  • 1 ounce gin (or vodka)
  • ice
  • mint leaves for garnish
 

Strawberry Mint Gin Refresher Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Strawberry Mint Lemonade Concentrate (see below)
  • 1 ounce Gin (or Vodka)
  • 3 ounces seltzer
  • ice

Preparation Instructions

Strawberry Mint Lemonade Concentrate

Yield: 7 half-pints

Coarsely chop the mint leaves and place them in a medium saucepan with one cup of sugar and the water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and remove from the heat. Let the mint steep in the water for one hour. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the mint mixture through the strainer. Let the leaves drain until all the liquid has drained through. Discard the mint.

Return the mint syrup to the saucepan. Add the remaining sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries to the pan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to heat proof jars and refrigerate until ready to use.

Cooking Instructions

Strawberry Mint Lemonade Cocktail

Pour the concentrate and gin into a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake until well chilled. Pour the drink into a martini glass, garinsh with a sprig of mint and serve immediately.

 

Strawberry Mint Gin Refresher

Fill a highball glass with ice.Stir together the concentrate and the gin. Pour the strawberry gin mixture over the ice, top with the seltzer, stir and serve.

 

Recipe Times

Prep

2 Minutes

Cook

N/A

Total

5 Minutes

Recipe Yield

1 Drink

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