Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thirsty Thursdays: Summer in a Glass

So, about that blueberry lemonade ... as promised, I'm featuring it today. And, again, I'm flying blind on this one. While the version I had at The Lodge was delicious, I never quite got around to speaking to the bartender about the recipe. I do know it was made with homemade lemonade and blueberry vodka - so not exactly blind - but I'm doing this my way ... naturally, it turned out pink!

Let's start off with some fresh, real lemonade, shall we? This one's especially for Kimizzy, who asked about making a vodka-free version. I was so inspired by her question, I scrapped my original plans and decided to make a blueberry syrup in place of plain simple syrup to sweeten the drink.

Note: please don't be put off by making a simple syrup, flavored or not - all it takes is sugar, water and five minutes of your time. Really.

Blueberry Lemonade:

For the syrup:
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (or 1/3 cup agave nectar)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 strip of fresh lemon peel
  • 3/4 of a cup of fresh blueberries
Combine all of the above in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium to medium-high heat, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Once the liquid boils, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occaisionally. Remove from heat and strain into a small bowl, pressing on the solids to extract the juice. Cool completely before using.

For the Lemonade:
  • 6 large, fresh lemons
  • 5 1/2 cups of cold water
  • some blueberry syrup or simple syrup
Juice the lemons into a large pitcher, no seeds please - so use a strainer. Add the water and stir well to combine. Sweeten the lemonade by adding the cooled blueberry syrup to taste. I'm not going to specify and amount, because the choice is up to you. In most cases, you may use all the syrup - it all depends on how sweet you like your lemonade. Bonus - it will turn your lemonade the most beautiful shade of magenta. Chill and serve over lots of ice. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon and some blueberries if desired.

Divalicious Spiked Blueberry Lemonade:
  • 2 oz. of blueberry Vodka (I used Smirnoff)
  • some fresh Blueberry Lemonade
  • ice
Fill a tumbler with ice and over the ice pour the vodka, fill the remainder of the glass with blueberry lemonade and stir. Garish with a slice of fresh lemon and some additional blueberries. You may even want to float a few berries in your drink - its quite festive. Serve immediately, repeat as necessary!

I'm well pleased with how this drink turned out - both the spiked and the alcohol-free version. They're both delicious, refreshing, packed with Vitamin C and the anti-oxidant goodness of those blueberries ... why its practically a health drink!

And, kidding aside, if you make it with agave nectar - it might as well be a health drink - and a mighty tasty one at that. If you've got some regular homemade lemonade on hand, go right ahead and use that in place of the blueberry lemonade - the flavored vodka will more than make up for it. Or, conversely, you could use the blueberry lemonade with plain, unflavored vodka. Confused yet? Here, have a drink!

My point ... there's room for experimentation here.

I can see a host of possibilities for infusing that blueberry syrup as well. I'm certain I'll add a nice chuck of fresh ginger to it next time, or maybe even a handful of thyme. Basil, lemon balm, lemon verbena or even some mint would work well here too. Simply add the ginger, or any one of those herbs, to the rest of the mixture in the pan and simmer away accordingly.

I'm completely charmed by my take on The Lodge's lemonade and I'm grateful to Kimizzy for prompting my syrup experiment. I hope you'll try it!

Bon appetit!

Lemonade on Foodista


Anonymous said...

Forgot it was Thurs. until your posted showed up in the reader. Yay for 'almost the weekend'. And double yay for vodka in anything!

The Wino said...

That is beautiful! I love the idea of a blueberry syrup, especially the color! Oh yeah and I agree with Duo, yay for vodka!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, Duo and Wino! It was every bit as good as it looks too. I'm loving the blueberry syrup and can't wait to experiment with it more. :)

Tangled Noodle said...

A hot color for such a cool drink! I love your blueberry syrup and lemonade recipes and they will definitely go in Mr. Noodle's drink book.

An aside: many apologies for not having visited recently. I'm catching up!

Cookie Brochette said...

I looks JUST like summer! Guess which version I'll be having? (Booze! LOL)

Thanks for check out my Easy Bake Oven giveaway! You're the best. :-)

doggybloggy said...

I am turning, amoungst other things, into a thursday alcoholic...not that thats a bad thing

stephchows said...

Bring on the spiked version!!! MAn that looks good!!! Don't forget I have a fabulous giveaway today so go enter! :)

The Diva on a Diet said...

Tangled Noodle - no problem at all, I couldn't be more behind on my blog reading too. It happens! :)

Cookie - somehow I knew this one would be right up your alley! ;)

doggybloggy - not a bad thing at all. The real question is when will we actually meet to share a libation a/o meal?!

Steph - thanks! I'm on my way over to your place now. Whee!

Marta said...

I've seen so many blueberry products lately, it just seems like you can put it in pretty much anything these days! And nothing wrong with that! I guess no better way to get your antioxidants than washed down with some vodka, right!?

The Diva on a Diet said...

Marta - you're right, they are turning up everywhere these days. I can't wait until my local blueberry season begins!

Lynn said...

Mmmmm, this looks delicious. I've been making a minty lemon/orangeade this year with all the lemons from our little tree. Homemade lemonade is so wonderful :) But I used up the last lemon last night so now it looks like I'll need to find a big bag of them for sale if I want to keep on with the lemon-y drinks. This one looks outstanding ;) Never thought to add blueberry.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Lynn - you have a lemon tree?! How wonderful, color me jealous! This lemonade is good enough to warrant the purchase though - but would be so fun to make with one's own lemons.

Mama Diva makes a really mean lemon/orangeade too. Love that stuff!

The Wino said...

You forgot to mention, don't turn your back on the will boil over fast! I probably should have known that huh? Looks good so far!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Wino, you're actually making it?! Hooray! I went back and changed the wording to "reduce heat to low" just to be clear. You're right, syrup is dicey stuff and it does boil over quickly. So excited that you're doing it. Let me know how it goes and I hope you love it! :)

Anonymous said...

I approve! And, I'll have a double. I'll just be sitting over here waiting patiently.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dana, I'll trade you some of your saffron lime pasta for one or two of these ... deal?

Anonymous said...

This is pretty cool! I've got a giant amount of blueberries and this is a perfect drink I can make tomorrow! The blueberry lemonade with blueberry syrup will be great for my daughter and a spiked version for my husband and me. I'll definitely use agave. Thanks for sharing this creation!

Alisa@Foodista said...

Wow,summer indeed! I followed you from the foodieblogroll and I've really enjoyed going through your posts!Hope you wont mind,I'd love to guide our readers to your site, just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

The Diva on a Diet said...

5 Star - That's what I love about this drink ... its great with or without the booze ... so perfect for a family picnic. I hope you like it and let me know how it goes! I'm particularly interested to hear how much agave you use. I really don't like things too sweet - so I may have undercut the amount. If its off, please let me know. Thank you!

Alisa - thanks so much for dropping by and your lovely comments and the invitation to add this to Foodista. I'd be delighted and am honored to have been asked. Thank you!!! I'm adding the widget now. Hooray! :)

words...words...words... said...

This looks really good, and I don't even like blueberries that much! The drink also matches your blog background perfectly. You're even Diva-ish by accident :)

Astra Libris said...

Such a glorious, summer beverage!! I love your addition of the blueberry syrup - and I love how one can make a healthy, daytime version and a fun spiked nighttime version too! ;-)

Teresa said...

I can't wait to try this one!