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.
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
For the Lemonade:
- 6 large, fresh lemons
- 5 1/2 cups of cold water
- some blueberry syrup or simple syrup
Divalicious Spiked Blueberry Lemonade:
- 2 oz. of blueberry Vodka (I used Smirnoff)
- some fresh Blueberry Lemonade
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!