Fresh Lemonade with Mint (Vodka optional!)
Serves 4 (ish)
With summer threatening to turn into fall I'm trying to make the most of these last warm sunny days we're having! I'm sitting in the sunshine enjoying a cool glass of this refreshing lemonade, and it feels like a little tropical getaway. My mom came up with this recipe as a creation for a refreshing summer cocktail and it works so well! She's a bit of an expert cocktail creator and connoisseur, so she's my go to for yummy drink concoctions. She might kill me for writing this on here, but anyone who knows her well will attest to her talent ;) This one can be enjoyed as a virgin option any time of year, but it pairs amazingly well with vanilla vodka and some sunshine.
Ok, so this recipe is pretty ball-parked, and it kind of makes a different amount every time depending on your taste preferences. It's up to you to make it how you like it, but once you do it once or twice you'll get the hang of it and you won't want to go back to store-bought lemonade ever! This freshly squeezed lemonade has a hint of mint that makes it almost mojito-esque (but not quite, which is fine by me. Impress guests with this "fancy" cocktail, but don't tell them how easy it was to make!
This version is much lower in sugar and bigger in flavour than store-bought lemonade. The ingredients are simple and you can easily adjust the strength of the flavour and the sweetness to your liking.
- Juicer or reamer
- Jug for serving
- 5 lemons, juiced
- handful of fresh mint leaves
- water - dilute to taste (about 1 cup of water per lemon is a good guideline)
- Ice cubes - be generous! (I add several cups)
- liquid stevia (to taste - start with a few drops and add more if needed)
- Optional - vanilla vodka
- wash mint leaves and place them into the pitcher you'll use to serve.
- Juice lemons and add fresh juice to mint leaves.
- Muddle the mint leaves with a muddler (if you don't have one the handle end of a wooden spoon works pretty well). The muddling releases some of the oils out of the mint leaves, which lets out a lot of the flavour.
- Add about 4 cups of water, a few drops of stevia and a few handfuls of ice cubes. Stir and taste - add more water, ice or stevia until you love the way the mixture tastes!
- Virgin option - pour into glasses and serve with additional ice. Garnish with mint.
- Cocktail hour - pour in a splash of vanilla vodka (or whatever you're feeling!). Confession - I definitely add more than a splash.
Optional: if it's cocktail hour pour in a splash (or more) of vanilla vodka. Or gin. Or whatever you're feeling really. BUT you have to try the vanilla vodka at least once.. it's not my go-to, but my mom is sort of a cocktail expert, and when she throws this into the mix it's pretty amazing!
Highlights and Swaps:
- I don't have much to add to this one. It's pretty simple, and already really flexible!
- I love that it's such a delicious mixer - it tastes like a sweet cocktail without all that sugar, plus the fresh lemon juice gives you a nice little hit of Vitamin C.
- Instead of tap water, make it fizzy by adding perrier or soda water
- You can keep the concentrate (lemon juice, muddled mint and stevia) in the fridge and add water or soda as you go
- Try swapping the vanilla vodka for gin, rum, or anything else. If you have any good ideas let me know below!