As summer begins winding down, take the time to sit back with one of these drinks. Infused with summer fruits, these sweet and tart lemonade (and limeade!) recipes are the perfect accompaniment for the end-of-the-season barbecues. Enjoy!
Strawberry Lemonade with Kiwi-Infused Vodka
This recipe takes a little foresight, with a two- to five-day wait time on the vodka infusion, but it is well worth it. Also, this recipe makes a thicker drink, with pureed strawberries as a base, so straws may pose a problem; nonetheless, the cocktail is quite tasty.
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 1/2 cups water, separated
- 1 cup water
- 1 pint of strawberries
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup kiwi-infused vodka (recipe below)
To create simple syrup, combine lemon zest, sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, strain zest and let cool. In a blender, puree strawberries and a half-cup of water. In a large pitcher, combine strawberry puree, simple syrup, lemon juice and vodka. Stir to combine thoroughly. Add three cups water and taste; add more water if preferred. Serve over ice in a Collins glass, and garnish with strawberries.
Though the cocktail recipe calls for just one cup of vodka, this infusion recipe will yield a liter of vodka, allowing for future cocktails.
- 1 liter Tito’s Vodka
- 4 ripe kiwi fruit
Peel kiwi. Slice finely, allowing for more surface area, which speeds up infusion. Put sliced kiwi in a Mason jar, add liter of vodka, seal and shake. Place in a cool dark place, a cupboard or kitchen cabinet works fine, and shake daily—if you remember. After two to five days (longer for a stronger kiwi flavor), strain vodka into a clean jar. For an added bonus, eat the fruit, though in moderation—this stuff can be potent.
Spiked Peach Lemonade
Peaches are plentiful in the summer. So what do you do when you have a lot of them? Make spiked peach lemonade, of course!
- 3 peaches, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (about 4 to 5 large lemons)
- 1 cup vodka
Blanch peaches to remove skin; roughly chop and pit. Bring water, chopped peaches and sugar to low boil, reduce to simmer until sugar dissolves, stirring intermittently. Once sugar has dissolved, transfer to a blender (unless you have an immersion blender) and blend until smooth. Strain liquid to remove any solids, pressing to extract as much juice as possible. Let cool before stirring in lemon juice and vodka. Serve over ice and garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge or a slice of peach.
Spiked Cherry Limeade (yields 1 large pitcher)
Nothing says summer quite like a glass of cherry limeade. The perfect cocktail for a party, whip up a batch* of this spiked cherry limeade. There are a few steps for this cocktail and it may seem daunting, but fear not, it is rather simple and the fruits of your labor will be paid off handsomely.
* This recipe makes enough base for 2 gallons of cherry limeade. Halve the base and save (freeze) for later use.
- Cherry limeade base, halved (recipe below)
- 1 cup vodka
- 5 cups seltzer water (or cold flat water, but we like it fizzy)
Combine in a pitcher. Serve over ice with a cherry and lime wheel garnish.
Cherry Limeade Base
- 1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice (about 12 limes), strained
- Cherry puree (recipe below)
- Simple syrup (recipe below)
Combine cherry puree, lime juice and simple syrup; stir until thoroughly combined. Halve the mix, using one now, saving the other half for a later batch.
Lime-Infused Simple Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- Zest of 4 limes
Stir sugar and water together in a medium saucepan, and bring to low boil. Add zest and let simmer for a minute or two, letting thicken. Remove, and let cool and steep.
- 3 cups of whole pitted cherries
Puree until smooth; strain. Makes a about 1 cup of juice.