Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fresh summertime cocktails using garden herbs and local fruits

  Cocktails made with summer's fresh fruit are just meant to be enjoyed in the backyard.  For the last couple of months, some of our weekends have been spent experimenting with different drinks and enjoying them on our deck.  Spending time out back means that I  have also had to experiment with different mosquito repellents!
Strawberry Martini 
Strawberries and champagne
  Once I found out that my favorite vodka made me sick because it's made from grains and not potatoes, I thought my days of martinis were over.  With gluten intolerance, a lot of vodkas were off limits, or some of the potato varieties didn't taste good. Then we found Tito's! Tito's vodka is USA made in Texas and it's gluten free. Tito's was the first gluten free vodka that I found to taste really good in a martini.  
  We made strawberry martinis using Tito's and fresh pureed strawberries.  Awesome and refreshing and tastes like summer.  Another time we used the strawberry puree, basil infused simple syrup, and Blanco tequila and made margaritas, simple and tastes like a fresh dessert.  *We later purchased margarita glasses :)

Make a simple syrup using garden fresh basil, and top with more basil
  When strawberries were finished locally, we made peach martinis in the same fashion as the strawberry ones using Tito's and S.C peaches.  We topped them with mint from the garden.  Super good!  We then went to the local watermelon and came up with a nice rum drink.
Muddled watermelon, rum, club soda and basil

  When the weekend rolls around, it's nice to be able to relax with your family.  A few hours spend outside grilling dinner and enjoying cocktails is a fun way to re-connect after the stresses of the week.  By the way, we discovered that adding basil plants, citronella plants, and lemon balm plants to the deck helps keep the pests away.  My favorite blend for homemade repellent is a cup of water mixed with 10 drops lavender, 10 drops lemon and 5 drops peppermint.  (I always experiment with different blends and scents, but so far, I think this one works best).

  Do you have any favorite summer time drinks?  I would love to hear about them.
Enjoy a blessed day,

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