Sweet blueberries, tangy lemonade and just a hint of basil make this boozy blend THE cocktail of the summer!
Is it too early to start celebrating the 4th of July? Seriously! School is out, the sun is shining and I declare vacation week for everyone. And once you get a sip of this cocktail, you’ll know why. This boozy concoction is the perfect drink for summer entertaining. It’s like nibbling on a blueberry pie, minus the crust, with a healthy splash of vodka thrown in. It’s cool and refreshing and goes down super easy on a hot day.
The 4th of July is probably my most favorite holiday of the year. The summer is stretched out before us and we’re lucky enough to spend it at the Jersey shore. We spend the 4th relaxing with our toes in the sand, then grill up a casual dinner and finally grab a couple cocktails and head back to the beach. Once the sun sets, we settle onto our blanket to watch the fireworks light up the sky.
The difference between this holiday and the others (apart from the sun and sand) is how relaxed and casual my entertaining plan is…if we can even call it that. It’s actually an anti-plan. If the weather cooperates, it’s practically impossible to leave the beach and head for the kitchen to put together a big meal. Instead it’s all about quick grilling and minimal prep. Think a great big salad, grilled sausages and shrimp paired with a hunk of crusty bread.
While our guests brush off the sand and I set the table, a few sips of this blueberry lemonade cocktail will put everyone in a good mood. I love a flavored vodka in this drink and I definitely recommend blueberry vodka if you can find it. But if it’s too hard to come by at your local store, you can substitute lemon flavored vodka. The lemon vodka will highlight the bright flavors of the lemonade, while the blueberry vodka brings the blueberry flavor to the forefront. You can play with both combinations to see which you prefer. Or simply omit the vodka altogether for a festive virgin libation.
Since we’re all about easy entertaining for the 4th, mix up this blueberry lemonade the day before. It actually allows the flavors to really meld and it means all you need to do before serving is plunk a few ice cubes into a glass and pour. So grab some blueberries, a blender and some lemons and whip up this cocktail to wow your guests. Then it’s time to sit back, relax and sip in summer. Cheers!
- Basil Simple Syrup
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup basil leaves packed
- Blueberry Lemonade
- 4 cups blueberries
- 1 cup basil simple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon zest
- Blueberry Puree
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 liter blueberry vodka
- lemon slices blueberries and basil sprigs for garnish
Basil Simple Syrup: Combine water, sugar and basil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved and then remove from heat. Let the basil leaves steep in the simple syrup for 10 mins, then strain, pressing on leaves. Let the syrup chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Blueberry Lemonade: Combine blueberries, simple syrup, lemon juice and lemon zest in blender. Puree until very smooth. Strain using a fine mesh sieve.
Blueberry Puree: Put the blueberries and sugar into the blender and puree.
To Serve: Combine lemonade and vodka in one or two large pitchers and stir well to combine.
Fill glasses with ice and place a spoon of blueberry puree in each glass. Pour blueberry lemonade into each glass and garnish with a lemon slice, a few fresh blueberries and a sprig of basil.