Summertime Beverages - What's Your Drink?

Sweet Tea. Strawberry Lemonade. Italian Vanilla Soda. It's all part of the summer BBQ experience. An ice cold glass of fresh, homemade *enter your favorite drink here* tops off my night with friends and good food. You may modify these drinks to quench the intensity of your *ahem* "beverage" preference as well. These little recipes are kid-friendly :) 

Here are some favorites and also some new recipes I will be trying at our next cook out.

*taken from
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lavender buds
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
cold water and ice
1. In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and lavender to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Allow to cool. Strain the lavender liquid into a pitcher.
2. Add in lemon juice with ice, and about 4 cups of water. Taste for strength.

My Recipe: Lisa's "Whatever" Lemonade

1-1 1/2 Lemons (Organic if you can!) *one serving worth
1 1/4 cup water - filtered *1 serving worth
1/2 cup sugar (fine baking sugar works well)
Martini Shaker (or a protein shaker bottle works too)

Simple Syrup
Mix 1 Cup of Water and Sugar together in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is combined well with no sugar granules (basically it'll look clear) transfer to a container and put in fridge.

Add ice to martini shaker. Juice 1 lemon (to taste), 1/4 cup water and 2 Tbsp simple syrup (this is also to taste). Add lemon juice/syrup as needed.  Add berries of choice (1 glass= 4-5 smaller berries and 2-3 larger berries sliced in half) Shake well.

The berries will break apart over time from the acidity of the lemons. 

*Lemons & Water make individual glasses. This recipe can be modified to make a pitcher. You will need a lot of lemons!

Homemade Italian Vanilla Soda
I use to work in an Italian Restaurant (for 4 years!) and this was people's favorite thing to get on a summer afternoon. They're cool, refreshing and don't have a ton of sugar. They're sweet, but the half and half breaks it up from being a heavy soda-type drink. 

1 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Splash of Half and Half
8oz. Club Soda

Add ice to glass, then add vanilla (or other flavor variation). Slowly add club soda and then gently add half and half. This will give you a defined look in your glasses. If this doesn't matter to you....just go for it and mix these together! It all tastes the same, but I like a nice presentation sometimes for a dinner with friends.

*You can also add different variations: strawberries, mint, lime, raspberry - anything fruity is great!

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