Thirsty Thursday July 19th

This month we will concentrate a bit on mint and blueberriess. Blueberries are in season now at your local farmers markets and stands. Mint is always in good supply and somewhat invasive. We are also highlighting cucumber since it is light and refreshing and we are still in a drought.  Very soon your gardens will be overflowing with cucumbers and we want to make sure you don’t have to throw any away.

I also want to take the time to have you taste my simple syrup again this made with Stevia leaves instead of sugar. It is completely natural and sugar free. If you are trying to cut sugar out of your diet and especially your “extra” calories that come from cocktails- be sure to have that conversation with me.

Grandma’s Mint Iced Tea
In a large container:
Add 7 regular tea bags and approx.. 24 mint leaves
Pour in a quart of boiling water and steep for 4-5 minutes
Remove mint and tea bags and set aside
Pour tea into a gallon container
Add ½ cup of sugar
4-5 packets of stevia
A few ice cubes
Stir until sugar dissolves
Steep mint and tea bags a second time for 4-5 minutes
Drain contents into a gallon container
Add 1 6oz can of frozen lemonade and stir
Squeeze any tea from mint and tea bags into container

Yield: 1 gal (if shy, just top off with some water)

Whiskey Blueberry Smash

1 lemon wedge
2 tsp sugar
15 fresh blueberries
2 oz whiskey
1-2oz ginger beer

In a cocktail shaker, muddle lemon and sugar. Add blueberries and muddle until all blueberries are crushed. Pour in whiskey, and shake vigorously. Fill rocks glass with ice, strain cocktail over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with blueberries and or mint leaf.

Cucumber/Melon Sangria

•1 (750 ml) bottle dry white wine
•3/4 cup gin
•2 tablespoons superfine sugar
•1/2 honeydew melon, cubed
•1/2 seedless cucumber, sliced
•1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
•1 cup sparkling water or club soda

1. Combine all ingredients except sparkling water in a large pitcher and still well. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (more if possible).
2. Just before serving, pour in sparkling water and gently stir to combine. Serve over ice.

Watermelon Cooler

8 cups fresh watermelon cubed then pureed.
1oz Mint simple syrup
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
24 mint leaves
fresh mint leaves for garnish
2oz Vodka or rum

In a blender, add watermelon, lime juice, honey, and water and blend until fully pureed.
Pour through fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds. For simple syrup; boil 1 cup water, ½ cup sugar and 24 mint leaves. Remove from heat, let cool, strain and store in fridge for up to two weeks. Add vodka or rum and stir to combine.
Pour over ice and garnish with mint leaf.