It’s been a really strange spring. We started out normal and then wham, two late frosts/freezes. It wasn’t good for my garden. All the pepper plants died and several of the tomato plants too. Luckily the hydrangeas are all right. I’ve seeded more tomato and pepper plants and hopefully we will still have a great garden, just harvesting a few things later than normal.
The true spring weather came a couple weeks ago and in our house that means weekend cocktails on the porch. Josh is usually working in his garage on some project or another and I’m either in the garden or doing something in the house most of the day. Come five o’clock we’re ready to kick back and relax.
The boys also enjoy cocktails on the porch. I fix them a pitcher of cocktails, some kind of bubbly juice and seltzer, add a skewer of fruit in a glass and they are as happy as can be. A plate of cheese and crackers and everyone is loving the weekend!
For some reason I always thought I didn’t like gin. I have no idea why, maybe I tried it once and didn’t care for it or maybe I never had it and this was just some pre-conceived notion I had. Either way, I finally had some this past winter and discovered I do indeed like gin. I even found a gin distilled right here in South Carolina that is quite tasty.
With summer and warm weather coming up gin and tonic is a standard drink. I wanted to experiment a little more. I got a bitter lemon drink which is great with gin and decided to play around with that concept a little more.
While it isn’t quite blackberry season here yet (that doesn’t come until June) I had a stash of blackberries in the freezer from when I picked them last summer. It isn’t really enough to bake with so I figured a cocktail was in order. Berries go extremely well with gin. So do lemons.
That made this drink a no brainer. Mint goes well with both lemon and blackberries and I have plenty of that in my garden. I love a cocktail with mint in it, hello mojitos! Limoncello gives it an extra lemon punch and sweetness.
I used sparkling lemonade, but you could certainly use fresh lemon juice and a simple syrup. Me, I’m more about quick and easy. Trader Joe’s makes a great sparkling lemonade as well as other sparkling juices which we use for virgin and adult cocktails, I’m totally fine with that.
This weekend after Josh spends his time building a new plinko game for the school carnival and I take care of the garden and house, we’ll look forward to this drink on the porch. Sad to say, but porch season is already getting less pleasant as the bugs have started to come and the heat is really kicking in. Enjoy it while you can!
Blackberry Gin Lemonade
3-4 large blackberries (more if they are the smaller wild varieties)
4 mint leaves
1/2 oz. limoncello
3 oz. gin
Lemon peel and mint leaves to garnish
Gently muddle the blackberries and mint leaves in the bottom of a low ball glass. Add limoncello and gin, stir well. Add ice and top off with sparkling lemonade. Garnish with lemon peel and mint leaves.
Yields: One serving