Chilled Summer Sips: Lemonade and Martinis

I couldn’t imagine a hot summer afternoon without the noise of sprinklers and a pitcher of lemonade. As I was making a batch this morning I could hear the screech of little ones running through my neighbors wet lawn as they inched closer and closer to the spray. Memories flitted here and there as I rolled and squeezed lemons.

Late summer is my favorite time of year. Leaves are  beginning to turn and autumn peeks around the corner giving us a once over. Meals are all cooked outdoors and as grills cool, evening breezes gently kiss our skin  while we sit on the porch sipping chilled beverages.

The recipe below is basic and can be adjusted to taste. I add a sprig of basil and lemons for garnish and occasionallywink-wink, whip up a delicious lemon-basil martini.

Simple Lemonade

lemonade IIngredients

  • 5 cups water divided, 1 cup and 4 cups
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6-9 Lemoniera lemons, depending on size and taste preference
  • ice

Simple Syrup   Combine sugar and 1 cup of water in small sauce pan. Simple syrup ratio is always 1 to 1. Bring to a light simmer over low heat. When sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and cool.

Release the Juice  Roll lemons over counter top or cutting board to release juices, cut in half and squeeze. You are looking for about one cup, however you may wish to increase or decrease depending on personal preference.

Creat your Potion  Add cooled syrup, lemon juice and 4 cups of water in that order to pitcher. Stir well and add ice. Use additional lemon wedges and pieces to garnish.

Simple Lemon-Basil Martini

Lemon Basil MariniUsing your pitcher of lemonade, add the following items.


  • 1 ounce gin or vodka
  • Lemonade from recipe above
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Fresh basil


In a cocktail shaker, muddle two basil leaves with a bit of lemonade. Add ice 1 ounce of gin or vodka, the juice of one lemon and shake well. Strain into a chilled martini glass, top with lemonade and garnish with a sprig.

Karie Engels lives in the Seattle area and believes in living life out-loud. You find Karie on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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