August 17, 2012

Of Summertime Spritzers

This past week has been a "please, get this girl a cocktail" kind of a week.  

A Sunday afternoon, people watching in the park and soaking in the warm sunshine totally calls for a cocktail.  Or at least a beer or some wine.

Stressing myself out planning my Fall semester and realizing that my free time, my precious commitment-free, care-free, free time is about to come to a screeching halt?  Please, get this girl a cocktail, hopefully it will take the edge off.

A gathering of good friends, reunited after what feels like way too long?  Let's celebrate and drink a cocktail!

Realizing that I only have about 10 more days of summer break left?  You know the drill.  Fetch that cocktail.

This particular cocktail was dreamed up on a whim as I stood in my kitchen, refrigerator door open, trying to figure out the fate of the latest batch of foraged blackberries.  (They're still going strong, those urban blackberry bushes, and I still cannot resist the little hike and filling another tupperware full of sun warmed fruit.)  In the crisper draw just below them was a big bunch of basil and on the counter were a few lemons.  You know, when life gives you lemons and all that...

It's tart and fruity but neither overwhelmingly so.  The herbaceous licorice notes from the basil make it a bit more sophisticated, a grown up lemonade.  Fizzed up with a bit of club soda and poured over some ice and sparkling wine, this spritzer is just what my week, and weekend needs.

Blackberry-Basil Lemonade

This is just the lemonade portion of the aforementioned cocktail. I trust you guys can mix it up to your liking.  I've really been digging the spritzers lately so I mixed mine up with 2 parts sparkling wine to 1 1/2 parts lemonade and topped it off with a splash of club soda.  Refreshing, low alcohol, and perfect for afternoon sipping.  It's also totally delicious just on it's own.

yields 4 1/2 cups

juice of 3 lemons
1/4 cup sugar
10-12 basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
4 cups water (or 3 cups water and 1 cup club soda)

In a blender add lemon juice, sugar, basil leaves, blackberries and 1 cup of water.  Blend for 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and pieces of basil leaves.  Add remaining water to strained mixture and refrigerate until chilled.  If you're going the sparkling route, add the rest of the water, chill, then add the club soda just before serving.

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