Besides eating the tasty produce you're growing in your Lehigh Valley garden, why not add some of your harvest to your cocktail recipes as well? If you've got some of the usual beverages mixes on hand, you can shake up some extra delicious and refreshing drinks with just a few ingredients, like herbs, berries, or veggies, picked fresh from your garden.
We've picked four delicious garden cocktail recipes to share with you. Each sophisticated sipper is sure to hit the spot on a hot summer day. If you prefer, all of these can be prepared without alcohol so that anyone can enjoy them! We've also included a bonus simple syrup recipe at the end so that you can dream up your own creative flavor infusions.
2 oz. lavender simple syrup (see recipe below)
2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Lemonade
2 oz. Club soda
Combine simple syrup, vodka, and lemonade in a shaker with ice. Shake for 20 seconds, pour over ice, top with club soda, and garnish with a twist of lemon and a sprinkle of lavender flowers.
Strawberry Rhubarb Daiquiri
This delicious daiquiri requires a little bit of prep and a blender.
Strawberry Rhubarb Puree
1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1.5 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
Soften rhubarb by steaming for 4-5 minutes. Combine puree ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, straining it after if you want to remove pulp.
2 oz. strawberry rhubarb puree
1.5 oz. rum
1.5 oz. Cointreau
1 tsp simple syrup (recipe below)
.5 oz lime juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake until frosty, pour and garnish with a strawberry.
If you'd like to make this recipe alcohol free, make some orange-infused simple syrup, so you can still enjoy the citrus flavor without the Cointreau.
4-5 raspberries, plus one for garnish
4-5 mint leaves, torn up, plus a few whole leaves for garnish
1 oz. raspberry simple syrup (recipe below)
.5 oz lime juice
2 oz. white rum
2 oz. club soda
Muddle your raspberries, mint leaves, lime juice, and simple syrup in a glass. Add your rum, club soda, and some ice, and garnish with mint leaves and a raspberry.
Tomato & Basil Bloody Mary
This delicious homegrown Bloody Mary also requires a little bit of pre-prep and a blender or food processor.
1 ripe Roma tomato, or a handful of cherry tomatoes
¼ of a jalapeno
1 tbsp chives, chopped
4-5 basil leaves, + more for garnish
2-3 sprigs of oregano
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 oz. vodka
Chop your tomato, jalapeno, chives, basil, oregano, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor. Pour the vodka into a glass with ice, and add the tomato puree. Garnish with basil leaves.
Garden Infused Simple Syrup
One of the easiest ways to celebrate fresh seasonal flavors in drinks is with an infused simple syrup. It's called "simple syrup" because it is so easy to make. You can use your syrup to flavor cocktails, your morning latte, baked goods, or even to dress fresh summer fruit salads.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Fruit or Herb for flavor infusion (Optional, approximately 1 cup for fruit or veggies, or a small handful of sprigs for herbal infusions)
Combine your ingredients in a small pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Strain your infusion into bottles or containers and label it. You can store simple syrup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Take advantage of your garden produce as many ways as possible this summer. Get creative with cocktails and simple syrup recipes, and create your very own signature drink for those long evenings on the patio!