When the sun starts shining we start dreaming of long summer nights on the back deck, with a mason jar full of ice and a refreshing drink in hand
We have too many favorite summer beverages for just one blog post, so check back next week for part two! This week, we're highlighting our favourite fresh fruit cocktails and mocktails.
If you haven't heard of shrubs yet, now is the time to get on the bandwagon! According to Wikipedia, shrubs originally became popular in the 16th century, when vinegar was used as a way to preserve fruit in the pre-refrigerator days. The mixture of vinegar, fruit and sugar made for a long-lasting and refreshing sweet and sour syrup. Also known as drinking vinegars, shrub syrup takes minimal effort to make, can be made with many varieties of fruit, and tastes delicious mixed with water, soda, and/or alcohol.
We tried this yummy Vanilla Strawberry Shrub Syrup from The Flavor Bender, but there are oodles of other shrub recipes on the internet. Just type your favorite fruit and 'shrub' into a Google search and get started!
Here are a few tips to make your first shrub syrup a success:
- Use over-ripe fruit. Save this fruit from the compost and put it to good use, its ripeness will only lend itself to producing a sweeter shrub.
- Be patient! Although shrubs are easy to make, they do involve a lot of waiting. Don't be hasty, the fruit, sugar, and vinegar need time to meld and you need to give them space to get the best results.
- Make LOTS! Don't underestimate how much you or your guests will love shrubs. Most recipes recommend a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio of shrub to mixer, so be prepared for that sweet shrub syrup to be used up in a flash.
There is nothing better than plucking a few fresh mint leaves from your own herb garden and muddling them together with sugar and lime. This classic flavor pairing is only made better with a splash of rum!
Mojitos are a common offering at restaurants and bars, but they are simple and quick to make at home too:
- In a wide mouth pint jar, add 3-4 mint leaves, 2 wedges of lime (give them a little squeeze before you drop them in), 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a shot of white rum.
- Use a muddler to release the mint flavor, squeeze out the tart lime juices, and dissolve the sugar.
- Add a couple of ice cubes and top up the mixture with club soda, or a lemon-lime soda like Sprite for a little extra sweetness. Enjoy!
There are so many reasons to love sangria! It's a great way to improve a cheap bottle of wine, it's delicious, refreshing, fruity and crisp, and the flavor possibilities are endless! This is another common restaurant beverage that is simple to make at home.
Start with a bottle of wine (we prefer white, but red sangria is tasty too!), a combination of fresh fruits (frozen works in a pinch!) and a mason jar. A standard size bottle of wine fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar.
- Place 1-2 cups of fruit (bite size pieces work best) at the bottom of the mason jar.
- Pour the bottle of wine over the fruit, seal it and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours before serving. This gives the fruit juices time to mix with the wine.
- When you are ready to serve, strain out the fruit (keep the fruit, its delicious served over ice cream!), pour over ice and enjoy! If you like your drinks sweet or you want to cut the alcohol down a touch, add a splash of any sparkling beverage.
Well, there you have it! Three fruity, delicious drinks to fill your mason jars with this summer! Did we miss one of your favorites? Find us on Instagram and let us know how you'll be using fresh fruits in your beverages this summer.