Memorial Day weekend is the official summer kick-off. Every year, this weekend marks the calendar with family picnics, backyard BBQs, and pool parties. In our neck of the woods, it inevitably rains, but that never stop us from celebrating like it's sunny outside! Grab a pitcher and join me in turning summer's favorite staple — lemonade! — into the perfect cocktail for happy hour.
Honey Bourbon Lemonade: Watch the Video
When making any cocktail that calls for lemonade, you're not doing yourself any favors by using a powdered mix. This goes for iced tea-based drinks, too. Those powdered mixes are overly sweet and deliver a less-than-appealing chemical aftertaste. It's easy enough to make lemonade from scratch; the hardest part is squeezing the lemons!
Remember that lemon's sweetness and tartness can range dramatically from fruit to fruit, so test your batch as you go. If you like your lemonade sweeter, increase the sugar to two cups and always add the water in stages. Start with adding one quart of water to the lemon juice and sugar, and continue adding water until you find your sweet spot.
This lemonade spiked with honey bourbon is perfect for kicking off Memorial Day weekend, and every other weekend this summer, too. Get to squeezing and have a very happy happy hour!
Honey Bourbon Lemonade
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 quarts + 2 cups of water, divided
2 cups of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 cup American Honey bourbon
1 lemon sliced into rounds, for garnish
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar and 2 cups of water to a simmer and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
In a large pitcher combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, American Honey bourbon, and 1 quart of water. Taste and add additional water to taste.
Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish with lemon slices.
- Feel free to garnish with fresh herbs, too. Mint, basil, and lemon balm all work to add aroma and a pop of color to your spiked lemonade.
(Images: Maureen Petrosky)