- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries, thawed
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 8-12 cups cold water
- Make a simple syrup by placing the water and sugar together in a medium sized saucepan. Heat over medium high temperature and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the mint. Let mixture cool and "steep" for 30 minutes. Remove the mint from the simple syrup and discard.
- Combine the strawberries and raspberries in a food processor or blender and process until a puree is formed. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, collecting the berry puree in a pitcher and discarding the seeds.
- Add lemon juice and fruit puree to the simple syrup, stirring to combine. Refrigerate this mixture for several hours or overnight until cold.
- At service, add 8 cups of the cold water and stir to combine. Add more water only if mixture tastes too sweet. Serve over ice and garnish with mint sprigs and fresh berries, if desired.
Seeing the forecast looked perfect for the weekend ahead last week, and finally enjoying our outdoor deck and patio after years of much needed renovation, we decided to plan an impromptu get together, calling it a Lakeside Chill and Grill Party.
I asked for folks to bring a dish to share. I know, a potluck! Really not my style, but I knew if we were going to throw a shindig together with just a few days notice, I’d need a little help.
I focused on loading the Big Green Egg with flavorful meats, including pineapple & apricot glazed boneless chicken breasts, green apple & crushed hot pepper bbq pork butt (both complements of Adam Perry Lang’s cookbook Serious Barbecue ) and a fabulous rosemary and garlic rubbed prime rib of beef. Our guests were sweet enough to bring both the sides and some desserts. For the adults, I filled buckets with chilled beer and wine, in addition to a killer mojito limeade concoction that got the night off on the right foot.
For the littler ones, I made a pitcher of this minted strawberry raspberry lemonade. It was great on it’s own, but I also think it would be a great base for a margarita or accompanied with vodka for an easy summertime concoction.
As the sun set, and the evening became cool, we gathered ’round the fire-ring, roasting marshmallows, making S’mores, and sharing stories under the stars. How do you enjoy the summer? Do you have favorite items that appear every summer on your picnic menus? Share them with us below so we can all be inspired.