This has been quite the week and not quite sure when the completion of photos and a post has ever made me feel a cocktail is in order like this one. Five posts in five days. I’m not trying for a record but for me that is one. I had a couple of blogging obligations including this AMAZING Amaretto Hot Chocolate for my Progressive Eats group that ran head on into wanting to share some favorites for the Super Bowl so here I am; after noon on Friday and just now putting this post together. I am a bit fanatical about delivering a cocktail on Friday; maybe none of you would notice and I put that pressure on myself but it is what it is…I’m in the habit and I like doing it so guess the old standard of ‘better late than never’ will apply. And this simple Italian Lemonade with Vodka, Gin and Orange Liqueur is just that too. Better late than never. So perfect for Sunday too…so really I made me do it!
My intentions were actually to recreate a cocktail I had at a local restaurant a couple of weeks ago. But only after the ingredients were mixed did I start to wonder about something with cranberries. I might have 5 pounds of them frozen for use but were they still really in season? A quick call to my local Sprouts and I found I was out of luck. They had a few but that’s only because they emptied the warehouse of all they had left; I was assured by the produce manager that cranberry days were really over. There is no point in my sharing something you can’t make…I’ll put that on the burner for next holiday season (and hope I remember it then!).
Luckily I had something else in my back pocket…or rather my friend Sandy did. She is an astute learner after having been out with me a couple of times. She went out for cocktails to Brio with her hubs the other night and lo and behold asked for and got the recipe for this drink. I sort of felt like the proud mama; always urging my kids to at least ask and she did…and now she’s shared it with me for the blog. Sandy is going to start working with me a bit; helping me with prepping and cooking and cocktails; especially as I push to deploy a cocktails only blog; you have to agree this is a great first step!
I was lucky to have received a bottle of Prairie Organic Vodka; it’s both organic and gluten free with a corn instead of wheat base. Three family farmers on the Minnesota prairie own the land and each family works in their field up to three times longer than conventional farmers, all to cultivate the nutrient-rich soil and organic corn that will become Prairie spirits. Understanding that climate, soil and moisture levels vary, Prairie’s single vintage organic corn is distilled to taste, not a prescribed number of times. What I loved most? Yes, it’s light and it’s got that somewhat almost medicinal character with the aroma and first sip but then…nothing. Bare of any after taste and I thought that lovely. The only negative is that it has limited distribution and might be hard to find except online. Find it; it’s worth every penny!
What I love the most about this Italian Lemonade is simple. Lemons. They are abundant and big and luscious so while lemonade is somehow relegated to summer months I think no better time for a cocktail like this then here and now. Easy to prepare too so absolutely perfect for a crowd. That crowd that will gather to eat appetizers and chili in abundance and will need something cool and refreshing to wash it down. This is that. Like vodka? Got it. Gin? That too. Add a bit of orange liqueur, lemonade and soda water and you can see how simple it is. Simply divine. I love this drink. One of those that you could so easily down by the first down…but don’t. Savor it and sip it and enjoy it now and all through the coming warmer months. They are coming soon right?
- 3/4 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
- 4 oz lemonade (if using prepared concentrate this is after mixing with water)
- 1/2 oz soda water
- Fill a Collins glass with ice. Fill a shaker with ice and add everything but the soda water. Shake 10-15 times and strain it over the ice in the glass. Top with soda water and stir.
- Garnish with a lemon wheel.