Sparkling Berry Mint Lemonade: Your Ticket to the Front Porch

Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeThis June is on target to become one of the five wettest Junes in the history of Junes. At least here in the Raleigh area. In between the bouts of rain, things can get rather humid and warm and uncomfortable, though.

What is needed during the Sweltering Times is a refreshing beverage, one that cools you down and picks you up at the same time. A beverage that transports you to a broad front porch, a welcoming rocking chair and a cool breeze.

Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeFriends, I have found the beverage: Sparkling Berry Mint Lemonade. A lot lemony, a little berry-y, tart and sweet, cooling from the mint and lifting from the wee fizzy bubbles. I daresay it is Nigh on to Perfection.

Part of its perfection lies in its versatility. Not everyone likes their beverages with the same amount of sweet, or tart, or fizz. Some folks don't like berries. Some folks don't like mint. And that's completely okay with me. As I see it, my job is to teach you a technique and then suggest tasty ways of putting the technique into practice.

Let us begin.

Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeSimple Syrup lies at the heart of almost every sweetened beverage. Water and sugar forced into solution through heat and stirring. A standard ratio for simple syrup is 1:1, or one part water to one part sugar. Equal parts of each. By weight (and honestly, I'm fine with volume here as well). A heavy syrup is usually about a 1:2 ratio of water to sugar. One part water, two parts sugar.

No need to stop with the basic syrup, though. You can steep almost anything into a simple syrup, from tea to spices to zest to herbs. Steep some mint in your syrup, pour some in a glass and then top off with as much cold water or club soda/fizzy water as you like to make a simple mint soda. Float some cucumber in your minty soda for an extra refreshing treat.

Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeIn the case of my Refreshing Beverage, I made a 1:1 syrup to which I added a ton of lemon zest and some fresh mint. I boiled the zest with the syrup, but I waited to add the mint until it was off the heat. Steeping in the zest of the fruit you are using for juice (lemons, in my case) reinforces and intensifies the lemon flavor since you're getting not only the flavor of the juice but also of the citrus oil in the zest.

Homemade soda is nothing more than a syrup, some flavorings/juices and carbonated water. So once you have made simple syrup, soda isn't far off. Neither is sparkling lemonade. Or sparkling mango. Or passion fruit. Or pineapple.

Back to the berry mint lemonade.

Sparkling Berry Mint LemonadeTo make a glassful, I used 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of simple syrup, a few berries and mint leaves from the yard for muddling and probably about 6 oz of club soda. The resulting beverage was well-balanced and delicious. For me. Use these measurements as a starting point and then go from there until you have made your perfect beverage.

And of course you can add alcohol to your beverage if you want. This is one of the other things I like about making beverages by the glass. Adults and kids can use the same base ingredients!

And now that you know the secrets, tell me, what's in your perfectly refreshing summer beverage?

Thanks for spending some of your time with me; have a wonderful day.

 

 

 

 


Comments

  1. Eva McD says

    Oh what I would give for that rain! I’m in Tucson, AZ and June will be THE hottest month on record ever! Every day has been over 100F and these last few days could get over 113F every day! Your Sparkling Berry Mint Lemonade looks wonderful to quench the heat of the day, but I will stay off the front porch for now. 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brooks says

    Reading about Raleigh rain is refreshing for us westerners, but no more so than this lovely concoction. I’m glad you wrote about the simplicity of soda and how it’s within reach at near limitless possibilities. My refreshing summer beverage of choice is served in a pint glass, but this lemonade may change that.

    • says

      You could always mix lager w/lemonade and call it a raddler. Best of both worlds, Brooks! =) And soda *should* be simple, not all scary with crazy chemicals in it. I’m so glad you stopped by, friend!

  3. Barbara | Creative Culinary says

    Ahh…Raleigh; such great memories including having both of my kids born there. But as much as I hold such fond memories, I do not miss the humidity…but wish we had a bit of that rain in Denver right about now.

    I just made a cocktail a couple of weeks ago that could have been this one’s twin! Well, of course it had booze, but it looks almost identical! Love this…the simplicity and I’m sure what is an absolutely refreshing drink on a hot day…whether muggy or dry!

    • says

      I saw that post, Barb! And I thought the same thing to myself. And then I added, Well, Jenni; alcohol would be a welcome guest at this party! lol

      And you aren’t kidding about the humidity! With all this rain, it’s like a bathtub outside!

      Cheers to refreshing summer beverages, with or without alcohol! =)

  4. Jamie says

    Mmmmm…. refreshing indeed… but could I replace the sparkling club soda with prosecco for a more adult drink? I would add more berries, thank you very much. Which is what is great about something like this, the versatility. I am a big fan of new, exciting refreshing beverages (I can just imagine a sultry (muggy) afternoon sitting on your porch and you coming up, tray in hand, asking me if I would like a “refreshing beverage”). Thanks for the instructions!

    • says

      You know that’s exactly how I would ask you, too! “Would you like a refreshing beverage?” or with prosecco (which is an excellent idea, of course) “Would you like a refreshing adult beverage?” =)

  5. Deb says

    Love this, Jenni! I have a load of mint in my garden that is slowly overtaking everything. Need to keep pulling it and put it to good use rather than just throwing it away. Luckily, I love mint and I love citrus, so this will his the spot.

  6. says

    Hey Jenni! I was just looking for a lemonade syrup sort of recipe and guess who popped up on Google? 🙂 I was getting all pedantic about trying to find the perfect ratio of simple syrup, lemon juice and water for some good ol’ lemonade. Jenni to the rescue, as always. I just need to be fearless and to trust my gut (and taste buds).

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