At this time of year, with all the Christmas and New Years holiday festivities, many love to enjoy a few drinks but it’s never fun being left feeling loaded down. Indulge in these drinks with out the guilt. Using natural sugars from fruit makes the drinks sweet and keeps them light. So enjoy the New Years celebrations with a drink or two, it’s all about balance. Don’t miss out.
I loved it when mum would make homemade lemonade for my sisters and I in the summer time. Sweet and sour and perfectly refreshing. One night in Istanbul, Turkey, I asked for a vodka lemonade instead of a vodka sprite and I got to try the amazingness that is homemade lemonade with vodka-taking my childhood drink to a new, adult, level.
Mum would also make us homemade fruit slushies, blending and freezing summer fruits, which we would then pour over soda water for a cold drink on a hot summers afternoon. This watermelon slushie is a fun take on that drink. Simply using frozen watermelon, vodka and soda water or you can omit the soda water and use a bowl and soon for this adult slushie. Add mint to the watermelon when blending for a bit of zing. Top tip, buy seedless watermelon, makes life a lot easier. These two drinks are simple and easy to prepare but take a little bit of preparation the day before you want to drink them.
The Homemade Lemonade with vodka was exactly how I remember it from that night in Istanbul, just the right amount of sweet and sour and a trace of the bitterness of vodka. The watermelon vodka slushy needed some more sweetness, as i found it didn’t have much taste. This possibly could be achieved by using frozen berries along with the watermelon or some maple syrup with the soda water or using sprite in pace of the soda water. You can use any frozen summer fruit for this slushy recipe not just watermelon.
Homemade Lemonade (makes approx 1-1.5lts)
- 6 Lemons (need about 1 cup of juice)
- 1 cup water
- 4 cups soda water (or make your own if you have a Sodastream)
- 1 cup raw sugar
- VODKA (or tequila or white rum)
- Make the simple syrup. Combine the sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat to dissolve sugar. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat to cool.
- Squeeze the lemons. Roll each lemon over your cutting board, pressing down as you do. This will help them to release their juice. Cut in half and squeeze. Repeat until you have one cup. You might not need all the lemons, but try to save at least one half if you want to garnish your glasses.
- Combine. Add the cooled syrup to your pitcher, followed by the lemon juice and remaining 4 cups of water. Stir, taste, and adjust; add a few tablespoons of sugar if it needs to be sweeter or the juice of 1/2 lemon if it needs more tartness.
- place ice cubes in to glasses, pour over a shot of vodka in each glass then pour in the home made lemonade and enjoy.
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed and frozen
- soda water
- mint, to garnish or blend with watermelon
- made sure to chop and freeze watermelon ahead of time.
- place frozen watermelon into a blender or food processor and blend until a slush forms.
- scoop into glasses and pour over a shot of vodka and as much soda water as you want and enjoy.