Friday, May 22, 2015

Red, White and Blue Lemonade for the Summer

Every year, as we gear up for our annual friends' trip to Duck, each member of the group picks a summer song. It's a huge production, with lots of emailing and back and forth, and at the end, Alicia makes a mix that we listen to over and over for the rest of the summer.

This year, Cooper's song is "American Kids" by Kenny Chesney. It is bouncy and it includes a line about a shotgun lever-action rifle. Cooper likes shotguns guns. (Side note: Cooper likes guns enough that he emailed me to clarify that the gun mentioned is not, in fact, a shotgun.)

A few weeks ago, just as Cooper was choosing his song, I got an email from the PR company that reps Blue Chair Bay - Kenny Chesney's rum brand (and the official sponsor of No Shoes Nation). Did I want them to send me some rum, so I could make up a cocktail, and write about it, in the days before KC's concert at Merriweather? Why yes, yes I did.

The concert - Kenny Chesney + Jake Owen - is on Wednesday, May 27th. And the drink? Inspired by "American Kids," it's called Red, White and Blue Lemonade...and it is pretty, pretty, pretty good. Here's how to make it:

Red, White and Blue Lemonade
Yields 1 drink

3 ounces Blue Chair Bay white rum (the white)
2 tablespoons blueberry syrup (see below) (the blue)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons mint simple syrup (use this recipe)
Sparkling water
Strawberries for garnish (the red)

To make the blueberry syrup:
Combine 1 pint of blueberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/3 cup of water in a saucepan over medium-high heat.

Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring and mashing the berries as they pop. Cook, continuing to stir, until the mixture is reduced about halfway (about 6-8 minutes).

Let the mixture cool a bit then place in a blender and puree. Refrigerate before using.

To make the drink:
Fill a pint glass with ice. Add the rum, blueberry syrup, lemon juice and mint syrup. Fill the rest of the glass with fizzy water, then pour from one glass to another, to mix.

Garnish with a strawberry and you are ready to drink!

Note: if you want a boozier drink, you could add a little more rum. Or, instead of finishing it off with sparkling water, use prosecco.

The recipe above makes one drink - but you could absolutely make pitchers of the rum-mint-blueberry-lemon juice concoction, then just add the fizzy water to the individual drinks just before serving. Though it does involve two syrups, both of them are very easy to make, I promise.

I mixed up a batch of these on Wednesday and fed them to the Bargers and Kyle. They made everyone happy:

Maggie, obviously, has the kiddie version of the cocktail - Dixon helped with those. We replaced the rum and the sparkling water with a healthy pour of Sprite.

So there it is - the American Kids/Kenny Chesney/Red, White and Blue Lemonade cocktail. If that doesn't make you want to make out on some living room couches, I don't know what will.

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