As life would have it, the past few weeks we’ve had people over for various reasons. Some are pregnant; others are not. Some are really into a good alcoholic drink; others are more ambivalent towards spirited beverages.
So, I wanted to come up with a versatile summer drink that could be alcoholic or non-alcoholic easily. I posed the question on Facebook, and after some confusion [Alison] that it was a veiled pregnancy announcement [it wasn’t], I got some great suggestions!
However, despite all of that, I just decided to make up my own recipe.
The lemonade is really quite fabulous on its own, but the bourbon gives it that extra yummmmm factor. It is so great for a crowd of people, but it’s simple enough to do on a weeknight.
And I think it tastes better if you drink it on a front porch swing, but that’s just me.
Mint Lemonade with Bourbon
Important note: this recipe makes a lot. Like, we had 13 people over, and there was still some left over. The recipe can be easily halved or even quartered to suit your needs.
16 cups of water, divided
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, rinsed
3 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 17-18 medium-sized lemons)
Bourbon (we like Buffalo Trace or Bulleit, but really any kind would work)
1. Heat the sugar and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved. Stir often. You now have simple syrup.
2. Take the pan off the heat and add the mint leaves. Allow the mint leaves to seep in the simple syrup for half an hour. Remove the mint.
3. Mix together the simple syrup, lemon juice, and remaining 14 cups of water. Chill in refrigerator.
4. To serve: fill a glass with ice and pour in the lemonade. Add a splash of club soda [this step seems unimportant, but it really heightens the drink.]. Optional, add bourbon to taste. [I like about 1 ounce of bourbon, whereas Ryan preferred something more in the 1 1/2 to 2 ounce range. And some of our friends just wanted a splash.] Garnish with a mint leaf, if you are so inclined.