Weekend in Chico aside, it’s been a very mild summer. Unlike last year, there hasn’t been a single day so far where I’ve felt like it’s too hot to go on living. No 100+ degree days with a billion percent humidity. No relentlessly sunny days without a hint of cloud cover. It’s actually been a pretty rainy summer, which you’d think that’d be a bad thing, but really – all that rain keeps our plants happy, and the rainstorms have been pretty great for heat and pollen management.
I’m hoping that this mild summer continues, but Dan tells me that the Cali heatwave is supposed to be moving east soon. Ugh! I hope the rumors are wrong, but if they aren’t I have a whole arsenal of recipes to help me beat the heat, including this new blackberry-mint lemonade recipe that Dan and I have been loving all weekend. It’s tart, it’s sweet, and it has a great kick of mint that cools you off as soon as it hits your tongue. Pour yourself a big glassful over some leftover berry ice cubes, and you’ve got yourself the perfect summer drink.
If you want to get really crazy, add some tequila to your glass and voila! Margarita! Fact: there is never a bad time for a margarita. Especially when you have a ton of lemonade and berries leftover from your last blog post, and basically already have 95% of the ingredients for margaritas in a pitcher. It’s a no-brainer.
- 1 cup water, plus 3-5 more cups for dilution
- 1 cup sugar + 1 tbsp
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 sprigs of mint
- 1-1/2 cup blackberries
- In a pot on high heat, bring sugar and water to a light boil until the sugar is completely dissolved and your mixture is clear. Turn off the fire, and throw in your sprigs of mint.
- Allow mint to steep for at least 15 minutes, then remove it from your simple syrup and discard. Cool for about 10 minutes.
- Pour cooled mint-infused syrup into a blender along with your blackberries and 1 tbsp sugar. Blend until mixture is is smooth and uniform.
- Strain mixture into a pitcher to get rid of the fruit bits.
- Add lemon juice to the pitcher, and stir.
** Taste the lemonade at this point to see if it needs to be tweaked to suit your tastes. Too sweet? Add a splash more lemon juice. Too sour? Add some more sugar, or maybe more water so that the flavor isn’t so concentrated.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Stir, serve over ice and enjoy!