Wednesday, July 13, 2016

L is for: {grilled} Lemon Blueberry Smash

I'm super excited about this post for a number of reasons.

1.) Blogging twice in a month is a miracle for me these days, let alone in an 8 day span.

2.) The second reason sort of relates to the first because there's no way I would've done this without the help and of my cousin Erin, who is an amazing photographer and friend. She mostly specializes in newborn and family photos (you can check out her work here), but wants to start dabbling in more lifestyle and commercial work so suggested we collaborate on a blog post during her recent visit.

3.) These cocktails are DA BOMB and you should totes make some this weekend. (Yes, I just said "totes." Deal with it.)

Part of the inspiration for these cocktails came from our trip to Rose's Berry Farm during Erin and Kenzie's visit. We picked our own raspberries and blueberries and enjoyed the sunny afternoon.

Kenzie is not a big fruit eater, so she didn't want to actually try any of the berries, but she was a rockstar picker. (P.S. Can I just have a photographer follow me around and document my life? How great are these photos?!?)

Aside from the blueberries, I knew I wanted to do lemons because citrus goes great in cocktails (plus, I needed something for "L.") I also love using fresh herbs in drinks, so I grabbed some basil. Mint might be nice here as well, but I love the way the more savory basil pairs with the blueberries and lemon and gin.

I also knew I wanted to grill them. I made a similar cocktail a couple Christmases ago that called for the lemons to be seared on a cast iron pan and became obsessed. Grilling achieves a similar effect. It adds a hint of smoke, some nice caramelization, and it somehow makes the lemons juicier. (If you want to make them in the winter, you can totally do these on a grill pan or a cast iron skillet).

To make the cocktails, simply muddle 10 basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker, along with some simple syrup, the juice from the grilled lemons, and about 1/2 cup of blueberries. Add some ice and the gin and stir vigorously until the mixture is nice and cold. (I like to stir vs. shake, but shaking works too).

Strain into two cocktail glasses. (I love these coupe glasses from Crate & Barrel). Seriously though, how great are these photos?!?

Of course, I just had to add a floater of champagne. It really was the perfect addition. It cut down on the tartness from the lemons and added a bright, fizzy component. If you don't want to open a whole bottle, I love these mini Sofia cans... it's the perfect amount for two cocktails. Garnish with a single basil leaf and serve!

Huge thanks once again to "Cuzin' Erin" for helping me out with these gorgeous pictures. I couldn't pick just one obviously, so enjoy some beauty shots of your next summer cocktail. Salud!

Grilled Lemon Blueberry Smash

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: cocktail blueberry lemon basil gin summer

Ingredients (2 cocktails)
    For the cocktail:
    • 2 lemons
    • 2 ounces simple syrup (recipe below)
    • 10 basil leaves, plus additional for garnish
    • 1/2 cup blueberries
    • 3 ounces gin
    • ice
    • 6 ounces sparkling wine
    To make simple syrup: (makes approximately 1 cup)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 cup sugar
    For the cocktail:
    1. Pre-heat grill to medium-high.
    2. Cut lemons in half and grill for 3-4 minutes, or until you see golden brown grill marks on the lemons.
    3. Combine 2 ounces simple syrup, basil leaves, blueberries and 3-4 ounces of the grilled lemon juice in a cocktail shaker depending on how tart you like your cocktails. (You may have a leftover half lemon). Muddle. Add gin and ice and stir vigorously until mixture is cold.
    4. Strain into cocktail glasses. Top each with 3 ounces of sparkling wine and garnish with basil. Enjoy!

    For the simple syrup:
    1. Combine equal amounts of water and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolves completely. Cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. (Will keep up to a month in the fridge).
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    1. Looks delicious can't wait to try. Great idea to use small cans of bubbly.

    2. Hey Jaymee. I am vacationing up in there Adirondacks with the family and figured I'd class it up and make these cocktails for the family. Everyone loved them. Thank you for the recipe. Oh and great job on sportscenter.

      -Mike Mac

    3. Hey Jaymee. I'm vacationing in the Adirondacks with the fam and I wanted to class it up one evening so I decided to make your cocktails. I grilled the lemons over the campfire which gave them a nice smokey flavor. The drinks are da bomb and everyone enjoyed them. Thank you for the recipe. Oh and great job on sportscenter every morning.

      -Mike Mac


    I would LOVE to hear what you think. I read every comment and get a little giddy when I see someone has left one on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

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