Lemonade may be the official drink of childhood summers and roadside stands run by under-twelve entrepreneurs, but that doesn't mean it can't double as a hard beverage. Add a little bit of this, a little bit of that, some complementary firewater and suddenly that lemonade isn't so innocent. (Just be sure to label your cup, so your toddler doesn't mistakenly imbibe "Mommy juice"). Here are five spiked lemonade recipes to try.
5. Electronic Blue Lemonade. Despite flashing a bright blue hue and lacking any pure lemon component, Electric Blue Lemonade nevertheless tastes like the real thing, albeit if the real thing was naturally alcoholic. Making your own sour mix diffuses the potential fake quality as well as adds some actual fruit juice. I also recommend blending it with plenty of ice rather than serving it just on the rocks.
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4. Cajun Lemonade. Finally, a spicy cocktail that uses hot sauce that is not a Bloody Mary. Between the burn of the carbonation, the pepper of the Tabasco and the acid of the lemons, your mouth will be making all sort of strange contortions. After a few sips, however, you'll stop all that puckering and coughing and realize you actually feel good. So good that you mix a second round, which goes down much smoother than the first. And then the third even smoother than the second...
3. Pretty and Pink Lemonade. While its name may suggest a cloying rosy beverage (often inexplicably tethered to breast cancer awareness), the Pretty and Pink is actually far milder and earthier, thanks to an infusion of basil and the mild sweetness of watermelon. The original recipe recommends plain vodka, though vanilla or even jalapeño-flavored spirits might add an extra welcome dimension of flavor.
2. Smashed Raspberry Lemonade. Created by Elsie & Emma of abeautifulmess.com, this cocktail boasts a strong citrus flavor (thanks to limoncello and triple sec) with the tarter edge of fresh muddled raspberries. Its rustic elements make serving it in anything besides a Mason jar seem prissy; also you might want to ditch the skinny jeans for some overalls.
1. Camarena Rosemary Lemonade. First, don't be intimated by the prospect of infusing ice with rosemary; it's really not that difficult. Second, I know that reposado in your house was bought to make margaritas, but remember you said you wanted to try new things? So, reserve a few jiggers in pursuit of this goal. An artful balance of sweet-sour lemon, smoky mezcal and fragrant herbs, the Camarena Rosemary has a complex flavor profile that makes it ideal for upscale cookouts and casual garden parties.