Raise a Glass To…

 

May often brings a celebratory spirit with it.  Cinco de Mayo kicks off the month to a fun start and then Mother’s Day is soon to follow (which you should definitely be celebrating and thanking your mom!!)  Many people have wedding anniversaries and birthdays to celebrate.  There is of course Memorial Day, where we honor the men and women who have and are serving our country.  Depending on where you live and if you have kids, May can also mean the end of the school year and the official start of summer.  So we decided to do another fun collaboration and each provide you with a refreshing cocktail to help you celebrate!

CARMI: I had Mothers Day in mind when I started working on the following cocktail.  Anything with champagne makes me feel festive and special, and champagne cocktails pair wonderfully with breakfast or brunch.  The local farmer’s markets have been exploding with springtime produce, and the berry displays have been particularly tempting.  I decided to create a syrup that could easily be incorporated into a cocktail, but also used for a non-alcoholic drink.

I have used the strainer attachment several times now and am always amazed at how efficiently it removes the unwanted seeds/pits/skins off produce.

blackberry cocktail7 (1 of 1)
juicing blackberries

I love blackberries but the seeds are a bit overkill and no one wants a crunchy cocktail.

blackberry cocktail6 (1 of 1)
no more seeds!

The blackberry syrup is quite easy to make and I refrained from cooking the syrup to maximize the fresh flavor of the berries, and also make it very easy for kids to help out with this recipe.  So all you dads out there, get your kids involved and treat your wife!  Since this is a fresh juice syrup, you will want to use it within four days.  I include measurements in the recipe for mixing this with sparkling water so the kids and non-drinkers don’t miss out.

I preferred an extra-dry Champagne for this cocktail, which means it has the faintest hint of sweetness and is very drinkable.  If you prefer something drier (unsweet) or sweeter, by all means, use that instead.

Champagne Collage
The bubbles and blackberry syrup make for a pretty cocktail

 

 

Blackberry Champagne Cocktail

 

4 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine (brut or extra-dry)

1 ounce blackberry vanilla syrup (recipe below)

fresh blackberries and mint leaves, for garnish

 

To make cocktails, pour Champagne into a champagne flute or cocktail glass.  Add blackberry syrup. Stir gently and garnish with fresh blackberries and a mint leaf if desired.

Yield: 1 cocktail

blackberry cocktail (1 of 1)

Blackberry Vanilla Syrup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

2 pounds fresh blackberries

1 vanilla bean*

1/2 cup honey

Set up the base of your Ankarsrum mixer with the strainer attachment.  (Click HERE if you need a refresher on assembling the attachment.)  Place a medium bowl underneath to catch the juice and another bowl to catch the seed waste.

Wash the blackberries and, using the plunger, juice all the blackberries on high speed through the strainer attachment.  Take the seed waste and run it through 3 more times to extract the maximum amount of juice.

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out all the seeds and add to the blackberry juice along with the honey.  Whisk to combine.  Pour into a carafe or jar, cover and store in the fridge up to 4 days.

Use in the above cocktail or mix 2 parts sparkling water with 1 part syrup for a kid-friendly drink.

Yield: approximately 4 cups

*Don’t toss the used vanilla bean.  Stick it in a canister of sugar and let it sit for several weeks to make vanilla sugar.

 

Hello all. Ashley here. I hope you’re enjoying the post so far. I’m excited to share my contribution to this post. I must admit I have an incredible attachment to lemons. My husband can attest to the fact that I craved lemon EVERYTHING while pregnant with our daughter Kathryn. Lemon curd, lemon chicken, lemonade and lemon bars. Literally, lemon everything! So of course I’m going to share an easy homemade lemonade as well as a twist on a southern classic. The measurements for my easy homemade lemonade can also be used to make limeade. Equal part citrus juice and simple syrup. Making a simple syrup is super easy. 2 parts sweetener to 1 part water. Bring to a boil, stir until sweetener is dissolved then allow to cool completely. This can be stored for several months in your refrigerator. For my personal recipe I used Honey Granules (an evaporated sugar cane product) in place of white sugar but you can use whatever sweetener you prefer.

To juice my lemons (or if you prefer limes), set up the Citrus Press on the Ankarsrum base. Cut your citrus fruit in half around the middle. With the speed set to about 3 o’clock, gently press the fruit on the citrus press until all the juice has been extracted. Click HERE to watch a short demonstration video.

Ankarsrum Citrus Press
One thing that sets this attachment apart from other citrus juicing attachments/machines is the fact that you can zest your citrus before juicing it. Other citrus juicers on the market have sharp teeth and spin too fast so that if you zest your citrus, the teeth and force of the attach will just rip the fruit right out of your hand. Not so with the Ankarsrum Citrus Press. Now nothing goes to waste.

 

Now for my homemade lemonade recipe. Just remember, these measurements are really just a suggestion. You may prefer a sweeter lemonade or you may prefer it on the tart side. Either way, here is a starting point. Enjoy!

 

Homemade Lemonade

 

3/4 cup simple syrup

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3 1/2 cups cold water

 

Combine all ingredients together in a pitcher. Pour over ice and enjoy!

Note: You could easily add Carmi’s Blackberry Syrup to this recipe to make a delicious blackberry lemonade!

Lemonade

 

Now for the adult beverage. I will admit I got this recipe perfect the first go round but had to make it three more times just to be sure. 🙂

We have a southern classic that calls for mixing lemonade and sweet tea. It’s named after a pretty famous golfer (pretty sure we all know Mr. Palmer). My kids love this drink but I admit I’m not a fan. Maybe its my dad’s yankee blood running through me but I don’t like sweet tea. I know I know. My sweet southern Grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave. Who could possibly be born and raised in Georgia and not like sweet tea? Well, this girl. So when I came across a recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks “What’s For Dinner?” by Curtis Stone, it became the inspiration for this cocktail. Again, these measurements are just suggestions. Tweak to your likes and taste. The original recipe called for bourbon but I preferred a blackberry whiskey so therefor I added blackberries as a garnish.

I hope your Summer is off to a great start and we look forward to bringing you more wonderful recipes very soon. Enjoy everyone!

Cocktails

Mr. Palmer All Grown Up

 

1 1/2 cups gingerale

1 1/2 cups lemonade

1/2 cup bourbon or Kentucky Whiskey (I went with a Blackberry Whiskey)

1 small lemon, thinly sliced plus extra for garnish

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and smashed open

1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves

3 inches english cucumber, thinly sliced plus extra for garnish

blackberries for garnish

 

Serves: About 4

 

Slice lemon and cucumber and place in the bottom of a pitcher. Add the smashed ginger and take the mint leaves and rub them between your palms before placing them in the pitcher. These bruises the mint leaves and will allow the flavor to be infused in the drink. Add the gingerale, lemonade and whiskey to the pitcher and stir until combined. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.

To serve, fill each glass with ice. Place one lemon slice and one cucumber slice down the side of each glass along with a few blackberries. Fill each glass and enjoy!

Note: I encourage you to enjoy the blackberry, lemon and cucumber after finishing your drink. They are beautifully refreshing after they’ve had a chance to soak up all that golden liquid.

Cocktail

Cocktail

 

Thank you to Farmhouse Fireman for this beautiful serving tray! It will be put to good use all Summer!

 

 

Published by

Ashley McCord

Ashley has personally used the Ankarsrum for over 20 years, receiving her very own as a wedding gift in 1999. Continuing in the foot steps of her mother and grandmother, she enjoys cooking and baking for her busy family. She has a passion for whole grains, clean eating, and enjoys making everything from scratch. In 2012, Ashley became the Product Manager for the Ankarsrum Original Assistent here in the USA.