Monday, September 8, 2014

A summer of mixed drinks

For the first time in months, I didn't make a single new drink this weekend.  It was a nice break.  When I started this project Memorial Day weekend my goal was to try one alcoholic and one non-alcoholic beverage every week.  I didn't get both made every week but every week I made at least one.  I tried a lot of new drinks (24!), cleaned up my Pinterest board (went from 93 to 62 pins), and figured out more what I like and don't like, what is worth the money and time and what isn't.  I am more confident in my drink making abilities now and am encouraged to continue to go beyond the easy beer or rum & coke (although I did enjoy both of those this weekend!). 

It was a project for summer but there are still more I'd like to try, ones I even have ingredients for but we just haven't gotten to yet.  I'm not going to put pressure on myself anymore though, just enjoy them as I can.  (That said, I have ingredients for at least 4 more that I hope to try soon!)  And I will very likely keep blogging about them.

I recognized some ingredients popping up often over the summer and a few things I bought for the first time (lime juice, sparkling water, ginger ale, Triple Sec, grenadine).  A few nerdy charts (if I was fancy in Photoshop, had Photoshop, and had the time, these would be much prettier).
The only things that surprises me about this one is how many times I used Triple Sec when it wasn't even in our cupboard 2 months ago.  Definitely one that's good to have around.  And bottles I've had for years (vodka & schnaps), I barely used.

Strawberry and pineapple are just very summery fruits.  Seems right.

All of these mixers were one I didn't really buy before this summer.  Lime includes all lime juice & limeade concentrate.  Sparkling water includes ginger ale or club soda.  Vinegar includes the one time it was called for and the one time it wasn't.

Of the 24 drinks I made, 9 incorporated lemon juice or lemonade in some way.  Over 1/3.  Very summer appropriate. 
Looking back at all 24, these are the ones that stand out in my memory and the ones that will definitely be made again:

Blackberry Sun Tea - I don't even know how many times I made this over the summer.  A lot!! 

Strawberry Coconut Margarita - my favorite alcoholic beverage of this whole project.  I made it 5 times in July.

Aloha Pineapple Jamba Juice - I knew this would be a favorite.  I will be making this again, and soon.

Sparkling Raspberry Lemonade - Perfectly balanced flavors and so easy to make.  Definitely a nice "fancy" lemonade recipe to have.

Strawberry Margaritas - Another good standard recipe to have.  After making it once I had it memorized.  Will definitely make again.

And finally, for reference, links to all the Mixed Drinks Mondays post for the summer:
Blackberry sun tea & Sex on a beach
Raspberry lemonade smoothie & Pink lemonade cocktail with raspberry vodka
Malibu drink
Strawberry lemonade slushie
Raspberry limeade & Frozen lemonade with coconut rum
Sparkling strawberry lemonade & Strawberry coconut margarita
Sparkling lemonade with berry ice & Skinny pina colada
Strawberry orange smoothie & Pineapple margarita
Aloha pineapple Jamba Juice
Frozen strawberry margarita
Peach lemonade & Raspberry mojito
Coconut peach lemonade & Pineapple mojito
Sparkling raspberry lemonade & Frozen strawberry daiquiri
Orange julius & Strawberry margaritas

Maybe I'll try this again next summer or move onto ice cream.  Either way, it was fun trying out new things and staying away from what was easy.  Definitely a good experiment.


Lauren said...

What a great recap! I have a bottle of Cointreau kicking around gathering dust, I think i can use it in place of Triple Sec... I should try some of your drinks! I really enjoy your adventures :)

diana said...

There were some worth trying again!! Glad you like them. =)