In celebration of all the May birthdays in my family (that’s me, Rodney, Kathy, Meaghan and Patrick) I have a super fun, get-you-tipsy-without-realizing-it, sparkly cocktail. If you’ve ever made a mojito at home, you’ve made simple syrup by dissolving sugar in water. For this drink, we dissolve sugar in fresh-squeezed lemon juice and infuse it with fresh rosemary—ooo, yum! After a few hours of cooling (but if you can’t wait you can put it in the fridge), you mix up your simple syrup with vodka and a splash of club soda or seltzer to give it a kick and some fizz. You can make this without vodka, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Happy birthday (or un-birthday as the case may be)!
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Time: 10 minutes active; about 2 hours 10 minutes total
1 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 (8 inch) rosemary sprigs, cut in half
3/4 cup vodka
About 1/2 cup club soda or seltzer, chilled
1. Pour the lemon juice and sugar into a small pot. Add rosemary sprigs. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Then turn heat to low and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit at least 2 hours or up to overnight, if you really love rosemary.
2. Remove the rosemary from the syrup. Fill glasses with ice and divide the syrup among them. Divide vodka among glasses and top with club soda or seltzer. Shake and serve, garnished with lemon zest and a small rosemary sprig.
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking, and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.