the porch swing

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i mentioned earlier that i had slipped some of that strawberry lemonade into something boozy. that’s it up there, a drink called the porch swing. it’s a swill of equal parts gin and pimm’s no. 1 cup, plus the lemonade and a splash of 7 up – and it’s mighty delicious. i’m so glad it actually tastes good, too, because i had already loved it terribly for its name alone. i’m a sucker for things like that.

i have to tell you, i’m pretty much a pansy when it comes to alcohol. my friends make fun of me because, like a typical girl, i like all the stuff that tastes like juice. the list is short: moscato d’asti, lindeman’s framboise, pear cider, malibu and coke, sangria. every once in a while, though, i can handle something stronger… it just has to go down easy. so, um, long island iced teas and shots of soco and lime. let’s not get into what those extremes say about me.

this drink would fall into the latter category. it’s a drink that’s got some muscle, but without that unpleasant burn or the aroma of sharpie. this recipe calls specifically for hendrick’s gin, which apparently is just about the most expensive gin they have at bevmo


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…and pimm’s no. 1 cup, which was new to me. it’s a syrupy brown liqueur the color of tea that is supposed to have citrus and spice flavors. it is bri-ish. (say that with an accent. my friends do it all the time.)

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the result is quite lovely. it’s fresh and clean tasting with a pretty, floral flavor (perhaps because of that pricey gin, which is “infused with rose petal,” among other things). i served it at the cocktail party over the weekend, and it paired so well with the summer evening and its slow breezes.

…i’m adding it to the list.

note: i might consider making it with strawberry lemonade from now on. i’m fairly certain it tasted prettier that way.


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Porch Swing
{for a crowd}
Quantities multiplied from this single-serving recipe
Makes about 7 cups

1 ½ cups Hendrick’s Gin
1 ½ cups Pimm’s
No. 1 Cup
4 cups lemonade (1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, ½ cup sugar, and 2 ½ cups water) or
strawberry lemonade

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir. Pour by the glass, adding ice and a splash of 7-Up to each just before serving.

strawberry lemonade

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maybe it’s bad form to spend my precious time here complaining about the weather… but it is HOT. i don’t know what the temperatures have been lately, but i would venture a guess that it’s around one hundred and shrivel degrees farenheit. i don’t even know if it’s a dry heat or a humid one; i just know every time i go outside in the afternoon i regret my decision.

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so i spent a little spot of last weekend mashing ripe strawberries and reaming juice out of lemons and limes (using a fork, ’cause it’s what i got) to make some strawberry lemonade, to see if it would help. i’ve been revisiting the pitcher of it in the fridge throughout the week: pouring a glassful over ice, or splashing in some fizzy soda, and even mixing it into a delicious and boozy drink (which i’ll be telling you about soon). i think it’s combating the heat quite nicely.

it’s a tasty way to cope.

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Strawberry Lemonade
makes 8 servings
adapted a whole bunch from this recipe {Martha Stewart Living, July 2009}

Strawberry Syrup:
2 cups water
ripe strawberries, sliced then mashed with a fork to make 1 cup
1 cup sugar

Lemonade:
1 ¼ cups fresh lemon and/or lime juice (I used the juice of 4 lemons and 4 limes)
1 cup sugar
5 cups water, or to taste

  1. Make strawberry syrup: bring water, mashed strawberries, and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve, pressing gently on berries to release juices; discard solids. Let syrup cool completely.
  2. Make lemonade: strain juice(s) through a fine sieve into a large pitcher. Add sugar, stirring until it dissolves. Stir in water.
  3. Add syrup to pitcher and stir to combine. Serve immediately with lots of ice; or dilute with more water to taste and chill for later.