Spring cocktail time! This one that I made with Savvy Housekeeping tastes like a delicate and refreshing grapefruit-elderflower soda with strawberries. (But don’t let that fool ya’ … there’s vodka in there!) Use juicy Ruby Red grapefruits, which are still hanging around, and fresh strawberries, which have just started their season. You can even leave out the vodka, for a lower-alcohol version.
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce St. Germain (elderflower liqueur)
1/2 ounce simple syrup
3 strawberries, cut up
Club soda (about 4 ounces)
Muddle the juice, liqueur, simple syrup, and strawberries in a mixing glass or cocktail shaker and then stir in the vodka. Pour into a glass and add ice, then top off with club soda.
This is the time of year when it’s actually possible to get fresh, ripe peaches instead of the rock-hard fuzzy lumps they call peaches the rest of the year. When I’m not eating peaches, I’m drinking them. Peaches and hot weather are meant for each other. Just like bubbly Collins cocktails and summer go hand in hand. So bring the two together and you have some kind of super summer cocktail!
(A Tom Collins is made with gin, so I’m taking some liberties in calling this a Collins. I guess I could have called it a vodka Mojito, I guess. Whatever. Effervescent vodka drinks don’t seem to have a special name. Or if they do, I don’t know it. Shutting up about that now …)
Peach Vodka Collins
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce peach syrup*
1/2 ounce lemon juice
club soda (about 4 ounces)
Fresh peach slices
Fill a Collins glass with ice and pour in all ingredients, one at a time. Slightly mash the peach slices, then place them in the drink. Garnish with mint.
*Peach Syrup (makes about 3/4 cup)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 peach, pitted and sliced
Boil all ingredients for 5-7 minutes. Let the mixture cool, then strain out the peaches and set them aside for another use (like dessert topping). Refrigerate. Add a tablespoon of vodka, if desired, to make the syrup keep longer.
Photo by Jackson Stakeman