Tonight, as I write this, winter is baring her teeth. For the last couple of years now snow, a common characteristic of Canadian winters, has been light and barely noticeable around here. While the temperatures outside have been low and cold, the big fluffy white stuff has been next to non-existent. And this winter started off the same way. Sure, we still get some. Just not the quantity we grew up with. I’ll be honest, I love distinct seasons but I’ve come to appreciate a softer winter. But that’s changed recently.
And I’m perfectly okay with it.
As the winds gust up and a blizzard swirls around outside, blanketing a significant part of this region and both sides of the border, we are safe and warm in the comfortable confines of home. We have a fire and a show outside. People are outside shoveling in shifts, never able to fully catch up. We are not unfamiliar with winter storms, but it has been a long time since the last storm of this significance.
Even though winter doesn’t plan on exiting gently anytime soon, I know the end is near. Optimistic? Of course. And that thought alone brings me joy and has me quietly thinking ahead to spring and summer. That and the retail stores where spring merchandise is now piling up by the truck load. And we all know that retail may be early to jump the gun, but they know what we want to know. Spring will be here soon. Don’t blink.
So with that in mind I wanted to make a cocktail fitting for the first days of spring. And valentine’s day ahead. It’s fresh and bright and flavourful. One taste and you’ll be thankful that a new season and change is upon us. Longer hours outside, the light escaping deeper into the night and the warmth of the sun replacing the frigid days we’re used to now. And a special evening spent with the one you love most.
Think mojito. But with a sweet pink spin on it.
- 8 lemons, for pink lemonade
- 1 cup sugar, for pink lemonade
- 3 tbsp. grenadine, for pink lemonade
- 2 tbsp. cranberry juice
- ice cold water, for pink lemonade
- 4 tbsp. sugar
- 4 tbsp. lemon juice
- handful of fresh mint sprigs (about 3/)
- 6 ounces of rum
- 8 tbsp. blueberries
- lemon wheels, garnish
- mint, garnish
- First, make your pink lemonade. Zest the lemons and juice them into a medium bowl. Using a 2 litre pitcher, add about 8 ice cubes. Add in the lemon juice and zest, water and the sugar and give it a good whisk. Stir in the grenadine and cranberry juice and refridgerate until needed.
- To start making the cocktails, put a tablespoon of sugar into the bottom of a rock glass. Add in a lemon wedge and a bit of fresh mint and using a muddler, gently pound all those ingredients together.
- Add ice, filling halfway. Pour in an ounce and a half of rum and 2 tbsp. of blueberries. Top with the homemade pink lemonade and give it a good stir.
- Garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wheel.
- Repeat for the other glasses. Serves 4.
NOTE: If want to save time, you can use store bought pink lemonade as the base. As always, I prefer the flavour and taste of homemade, but store bought will work just fine here.