Citrus flavors are indispensable in many classic cocktails, so it’s no stretch to assume that lemonade would make a great mixer or ingredient in an alcoholic drink. With its refreshing acidity, light sweetness, and bright, summery flavor, lemonade can add new dimensions to many drink recipes.
Naughty Arnold Palmer
The Arnold Palmer, equal parts iced tea and lemonade, is a classic, refreshing summertime drink. To make it a cocktail, simply add 1-1/2 ounces vodka, preferably citrus flavored. Garnish with a lemon, just as you would a normal Arnold Palmer.
Basil Lemonade Martini
Lemon matches well with most herbs in drinks as well as food. Muddle some fresh basil leaves, add ice, 3 ounces of gin or vodka, and 2 ounces of lemonade, shake and strain into a martini glass. Float a whole basil leaf on top for garnish.
Berry Lemon Fizz
In a glass filled with ice, add 1-1/2 ounces of raspberry or blackberry vodka, then fill with lemonade and top with a splash of soda water or lemon-lime soda. The tart lemon and berry flavors are a refreshing combination.
Lemon Rosemary Martini
For another cocktail with an herbal twist, try this aromatic martini. Coarsely chop a sprig of rosemary and add to a shaker filled with ice. Add 5 ounces of gin and a splash of lemonade, shake vigorously, strain and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with a small rosemary sprig.
Minted Lemonade Punch
Start by making mint simple syrup: bring 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar to a boil, stir until the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add about 1/2 cup of chopped mint leaves. Let steep for 30 minutes. To a pitcher full of ice, add the following for each serving: 1 ounce vodka, 1/2 ounce orange liqueur and 1 teaspoon mint syrup. Fill the pitcher to the top with lemonade and stir. Garnish with mint leaves and lemon wedges.
Start with a shaker full of ice. Add 2 ounces of citrus vodka, 1 ounce of limoncello (an Italian lemon liqueur, available at most liquor stores), 1 ounce of lemonade, and then squeeze a few lemon wedges into the shaker and toss in the rinds. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass and top with a splash of sparkling wine, preferably a dry wine with citrus flavors and aromas. Garnish with a lemon twist.
References and ResourcesArnold Palmer: The 19th Hole
Martha Stewart: Mint-Infused Simple Syrup
ResourcesEpicurious: Top Ten Lemonade Cocktails
Wine Enthusiast: Winter Wonders