Bourbon slushes

It’s Lissa‘s birthday! Despite the fact that we’re a few states away from each other these days, I’m celebrating with her bourbon slushes. These are such a great hot-weather drink, and are easy to make for a crowd, something Lissa almost always has at her house. :) You should keep these in your freezer this summer!

Bourbon Slushes

Ingredients

  • 2 tea bags
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 6 oz lemonade concentrate
  • 6 oz orange juice concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon
  • 7-Up

Instructions

  1. Steep the two tea bags in the 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  2. Stir in lemonade and orange juice concentrates, water, and bourbon to the tea in a freezer-safe container
  3. Freeze for 24 hours or so (it won’t freeze completely solid because of the bourbon), then use an ice cream scoop or sturdy spoon to scoop into glasses
  4. Top with 7-Up, stir and serve

What are other summer drinks you love??

Happy birthday, girlfriend!

Simple syrup

Try not to be blown away by the beauty of that picture, okay?

I saw bottled simple syrup for sale the other day for a kind of ridiculous price and I was kind of horrified. Its name is no accident, folks; this stuff is crazy easy to make.

Simple syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. I fill my glass Pyrex to the one cup mark, then pour in one cup of sugar, and microwave. I leave a chopstick in it while microwaving because it helps the bubbles escape as it comes close to a boil, and because it’s handy dandy for stirring it every so often
  2. Microwave the syrup for a minute or so at a time, stirring after each minute, till the sugar is completely dissolved, then set on the counter to cool
  3. I store mine in a Wilton squeeze bottle, but any bottle or jar will work just fine.

 

Now you’re all set to make key lime amaretto sours! Iced coffee! Key lime margaritas! The possibilities are endless.

Russian tea

Russian tea recipe

Can I just say, for the record, I have no idea why this is called Russian Tea? I don’t. But I DO know why I’ve kept this recipe, written on orange construction paper, for so long: it is SO GOOD. I used to be a preschool teacher, and the teacher in the next room over gave me this recipe forever ago. Every year I make it it’s just as good as I remembered! There are a lot of versions floating around out there, but this one has never failed me. You will need:

Russian tea mix

  • 2 cups Tang mix
  • 1/3 cup lemonade mix
  • 3/4 cup instant tea (recipe says decaf; I use fully leaded because I have a 3 year old)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves

Then just mix it all in a bowl and store in a jar — so easy that this is a great project for the kids to help with. To serve, pour one cup of hot water over 1 Tbsp. of tea mix (grownups only with the boiling water, obviously).

This mix looks very pretty in little jars for presents, along with some sugar spice craisin nuts.

I must confess, though, my favorite thing to do with this tea is to enjoy a steaming cup of it in the afternoon with a little plate of cookies. It’s downright civilized, I tell you. My two favorite accompaniments for Russian tea this year are these buttered rum meltaways from Erin’s Food Files, and these shortbread cookies from The Novice Chef, my two bloggie sisters in crime. Try them… you won’t be sorry!

Russian tea

Lilly tea

Are you all enjoying your sweet tea?

Now you want to know how to add a little variety? How to turn this:

Into this?

This is so easy it’s almot not even fair to call it a recipe. But regardless:

  • One quart sweet tea
  • One quart orange juice
  • Lemons

That. Is. It. See how this is barely a recipe? But it is SO good. I found it in Essentially Lilly (although she didn’t use lemons, as I recall), and it’s awesome.

  1. Mix the tea and juice together, shaking the juice well first
  2. Serve over lemon slices and lots of ice
  3. You may or may not be entertained by adding a little vodka to the mix. Just throwing that out there.

Happy summer!