> BLACKBERRY, MINT, & CUCUMBER GIN SPRITZER
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BLACKBERRY, MINT, & CUCUMBER GIN SPRITZER

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Can you believe there are only a few weeks of Summer left? That means now is the time to squeeze in as many of your favorite summer activities before Fall is officially here. I still have a pretty long list of things that I want to do this summer, but to be honest I just want to eat as many peaches and plums as I can before they are out of season. You might already be thinking of the different ways you plan on enjoying your last days of summer. Maybe you want to take one last trip to that lake you love? Or how about that hike you have been wanting to go on? I am sure the options are endless, but may I humbly suggest carving out a night where you and your friends get together, make a fleet of summery drinks, and watch the sunset. Sounds pretty good, huh?
Summer cocktails are the best, aren’t they? I mean a margarita tastes great anytime of the year, but a frosty margarita on a hot summer day? Perfection. So you might already by thinking, “oh yeah, a cocktail sounds great right now, but I don’t know what to make”. Well my friend, you are in luck!  The lovely ladies Sherrie, from With Food + Love and Renee from Will Frolic for Food have gotten a group of incredible bloggers together who have each created a delicious seasonal drink for you to make and enjoy. There are so many summery drinks for you to choose from, so find one that tickles your fancy, make it, and enjoy each sip while you enjoy a warm and pleasant evening. To check out all these recipes, simply click on the links above and you will find a list of over 30 creations from fellow bloggers that will show you how to make the drink of your dreams.
For my contribution to this virtual cocktail party I present to you this ever-so refreshing blackberry, cucumber & mint gin spritzer. What’s great about this drink is that it tastes just as good without the liquor, but you know you want that gin in there.
Remember this is the time to enjoy that sun and #drinkthesummer!

CUCUMBER & MINT SIMPLE SYRUP

Yields about 3/4 cup
1/2 Cup Evaporated Cane Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
6 Cucumber slices, 1/2 inch thick with skin removed
2 Large mint sprigs, about 15 leaves
Equipment: Saucepan, fine mesh sieve, jar or other sealed container

METHOD

Place sugar and water in sauce pan and set to medium hight heat. Remove from heat once mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Add the cucumber and mint and let steep for about 30 minutes. Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve and into a sealable container.
Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

BLACKBERRY, CUCUMBER & MINT GIN COOLER

Makes 1 drink
1/4 Cup Blackberries, about 6
5-6 Teaspoons Cucumber Mint Simply Syrup
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 ounces Gin
Ice
3 ounces Soda Water
Equipment: Muddler, 1, 8 oz glass

METHOD

Place blackberries in a cup and muddle until berries are broken down. Mix in about 5 teaspoon of the simple syrup into the mashed berries. If your prefer a sweeter drink add an additional 1-2 teaspoons of syrup to your drink.
Next, mix in gin and fill the glass with ice. Top drink off with about 3 oz of water and gently mix everything with a spoon. Garish with mint and enjoy!

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