Cocktail: Boozy Blueberry Lemonade with QC Malt

I know a boozy lemonade seems a little premature, being that it's only February. But I'm tired of 40 degree weather and not knowing what coat to wear. My plan is to encourage warmer days and spring weather the only way I know how: with a cocktail. And I've partnered with QC Malt to make something light, refreshing, and a perfect winter pickmeup.

This recipe is simple, but does require making some blueberry syrup. This syrup recipe, once strained, make enough for 4 or 5 cocktails. And if you've never tried QC Malt Lemon Shrub or Old Dutch, they're worth getting your hands on it. These malted hard sodas are refreshing and easy to drink by themselves, but also serve as great mixers in cocktails.

Boozy Blueberry Lemonade with QC Malt

Makes one drink

Blueberry Syrup:
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Cocktail:
1 1/2 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz blueberry syrup
3 oz QC Malt Lemon Shrub
1/2 oz lemon juice

Make the blueberry syrup: Add blueberries, water, lemon juice, and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Whisk frequently until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Increase to medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring often, and cook for 15 minutes. Pour mixture through a strainer, pressing lightly through with the back of a spoon, and refrigerate until chilled.

Make the cocktail: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add vodka, lemon juice, and blueberry syrup. Shake vigorously. Pour into a glass over ice and top with QC Malt Lemon Shrub. Stir and garnish with a lemon slice. 

This post was sponsored by QCMalt. All opinions and recipes are 100% my own.

Recipe: Blueberry Gin Sour

Today I made you a cocktail that taste like sweettarts.

I don't know if that's something you're into or not, but this cocktail is damn good. Fruity with a bit of tart and without being too sugary sweet. The egg whites make it frothy and seem wayyyy fancier than it actually is. My favorite kinds of cocktails and those that can be made quickly and easily, and thought you do have to prep the blueberry syrup, once that's done a head of time it's just a matter of throwing everything in the cocktail shaker and giving it a good long shake.

If you're not interested in the egg white (or are vegan), you can always leave that out. But if you've never had a cocktail with egg whites I highly recommend them. They don't taste eggy or anything like that (because that would be awful). It just adds a creaminess and a frothiness to the drink. It's fun! Try it! This is a full-on peer pressure situation.

Blueberry Gin Sour

Blueberries Syrup
1 1/2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water

Cocktail (makes one drink)
2 1/2 oz gin
2 oz blueberry syrup
juice from half lemon
1 egg white
ice

To make the blueberry syrup: add blueberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice into a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and cold water with a fork. Slowly stir the cornstarch into the blueberry mixture, trying not to pop or crush any berries. Stirring frequently, cook for 5-10 minutes longer, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes, then pour into a mason jar or an airtight container with a lid. Place in refrigerator to cool completely. 

To make the cocktail: add ice, gin, and blueberry syrup into a cocktail shaker. Juice half a lemon and add one egg white. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds until the egg whites are frothy. Pour through a strainer into a coupe glass. Garnish with a sprig of thyme or some lemon peel.

Recipe: Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Sometimes you bake things because you need to use up what's in the fridge. Recently I've be struggling real hard with using fruits and vegetables and eating leftovers before they find there way to the back of my fridge to turn and grow mold (adulting is hard, folks!). So when the weekend hit and I had some time to spend in the kitchen, I decided to figure out a simple recipe that would use up some blueberries, lemons, and yogurt instead of running out to the store. 

This recipe looks like a lot of steps, but it's fairly simple to make. Plus, unlike cookies or cupcakes or even a layer cake, this batter all goes into one pan and into the oven, with just a few check-ins needed. No running back and forth to the oven to load in more cookies or refill cupcake pans, which was just what I wanted from this Saturday morning baking session. 

Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Yields one loaf
adapted from this Bon Appetit Magazine

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 handfuls of blueberries
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
8 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a loaf pan by lining with parchment paper so the hangs over on the long sides and spraying it with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a separate bowl, toss blueberries with 2 teaspoons of flour until coated. Side aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add granulated sugar and lemon zest and work the zest into the sugar with your fingers until slight clumps appear and mixture is fragrant. Add eggs, oil, and vanilla and beat until light and thick, about 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, then 3/4 cup of yogurt. Scrape down the bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients followed by 5 tablespoons of lemon juice. Using a spatula, fold in blueberries until they are evenly throughout the batter and scrape into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Poke holes into the top of the cake and brush with remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cool for 15 minutes and then lift cake out of pan with parchment paper and let cool completely on a wire rack. 

Whisk together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of water, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl until combined and drizzle over cooled cake. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest (optional) and let glaze set, about 30 minutes, before slicing.

Blueberry Lime Smash

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 6.jpg

Recently, I've been discovering the world of cocktails. I usually never ordered them while out to dinner or out for drinks because it was hard for me to envision how it would taste. I've always tried my mom's martinis and rarely ever liked them. They never tasted like much more than vodka. Then I became a beer gal, which was Tim's influence, trying different beers and discovering what I liked. But now that it's summer, I've be trying out fruity cocktails. They just seem so special.

I stumbled upon Cindy's wonderful blog, Hungry Girl por Vida, and her recipe for Blackberry Ginger Smash. Upon reading, I learned that a smash is a cocktail made by muddling mint and sugar, and maybe adding some kind of fruit, and booze and soda. Sounds like everything I want in a cocktail! In my recipe, I left out the sugar because it becomes way too sweet, but you do as you please. Here we go.

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 4.jpg

Blueberry Lime Smash

makes 1 drink

  • handful of blueberries (about 20 or so)
  • 4-6 mint leaves, depending on the size
  • half a lime
  • 2oz vodka (or more if like your drink with some bite, I did.)
  • berry flavored zero-calorie sparkling water (or soda water)

You could either make this drink directly in the glass or in a shaker. If you don't mind having chucks of fruit and mint in your drink, make it in the glass. I prefer to strain that out so chunks don't get stuck in the straw. I am anti-chunks. Especially if it's chunks of fruit. Bleh.

In a shaker, muddle blueberries, mint, and a squeeze of lime juice until the mint is bruised and all the berries broken up. Add vodka and ice, shake. 

Strain into a lowball glasses. Fill the rest of the glass with the flavored sparkling water. Finish with another squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with a few whole blueberries and a lime slice. Bam. New favorite at-home cocktail.

Part of the fun with cocktail recipes is you can change things around so they fit your specific tastes. More or less mint, a different kind of berry or fruit, gin instead of vodka. The possibilities are pretty limitless. 

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 1.jpg

These would also be very easy to make in a large batch for guests or a party. Tim and I are kind of obsessed with those zero-calorie flavored sparkling waters. We usually pick up 5-6 of them each time we go to the food store. There are so many different flavors and they're like 50cents a bottle! We usually buy the store brand and they're found in the water aisle.

Blueberry Smash Cocktail 2.jpg

Enjoy! :)