Summer Berry Smash

Summer is in full swing and I can honestly say that I am LOVING it. This year I’ve challenged myself to get out and do more things and enjoy the city. So far I’ve made good on that promise. I’ve been out and about at the farmer’s market, the museum and at the movies. I’ve tried several of the restaurants on my list and I’ve become a coffee shop regular. I’ve found several new local shops that I am going to stop by this weekend and I’ve been loving all of the festivals and pop-up markets around the city. I can honestly say that I’ve been having a great time.

One of the things that I have enjoyed the most this summer is trying some local restaurants. Local restaurants are honestly the best. The food is so much better than large chain restaurants and the menus are always unique.  This summer I’ve particularly enjoyed trying different cocktails at different restaurants. I’m not at drinker AT ALL and I can barely make it through one drink without starting to see double (okay, I’m being dramatic but you get the point) but I just love a good summer cocktail. Since I’m not a drinker, I do like to opt for floral and somewhat fruity drinks or drinks with mild flavors. Last weekend I had several good drinks at Bar Solita (okay, I only had two drinks) and the perfect mojito at Havana 59. After having those drinks I was inspired to come up with a concoction of my own.

Now, since I am not a drinker this recipe doesn’t call for much alcohol at all, however you should feel free to increase the amount of alcohol until your heart is content (just don’t overdo it!). Also, I don’t like super sweet drinks so I opted for flavored sparkling water as opposed to sugary ginger ale or Sprite but you can use whatever you like.

Again, with all of my recipes, they are only meant to be a guide. Always feel free to substitute, add or remove items. Cooking should be less about following directions and more about experimenting and making something you actually want to eat.

Until we chat again, keep enjoying your summer and let me know wich restaurants in RVA have the best cocktails. I am going to add them to my list.

Berry Smash

  • 1 pkg Blackberries                   – 10-20 Basil leaves         – 1 pkg Strawberries                       – 1 Mango
  • 1 Lime                                          – 1 Lemon                           – Mango Nectar                                – Rum
  • Pineapple

Directions:

Dice strawberries and mango and place in a large mason jar. Add in the blackberries, mango pit, quartered lemon and lime and torn basil leaves.

Add in mango nectar and rum (to taste). Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to assemble, scoop out desired amount of fruit. Muddle and add in some of the rum and mango nectar mixture. Top with sparking flavored water, ginger ale, ginger beer, or Sprite.

Garnish with a grilled pineapple wedge, strawberry and basil leaves and serve.

*If you want the drinks to be super cold, dice an extra mango into bite sized pieces and freeze. Use these frozen mango pieces as “ice” instead of traditional ice to keep the drinks cold.

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