Who’s ready for the long weekend? I know I am. This is the weekend that unofficially kicks off the Summer outdoor season here in California. A lot of people will be celebrating by firing up the grill to feed the party-goers lounging out by the pool. And why not? The weather here is perfect for it!
But first, let’s not forget what Memorial Day is all about. Memorial Day is, of course, a day for remembering and celebrating the lives of those men and women who died while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day actually originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died and has evolved over the years to honor all Americans who died while serving our country. My dad served in WWII. He was fortunate to have survived the brutality of that war. We honor his memory on Veterans’ Day.
While I haven’t personally known any soldiers that have perished during their service to our great country, I do have friends that have had family members who died while serving our country. It is those people–the men and women that lost their lives while serving our country and fighting for our freedom–that we honor this Memorial Day.
Today, Garrett’s middle school is heading out to Riverside National Cemetery (where my Dad is buried) to put flags on the markers. I love that his school is doing that. The trip will help bring the proper awareness of the holiday to the forefront for the kids. While I’m sure they’re all looking forward to their 3-day weekend and the start of the summer party season (even though they’ve got a couple of weeks of school left), I’m glad they’re pausing to reflect on the real reason for the Memorial Day holiday.
Now that we’ve had a moment to think about our loved ones and friends we know that are serving or have served our country, wouldn’t you say that it’s time for a cocktail? Well, I’m about to serve up my favorite cocktail recipe–just for you. Every sip screams SUMMER! Seriously, it’s the perfect cocktail for your Memorial Day celebration. I present to you, Beth’s Basil-Lime Bliss:
I’m not a fan of sweet cocktails. But I can’t drink tequila shots or vodka tonics like I used to (yes, tequila shots–don’t judge). So this drink is perfect. It’s just the right amount of tartness (from the lime) and natural sweetness (from the pineapple) and herbaceousness (spell checker is telling me that’s not a word, but I’m not buying it!).
This recipe is not my own–it comes from one of my favorite friends, who happens to be a Superstar competitive cook: Beth Royals!
Beth is truly a Shining Star in the competitive cooking world. Thank goodness I’ve never had to compete against her. She’s in the Hall of Fame at Cooking Contest Central, for Pete’s sake! Her picture is on the cover of the book “Cookoff: Recipe Fever in America,” by Amy Sutherland. I’m just sayin’, Beth doesn’t mess around when it comes to cooking and cocktails. She’s famous for her chocolate chip cookies. Her boys’ teachers get the cutest and most delicious treats in town. And my son goes absolutely bonkers for her specially “embellished” Oreo cookies. But seriously, her talents go way beyond the kitchen. She’s always creating–whether it’s jewelry, beautiful scented and herb-infused soaps, lotions and lip gloss, lovely paper crafts like stationery–heck, she even makes doggy and kitty treats! I don’t think she sleeps. I just love her. And her Basil-Lime Bliss.
BETH’S BASIL-LIME BLISS COCKTAIL
- 4 1-inch chunks fresh pineapple (I bought from salad bar)
- 5 basil leaves
- 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) simple syrup*
- 3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka
Add the remaining ingredients to the shaker, along with some ice. Shake and then strain into small cocktail glass filled with crushed ice (or if desired, you can strain it into a martini glass and omit the crushed ice, but if you plan on serving it straight up, you will definitely need to double the ingredients to fill the glass).
Garnish with a sprig of basil and a chunk of pineapple or lime slice on side of glass.
Servings: One small drink. I typically double.
*Simple syrup: Boil equal parts water and sugar just until dissolved, then cool.