Fresh-Squeezed Blackberry Lemonade

Fresh-squeezed blackberry lemonadeThere are few things that are more refreshing than a tall glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade on a hot summer day.  A jump in the pool or a mist with the hose are right up there, too.  This blackberry lemonade is so delicious; I could drink it all day.  In fact, I did drink it all day!  I know it’s not quite summer yet, but the weather is amazing and enjoying a glass of lemonade in the sun absolutely made my day.  Oh, and I was able to officially break out my sundress collection last week.  I am a happy girl.  Fresh-squeezed blackberry lemonade

I squeezed all my lemons by hand, but a juicer would speed up the prep on this recipe.  I ran probably half of the lemon juice through a strainer to remove some of the pulp, but left the rest.  As a finishing touch, I put a handful of lemon slices and fresh blackberries in the lemonade before it chilled.  I love eating the fruit out of the bottom of my glass when I’ve finished drinking it all.  I think that’s my favorite part!Fresh-squeezed blackberry lemonade

You can use any type of berries with this lemonade recipe, just make sure you strain the seeds out!  The blackberry lemonade I made was sweet, but still slightly tart.  You can always reduce the sugar if you like your lemonade a little more on the tart side.  …Or you know, add sugar if you want it really sweet. :)   I imagine it’d be great with a splash of vodka, too or frozen in an ice cube tray and blended for a lemonade slushie!  You could choose not to add all of the water and seal it in a large mason jar to bring camping or on a picnic.  Just add the amount of cold water you left out when you’re ready to drink it.  That way you can bring it along without having to find room in the cooler for a whole pitcher!Fresh-squeezed blackberry lemonade

Fresh-Squeezed Blackberry Lemonade

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 9 cups


  • ~7 lemons (1 1/2 cups lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 + 5 cups water
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 pint blackberries


  1. Juice the lemons. Remove seeds, strain pulp if desired.
  2. Heat sugar and 2 cups water to boiling and stir to dissolve all of the sugar. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least a half hour.
  3. Puree ~1 cup blackberries and strain seeds if desired; you will end up with about 1/3 cup blackberry puree.
  4. Mix lemon juice, sugar water, remaining water and blackberry puree and refrigerate until chilled.
  5. Serve over ice.

Vanilla Coffee Syrup and Cold Brewed Coffee

Homemade Vanilla Syrup and Cold Brewed Coffee

My coffee machine is on the fritz.  Sorry, did I say on the fritz?  I meant broken.  It’s so irritating – I’ve only had the thing for 8 months!  I’ve adjusted by using my espresso machine and fixing myself lots of lattes!  …And by steeping a filter with coffee grounds in a cup of hot water like tea.

Homemade Vanilla Syrup

I made a batch of homemade vanilla coffee syrup to liven up the lattes I’ve been drinking.  It was pretty standard as far as vanilla coffee syrup goes, and it’s so much cheaper to make it yourself.  Next time I want to add honey and make honey vanilla syrup.  I think that it would be perfect with hot blackberry tea.  Naturally, I really want to whip up a batch of caramel syrup too – keep your eyes open, it’s bound to happen in the next few weeks!Homemade Vanilla Syrup

Vanilla Coffee Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Heat sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes, just to thicken the syrup up a little bit.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla (you can adjust this for different levels of flavor or substitute a different flavored extract).
  3. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.Homemade Vanilla Syrup

My husband and I are fortunate enough to not pay for heat in our apartment building and it’s usually right around 74-76 without even turning the thermostat on (almost too warm – we have crack the window overnight).  With that heat, some days I crave an iced coffee despite the icy temperature outside.  I’ve just discovered the process of cold brewing coffee this year and I am in love with!  In summer, I used to brew a pot and stick it in the fridge for a couple hours to cool –  no more of that!  You can make a whole pitcher at once with this method and it’ll last you all week!  …Or maybe only a couple days if you drink coffee the way I do.

Cold Brewed Coffee

Cold Brewed Coffee

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups coffee grounds
  1. In a pitcher, or any container large enough that can be covered, mix water and coffee grounds.  Mix or shake to ensure that all of the grounds have been submerged.  Let it sit for 8-12 hours – overnight works perfectly.
  2. When ready, place a coffee filter into a funnel and put the funnel over the container you will be storing your cold brewed coffee in.
  3. Pour the coffee, grounds and all, into the funnel and let the filter do its job.  Add more as it empties until all of your coffee is filtered!
  4. Store in the refrigerator, the coffee will be good for up to two weeks.

Holiday Russian

Holiday Russian via elisebakesNothing speaks to me during the holidays better than a comforting, creamy drink.  So I give you a festive way to ease your holiday stress – the Holiday Russian.  I’m betting there’s probably a name for a White Russian made with Eggnog, but I couldn’t really find anything other than ‘Eggnog Russian ‘ (okay, I didn’t look that hard) and that’s boring, so I’m dubbing it the Holiday Russian.Holiday Russian via elisebakes

  • 1 oz Caramel Vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 2 oz Eggnog

Pour in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour in a small tumbler or rocks glass over ice.  Easy peasy!

Caramel Mudslide Cocktail

Mmm…Bailey’s.  Yep, I went out and bought a bottle of Bailey’s for a cup of hot chocolate the other night because it was soo cold out!  There are a million other delicious ways to drink Bailey’s too!  Two of my favorites are mudslides and blind russians.  A blind Russian is vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey’s, and a mudslide is the same plus cream.  I used caramel coffee creamer to add flavor…I must confess that I added a spoonful of salted caramel sauce as well.  I love caramel!

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Bailey’s
  • 2 oz Cream

Pour in a shaker with ice, shake, and pour in a small tumbler or rocks glass over ice.  It’s that easy.

Salted Caramel Latte

I am not functional without caffeine.  I can (and have) had coffee-less days, but they are a rarity.  It’s true that I find my eyelids feeling heavier and heavier mid day and need a little energy boost, but that aside, I really do love the taste of coffee and espresso.  This salted caramel latte is delicious, and it won’t require you to stop out of your way and pay $5!

  • 1 Tbsp salted caramel
  • 3/4 cup cold milk (I used 1%)
  • 1/4 cup caramel macchiato coffee creamer
  • 2 shots of espresso
  1. Mix milk and coffee creamer in a cup and place in freezer for a few minutes so that it is very cold.  This makes the steaming process much easier!
  2. Brew espresso (2 shots) and pour in a glass.
  3. Add salted caramel sauce and stir.
  4. Steam the milk mixture and pour over espresso.  Use a spoon to get the last bits of foam if you have to, it’s worth it!