Hello there! Today I’m kicking off a mini series in honor of the Fourth of July (insert fireworks here; boom! pow! ooooo! ahhhh!).
Whether you are headed to a big party, the park for a picnic, or just having a small gathering at your own place, the four recipes I offer to you over the next few days will help make your Independence Day celebration delicious. The idea is that you can make these ahead of time and at the start of the party. They will keep and still be enjoyable as they come to room temperature so you too can enjoy the holiday! Serve these four for a complete party or add to it crudites, chips and dips and a green salad and you have the ultimate (and low maintenance) spread. Additionally, these recipes can easily be doubled or halved to make just the right amount for your shindig.
So just what am I offering up? For starters, you need a holiday cocktail! So today we will talk about the Lynchburg Lemonade. Second on the list is Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. This no mayo pasta salad keeps it worry free picnic fare. Lastly I offer two different sliders that could be made as full sized burgers but sliders are too cute and being smaller allows people to have one of each without going into a full blown food coma. The first is an Oven Fried Chicken Slider and the second a Carolina Burger Slider.
So did someone say cocktail? You betcha I did! This cocktail comes from the home of Jack Daniel’s Whiskey, Lynchburg Tennessee. I’m normally not a whiskey girl and usually would prefer a bourbon. Four of us taste tested these and let me tell you, we were all happy to test more than one!! Yes, they were that good!
A Lynchburg Lemonade is usually made from Jack Daniel’s, triple sec, sour mix and sprite/7-up or other lemon-lime soda. I decided to go all out with these and made homemade sour mix and substituted Cointreau for the triple sec. After making my own sour mix, I’ll never go back to store bought. Homemade is light years better, easy to make and all around, a no brainer. And this Lynchburg Lemonade was super easy to mix up during the party.
Some cocktail tips for you:
- Keep your party day really low stress and make your sour mix a day or two in advance. It can easily keep in the refrigerator for at least a week.
- If you want to make this cocktail less sweet use club soda or seltzer instead of lemon-lime soda.
- Keep all of your ingredients in the refrigerator. You can even keep the alcohol in the freezer. Keeping your ingredients colder will slow the melting of your ice. Quick melting ice = watered down cocktail. No one likes a watery cocktail.
- This cocktail mixes up easily as individual drinks or as a pitcher. Just make sure you keep the ratio of ingredients the same.
- 1 part Jack Daniel's Whiskey
- 1 part Cointreau (or triple sec, Grand Marnier, or other orange flavor liqueur)
- 1 part homemade sour mix (recipe below)
- 3 parts lemon lime soda (or club soda/seltzer for a less sweet version)
- Lemon wedges for garnish (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (4 - 6 lemons)
- 1 1/2 cups lime juice (6 - 9 limes)
- Fill a 16oz glass 3/4 full with ice
- Using a standard size shot glass pour 1 glassful each of Jack, Cointreau, and homemade sour mix and 3 glassfuls of lemon lime soda over the ice.
- Stir, garnish and serve.
- In a small saucepan heat sugar and water over medium heat stirring occasionally until dissolved.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Mix the simple syrup (water/sugar mixture) and the lemon and lime juice.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
**Make a full pitcher by mixing 1 cup each Jack, Cointreau, and sour mix and 3 cups of lemon lime soda. Store in the refrigerator until ready to pour. Add ice at the last minute.
**Use an electric citrus juicer to make easy work of all those lemons and limes!!