In addition to being lovers of libation, Nicky and I are long-time theater enthusiasts who have spent way too much time in dark cavernous theaters trying to find our light. Which may explain the love of libation. I digress.
Atlanta Lyric Theatre holds a special place in our hearts, so it was a pleasure to create a signature drink for their annual subscriber soiree. The company needed a libation that was easier to produce in large quantities and could be enjoyed sitting atop the roof terrace of the theater. The result of our efforts is a lovely, refreshing glass of what we call “Lyric Lemonade.”
The base is a tart, freshly made, hand squeezed lemonade. Add to that diced cucumbers and chopped basil and let it sit and begin a relationship. Then add in some elderflower liqueur for some citrus and floral notes. Of course, the final ingredient is a good helping of gin. (We prefer the smoother tastes of Plymouth or Miller. But if you want to use Hendricks it will give it a definitive edge.)
(makes a half gallon)
50 oz Fresh Lemonade
10 oz Gin (Plymouth or Miller)
2 oz Elderflower Liqueur
1 to 2 diced cucumbers
lots of chopped fresh basil
Add the cucumber and basil to the lemonade and if you have time, let it sit a couple of hours so that the flavors blend well. Then add the elderflower liqueur and gin.
Serve in a high ball over ice and garnish with a cucumber wheel.
Want some variation?
Instead of using elderflower liqueur, we’ve created a simple syrup of orange, grapefruit, vanilla bean and rose water. In a sauce pan combine equal parts water and sugar, then add in orange and grapefruit slices with a half of a vanilla bean and a splash of rose water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes. You can bottle this and keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
For more information on Atlanta Lyric Theater, click here and check out their upcoming season.