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Shirley's Finished with Temple.

Shirley's finished with temple. Shirley officially turned 21. Happy birthday. And Shirley has a lot of friends who are thirsty. So she is learning how to make a couple of drinks that are easy for entertaining and easy for drinking.

When I'm planning out a menu that includes some drinks, I try to balance out the beers with a fun cocktail (or two). It has to be easy - but even more so - it has to be fresh. None of those syrups or mixes. I get a stomach ache looking at the bottle (and their ingredient list.) I'm also a big fan of making my own simple syrup - which essentially is just boiled water with sugar.

Lastly, I can't remember ever making a cocktail without using the blender. Who doesn't love an icy, slushy alcoholic drink? It's like I'm in Vegas walking around with a 2 foot tall plastic covered cup and silly straw! No, that's not really me at all - but I still love a slushy drink.

Banana Daiquiri

I didn't think I would like this drink. It doesn't sound good to me. The first time I had it we went over to a neighbor's house for drinks after we finished at the beach. They had this oasis of a backyard that made you think you were on a surfing vacation in Costa Rica. Pan left to Jane who enters carrying a tray of banana daiquiris - her go-to drink. I soon learned why.

Ingredients:

3 ounces rum (like Bacardi)

3 ripe bananas, peeled*

2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon sugar

juice of 1 lime

1 cup ice cubes

Directions:

Blend and serve!

Yield: Makes about 3 glasses

*Notes on bananas:

The bananas I use for this recipe are usually ones I've thrown in the freezer. When my bananas are super ripe I will wrap them in plastic to freeze for a time like this. Aka- drink time.

Orange Blueberry Mojito

Whenever I have berries that are on their way out, I pop them in a bag and freeze them for an occasion to make this drink. P.S. - the color of this drink is so gorgeous.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup rum (like Bacardi)

1 tablespoon mint leaves, whole

1/3 cup simple syrup (see below for recipe)

1 1/3 cups ice cubes

Directions:

Blend and serve!

Yield - Makes 4 glasses

Basic Simple Syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Boil the water and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week or frozen for 3 months.

Vodka Gimlet

Ingredients:

1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1/2 cup top shelf vodka

1/2 cup basil simple syrup (see below for recipe)

1 1/3 cups ice cubes

Directions:

Blend and serve!

Basil Simple Syrup:

1/2 cup basil leaves (feel free to use ugly pieces and stems)

1/2 cup sugar (I used cane sugar)

1/2 cup water

Boil all the ingredients in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved and basil wilts, about 5 minutes. This recipe will make twice what you need. It keeps in the fridge for a week and in the freezer for 3 months.

#cocktails #glutenfree