Entertaining pros know that summer get-togethers call for refreshing cocktails to help you cool down. And while lemonade may seem juvenile, Julia Reed's vodka-infused lavender mint rendition on the classic drink will have you convinced otherwise. And, of course, "You can leave out the booze for toddlers and teetotalers," she advises. This recipe, from , is just begging to be sipped on a porch this summer.
1 cup lavender sugar
8 ½ cups water
1 bunch mint, more for garnish
Juice of 4 lemons, lemon slices for garnish
1 ¼ cups vodka
Fresh lavender sprigs for garnish
Combine the lavender sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved—do not let the mixture color. Remove from the heat and submerge the mint in the mixture. When the mixture has cooled, strain it through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pitcher. (If your sugar contains lavender flowers, line the strainer with cheesecloth.) Add enough ice to fill the pitcher halfway, along with the remaining 8 cups water, lemon juice, and vodka, and stir. Pour into glasses and garnish with a lemon slice and a sprig each of lavender and mint.
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