So, the other day I was on my way back to the cabin after picking up a few groceries…when all of a sudden I see this big black thing on the side of the road.
It’s funny, isn’t it…how your eyes immediately tell your brain… “Oh, it’s a garbage bag..” but your brain has already started computing data, and within milliseconds, it’s sending signals to the eyes that maybe you’re seeing a dog. Nope.. It’s too big to be a dog! Deer? No!! It’s too big and black to be a deer!
And within 2 seconds or less, the data processing experts in my brain came up with the answer, and sent the signal back to my eyes…
It’s a BEAR!!
Okay, so maybe it’s the city girl in me who made this out to be a huge deal. But you know me… and you know that I am deathly afraid of bears. So of course it’s a huge deal. I saw a bear cross the road right in front of me… and I lived! I LIVED!!!
It was terrifying!!
It was exhilarating!!
My kids were excited for me… I did the whole “group text” thing…and they came back immediately with their excited responses and emoticons… Bless their hearts..
But, a couple days later…as I started telling other people about it, I was expecting them to stop in their tracks…their eyes to widen…and their shock and excitement to seep from every pore of their body!! To grab me and hug me hard, and yell to the mountain tops “Thank God she’s alive!!”
I might as well have told them I saw a squirrel climbing a tree..for as much excitement I got out of them…
Okay…so maybe the bear was about 40 yards away. And quite possibly he didn’t even notice me or my car, and his main focus… I’m sure…was to get across the road in one piece. But it was a bear, and it was a big deal for me…
And…I was still shaking by the time I got back to the cabin…
This is just a perfect cocktail to throw together for a casual summer party…it’s more like a wine cooler than anything… sweet from the strawberries, yet tart from the lemonade. And the beauty of this cocktail is that it doesn’t have to be boozy… Simply leave the vodka out! For bear purposes, this cocktail will remain boozy for me..
The simple syrup that I use for this cocktail is so delicious. You’re going to want to use it for more than just cocktails.. I promise. You can use it as a syrup for pancakes, drizzle it over ice cream… french toast, waffles…
It takes no time at all to make lemonade, and mix it with the simple syrup and a little vodka. If you bottle it up like I did here, it will last up to two weeks in your refrigerator. And way less expensive than buying a couple of six packs from the store!
Life is good. It’s a “I faced my fear and lived to tell the tale…and the kind of tale that will grow with time…He had to be at least two thousand pounds, twelve feet high, and five feet in front of me…” kind of good..
- 2½ lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups sugar
- Juice from 10 lemons, or enough to make 1¼ cups
- 6 cups water
- 1-2 cups strawberry simple syrup
- 1 cup citrus vodka
- Combine the strawberries and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low, and simmer for about ½ hour.
- Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, and strain the strawberry mixture through the sieve. Let it drain for about 10 minutes or so, until all the pretty pink liquid has drained into the bowl. Discard the strawberries. SAVE THE LIQUID.
- Pour the strawberry liquid and sugar back into the saucepan, Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and once the sugar dissolves, boil for an additional five minutes.
- Remove from heat, and let cool completely. Place in a jar or bottle with a lid. It will keep refrigerated for up to four weeks.
- In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice and water. Stir to blend. Mix one cup of the strawberry simple syrup into the lemon and water mixture. Continue to add more simple syrup until the lemonade reaches your desired sweetness. Add the vodka, and mix well.
- Refrigerate, and serve over ice.