I live for lemonade in the summertime, and I pretty much always have. Growing up, I, like many others, ran a bustling lemonade stand, a job that I took very, very seriously. I mean, how could I not? We're talking about only the most refreshing summer drink ever! I also enjoyed the lemonade and limeade frozen concentrate that my Mom would keep in the freezer at all times. In fact, I loved that stuff so much that sometimes I'd eat it straight from the can, forgetting all about the delicious drink that it could potentially be (or, in my I-ate-it-all case, not be). When we'd venture out to the country fair and 4H fair, I'd beg and plead and cry for a lemon shake-up (please tell me you know what those are!). Give me a lemon shake-up and a funnel cake and I'll be the happiest girl....at least for the 2 minutes before they're both devoured! Sadly, I was denied more lemon shake-ups than I was allowed, so like all lemons, I turned the situation into lemonade. Yup, I started making my own shake-ups at home, because ain't nobody gonna deny me my shake-ups! Those favorite drinks of childhood were the inspiration for these more grown-up lemonade shake-ups. While they aren't much more complicated to make, the results look elaborate. The blackberry flavor was a no-brainer for this time of year, and using jam makes it easier and more cost-effective than using actual berries. The guava juice (Goya makes a good one) adds a nice tropical punch to the drink, and I couldn't resist the addition of one of my favorite flavors, hibiscus. The syrup packs a fruity, slightly spicy punch and the flowers taste like candy. They can certainly be left out of the drink, but it's an easy way to up the ante on a simple glass of lemonade. FYI, look for the candied hibiscus flowers in the mixer section of a liquor or grocery store....I used this brand (which you can order online here). And, of course, everything is better with a little bubbly, so I finished things off with seltzer water (but for the evening, I would top it off with champagne and a floater of St. Germain). With so many fancy lemonades to choose from between mine, Grace's strawberry mint option and Luci's fresh peach one, you'll have more than enough refreshing options to cheers with all summer long!
SPARKLING HIBISCUS BLACKBERRY GUAVA LEMONADE
- 1 cup lemonade (I use lemonade made from frozen concentrate)
- 1 tablespoon blackberry jam, or 3-4 fresh blackberries
- ¼ cup guava juice
- 1 teaspoon of hibiscus syrup (aka the juice that the flowers are preserved in)
- 3-4 ice cubes
- Seltzer water (Plain or lemon-lime flavor...I use Canada Dry)
- Hibiscus flowers, blackberries and lemon & lime slices, for garnish
- St. Germain and/or champagne (optional...see notes below)
In a cocktail shaker (or you can use a mason jar and lid, like me), combine the lemonade, jam or berries, guava juice and hibiscus concentrate with the ice cubes.
Place the lid on and give it a good shake (at least a solid 30-60 seconds). If you’re using fresh berries, you’ll want to shake it a bit longer to make sure they get broken up enough.
Remove the lid, and, if you used a shaker, pour into a glass. If not, serve the lemonade right in the mason jar. Top with seltzer water- I probably used about ½ a cup, but use more or less depending on how sweet and bubbly you like things. Garnish with your choice of a hibiscus flower, lemon & lime slices or fresh blackberries, or a combination of all three.
To make this an alcoholic beverage, top with champagne instead of seltzer water. Additionally, you can also add in a splash of St. Germain/ Elderflower liqueur.