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Frozen Lemon Sparklers

Frozen Lemon Sparkler in a martini glassDear Reader,

First and foremost, I totally ripped off the origins of this recipe from here. I think my improvements make it a better drink though. :)

I live in Paradise. Ok, Jupiter, FL but it might as well be paradise. On any given afternoon, I can drag my chair out into the commons, sit and watch the golfers and squirrels curse. Really, the only downside of paradise, it is on the warm side here. Not stifling hot, but yes, it’s warm. So creative Floridians like me are always looking for new ways to stay cool. I think I have found a great one in “Frozen Lemon Sparklers”.

tl;dr

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of vanaillia flavored Greek Yougurt
  • 1 cup of vodka (the cheap stuff will do)
  • The juice from 3 lemons
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • Ice

Throw them all in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in glasses and drink.

For those not in a hurry

Ok, if you have a little patience, there are some things you can do to make this drink a standout at your next party. Let’s take a look at a couple of ideas.

Fresh tops frozen every time

lemonsThe original recipe that I blatantly ripped off called for frozen lemonade. Stop that…just stop. That’s just frozen sugar water. Yes, we are drinking alcohol, but there is nothing wrong with having fresh ingredients. So the first thing I did was to get rid of that and add in 3 lemons. After you have made this recipe a couple of times, you can adjust the number of lemons to taste. However, start with 3.

Sweeten the pot

Since we are doing away with all that sugar from the concentrate, you will want to add a little vanilla extract to sweeten things up a bit. Not a lot. Vanilla extract is strong stuff, a little goes a long way.

Shaved, not bludgeoned

The average blender breaks up ice with brute force. This means that at best your are going to get tiny chunks of ice. We’ve got a Ninja blender with three sets of blades and even it can’t give a smooth consistent crushed ice. Therefore, I highly recommend shaved ice. You can go with a simple ice shaver like this one Hawaiian Shaved Ice S900A Electric Shaved Ice Machine. It will get the job done. Take your shaved ice and add it into your blender and blend.

Me personally, I kicked it up a notch and got a Margaritaville Frozen Concoction Maker. I make several drinks that call for shaved ice and besides…MARGARITAVILLE! :)

Either way, you go, you will get a much smoother drink experience with shaved ice over using your blender to crush ice.

Presentation

Trying to impress someone? This drink makes a great after dinner desert if presented correctly. When I make these, they usually go in old McDonalds glasses that I keep in the freezer for just such occasions. These Disney themed containers are wonderful for cold drinks but are for family only. If I am preparing to impress – Valentine’s Day dinner for the wonderful and talented Kathy, or dinner with our wonderful friends, Paul & Anna Jones – I kick it up a notch.

First, I chill martini glasses. Again, not the high-end Ridell glasses, I use Libby Martini Glasses 4 for $15 glasses. You can find them at WalMart. They work just as well and won’t break your bank.

Presentation Part II

graham cracker crumbs in a ziplock baggieThe yogurt in this drink gives it a creamy texture, almost like a meringue. What goes better with lemon meringue and a graham cracker crust? In our case, we are going to dust the rim.

I was surprised to find that crushing graham crackers into dust is a lot messier than I thought. Take it from me, put 3 graham crackers in a zip lock baggie and crush them in that. :) A rolling pin or other round instrument will help you crush them and get them to a consistent powder. (I used my muddler) Pour the resulting power into a saucer larger than the mouth of the glasses you are using.

Just before you are ready to pour, dampen the rim of your glasses and set it in the cracker power. I found that I needed to tip the glass a little and roll it to get a god solid coating. Now, pour and serve.

Frozen

No, not the movie. STOP SINGING “LET IT GO”!

Ok, want to kick it up a notch? These make great frozen drinks…well, semi-frozen.

Frozen yogurt and vodka slurry

You use the same ingredients as above, the instructions are just a little out of order.

  • In a mixing bowl put the yogurt and vodka.
  • Stir until the mixture is consistent.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer.

A couple of hours in the freezer should do the trick. The mixture will not freeze, it will become a slurry. You can prepare this in advance and leave it in the freezer longer, it won’t hurt anything.

When you are ready to serve, take out of the freezer and use a spoon to stir it up a bit. This will help loosen it up.

Place the mixture in your blender, add the vanilla, lemon juice, and ice. Blend. Don’t be surprised if your blender can’t deal with something this thick. You can thin it out by adding water (or vodka, depending on you taste) a quarter cup at a time until your blender will blend it. The goal here is thick, so don’t add too much thinning agent.

Once your blender will blend it, it should be able to pour as well. You are looking for something the consistency of running soft-serve ice-cream. When you get there, you know it’s ready. From here, follow the rest of the instructions. Make sure you serve with a spoon as this is usually too think to drink comfortably.

If you are paying attention, you will notice that the first picture is actually of a frozen version. Notice how it is frozen enough to stand up in the glass.

:Conclusion

Make up a batch of these and serve them at your next backyard BBQ or block party. Be prepared, if serve them once, you may quickly become knowns as “The frozen drink person”. This may lead you to spending most of your parties behind the blender. :)

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

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