Blackberry + Mint Limeade

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Summer has now officially approached in Reno.  In my Vegas-days, I used to loathe summer and its dry heat that would exceed far past the low hundreds.  Now living in Reno, the weather is a gamble, meaning I can be a little more friendly towards the summer months depending on the day.  For instance, yesterday the high was 75*F, but tomorrow could be 105*.  Luckily, I’m not too far from SF, which pretty much always has a low chill and Tahoe, which may be warm, but at least you can cool off in the melted-snow water.  However, I’m a huge fan of BBQs, as I’ve mentioned in the past, and even though I’m working as both a marketing intern and barista, I’m taking this summer as an opportunity to eat plenty of good food, explore new Northern Nevada attractions, and not be in school for the first time in 3 years.  Plus, my birthday is in July, so that’s always something I look forward to!  I’m also stoked to try out some new BBQ recipes, starting off with a twist on classic summer Lemonade.  Hello blackberry-mint limeade!

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When it comes to the lemonade-limeade debate, I wholeheartedly lean towards the limeade side.  Actually, I’m not really sure there is such a debate, but if there were I would always go Team Limeade.  Now that it’s summer, I’ve decided to try out my own variations on limeade (and maybe even lemonade, we’ll see…), and I thought the perfect way to start off the limeade experiment would be to use a berry that’s not as highly recognized as its berry counterparts.  I love how shiny and succulent blackberries are, and when they’re mixed into a limeade, it makes this beautiful fuchsia hue that would perfectly complement a BBQ.  Also, I added mint, because I was feeling fancy.

Before I share the recipe, I will first start off with a confession, because I’m not perfect, and I’ll readily admit that all the time in most circumstances, such as this one.  For this recipe, I decided to use already bottled limeade.  *gasp*, I know.  From someone who really goes out of her way to not use prepackaged stuff, this may be slightly shocking.  However, I can already find delicious, sweet, fresh-tasting limeade in the juice aisle at my local grocery, and I own no type of juicer whatsoever, so prebottled limeade it was.  On the other hand, if you are one who feels so inclined to make their own limeade, I’ve found a recipe from a trusted source with good reviews here.

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This limeade is refreshing and easily adaptable if you’d like to try another berry or herb.  I prefer my limeade sweeter, so I use more syrup, but if you like yours a little more tart, I’d use less syrup or even muddle some blackberries and mint in the bottom of your glass and just use a tiny bit of syrup.  Also, I used 3 mint leaves in my original recipe, and I found that the mint was very strong.  I’d recommend using only 2 mint leaves so the blackberry flavors are noticeable.  The mint can be very overpowering, but you can always add some straight to your drink if you want more of that flavor later!

A side photo of blackberry mint limeade on a white table surrounded by blackberries, limes, and mint.

Blackberry + Mint Limeade

Refreshing homemade limeade with blackberry mint syrup. Perfect for summer sipping!
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 4 fresh mint leaves (or basil!)
  • 2 liters limeade or lemonade
  • 12 oz vodka optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and blackberries. Bring to a boil, smashing the berries with a wooden spoon. Boil until the syrup thickens slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Strain through a sieve if you don't want blackberry chunks.
  • In a pitcher, combine the limeade or lemonade and the blackberry + mint syrup. Start with 1/2 cup of the syrup, and add more to taste. Stir in vodka, if using. Serve over ice with mint and blackberries for garnish.

Notes

This syrup can be made with a variety of berries and herbs. So far, I have tried mint and basil with great results.
While a loyal member of Team Limeade, I also have tried this syrup with lemonade and it tastes amazing!
I occasionally use store-bought limeade, but now I typically make my own lemonade or limeade so I can control the sweetness.

Nutrition

Serving: 1glassCalories: 271kcalCarbohydrates: 44.8gProtein: 0.3gFat: 0.1gSodium: 17mgPotassium: 38mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 41gCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
Keyword berries, cocktails, drinks, lime
Did you make this recipe?Tag @serendipitybysaralynn on Instagram!

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: The Other Woman by Devendra Banhart

How to Shrink TOMS and Why Tuesday is Not my Friend

This title may sound weird but it is definitely true.  Tuesday is not my friend.

But not just this Tuesday, every Tuesday.  Tuesday to me is the Monday to most people.  If that makes sense.  Why do I despise Tuesdays so much you ask?  Because on Monday, I can accept that I have to get up at an ungodly hour, try to put on my makeup still half asleep, eat a breakfast I’m not hungry for, and then spend 4  hours at school before completing the numerous tasks I have to do at home.

But then I have to do it again on Tuesday?!  Ughhhhhhh.

If I could choose the events that occur throughout my Tuesday, it would include these activities (in no particular order):

Eat Chinese food (preferably for breakfast)

Blog.

Have somebody bake me a cake that is not myself.

Buy clothes.

Stare at my ceiling.

Eat Chinese food.

Eat cake.

Eat ice cream.

Make a craft I’m not obligated to make.

Write a song.

Eat Chinese food.

Sleep all day.

Watch “Friends”

I wish life were like that.  However, since it’s not like that I try to make the best out of my Tuesday.

Things I found particularly good that made my Tuesday a little better:

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Making these confetti cupcakes.  They were so delicious (sorry, no recipe.  Then there would be no reason for my cupcake business ;))

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My piano.  Because I love my piano.

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Running shoes.  Because even though the thought of working out makes me cringe, I feel so much better afterwards.

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And lastly, the summer weather.  Only about 14 days of school left and I’m ready!

Clearly, this is my new attempt to make the hard days a little better, so if I post these once in a while, just work with me here.  Okay, now what you came here for.  How to shrink TOMS!

This year for Prom I decided to wear TOMS with my dress.  I bought them but when I tried them on they slipped right off my feet like flip flops 🙁

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Sorry about the pictures.  They were taken at night time.

I wanted to shrink them in the wash, but I guess that will tear them to pieces.  Which I expected.  I mean, come on, handmade shoes won’t hold up being thrashed around in a medal cylinder.

Here’s how I shrunk my TOMS the easy way!

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Rinse your TOMS with hot water trying to avoid the leather part.  This will be really hard to do, and you will probably stop caring and give up.  It’s okay, it will dry.  They might stink a little though, so use some odor powder to rid of that!

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Set them out where it is hot!  Since I’m in Vegas, that was not difficult.  Next time though, I will dry them outside.  I just did it in the garage, and it was not as hot as I expected.

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When they’re dry, put them on!  They should shrink about 1/2-1 size.  If they are any bigger than that, return them.

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Here’s a picture of my and my boyfriend on Prom.  You can’t see my shoes but this is the dress they went with.  I’m so excited to see the pictures taken by our photographer!  Really can’t wait.

Also, it’s already 107 degrees in Vegas.  IN MAY!  This is getting crazy.  If you’ve never been in extreme heat like that, then you know why I’m so distraught.

Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday 😉

XOXO Sara