Summer Cocktail Week: How to Make a ‘Minted Vodka Lemonade (To Go)’

We’re big believers in rock gardens. Why? For one, that’s where we try to contain our mint — which grows and grows and grows…and grows. If we ever decided that we didn’t want to grow mint anymore, well, too bad; this fragrantly aggressive herb will just keep coming back, pushing rocks aside if need be. So we’re committed, and are happy that we’ll never have to buy mint from the supermarket again. (And have lots on hand to give to coworkers…)

Whenever the mint needs to be trimmed back from our Day of the Dead skull, we scramble for new ways to use it. Yes, there are mojitos, but this hotter-than-usual summer has us thinking more about lemonade stands.


Photo by Tim King.

That’s why this Minted Vodka Lemonade from Epicurious caught our attention. (You might remember it from our La Jolla/Asheville recap.) We love it because it’s tart and refreshing, supported by an icy vodka backbone. And, when you replace Epicurious’s fresh-squeezed lemonade with a high-end store-bought version, it becomes a snap to make.

Perfect for a day at the shore.

Although we live only a block away, we take longer to get ready for the beach than anyone else we know — and that includes people with children. Children! Aside from packing our super-chic, ultra-cool, rad-killer backpack chairs with books, paddleboards, sunblock and sandwiches, we put a lot of time into the mixing and containment of our adult beverages.

For example, this crowd-pleasing lemonade. Here’s the recipe.


Minted Vodka Lemonade (To Go)


Makes 1-1/2 quarts, about 10 servings.

For minted vodka lemonade base:

2 cups vodka

2 cups homestyle lemonade (look for cane sugar in the ingredients, and lemon juice not from concentrate)

1 bunch of mint sprigs

1 lemon, sliced into wheels

For cocktails:

1 bunch of mint sprigs

2 lemons, sliced into wheels

Club soda


For base: In an insulated beverage pitcher mix vodka, lemonade, mint and lemon wheels. Mix and muddle with wooden spoon to bruise mint. Do not add ice, refrigerate.

In each glass or plastic cup, muddle a lemon wheel with two sprigs of mint. Add a handful of ice and pour in the vodka lemonade base until glass is three-quarters full. Top off with club soda. Stir and serve.


We found a homestyle lemonade with cane sugar and lemon juice (not from concentrate) and with no artificial ingredients.


For the minted vodka lemonade base, mix equal parts lemonade and vodka.


Retro insulated pitcher optional. (Yard sale find!)


Mix and bruise the mint with the lemon wheels. Do not add ice as it will water down the base. Refrigerate.


Now to make the cocktails…


We muddled a lemon wheel with a couple mint sprigs.

Asheville to La Jolla on The Horticult

We added ice and the minted lemonade vodka base, and then topped with club soda. Photo by Tim King.


(With some colorful loopholes, drinking on the beach was banned in ’08 in San Diego, so our contraband must be mostly premixed and, uh, spirited to the beach in anonymous plastic containers…)



Or take this party to the beach.