It often feels like there's an unwritten rule in the food blog world is that once Labour Day weekend is over, it's time to pack away the summery flavours and spend the next two solid months talking about pumpkin.
Heck, even the coffee chains are getting in on the game this year. When the Starbucks barista sweetly offered me a sample of Pumpkin Spice Latte last week as I was ordering my venti iced coffee (with nonfat milk and two pumps of hazelnut syrup, pleaseandthankyou), it was all I could do not to kick her in the shins. Or cry like a baby. Or maybe both at the same time.
It's madness, people. MADNESS, I tell you. I mean, it was warm enough outside to wear shorts and sandals. Pumpkin spice weather is cool and crisp and breezy, not sticky and muggy and humid enough to dial my hair's volume up to 11.
According to my calendar, we still have three more weeks to go before summer is officially over, and I for one plan on milking that last stretch for all it's worth.
Which is why, despite the fact that it's considered gauche to post a summery recipe past Labour Day, I'm still going to go ahead and share these freakin' delicious Blueberry Mint Fizz cocktails. They're basically the lovechild of a gin fizz and a blueberry mojito, and absolutely perfect for sipping outdoors while you bask in the last of the summertime heat.
The base for this cocktail is sparkling water flavoured with the Fresh Lemonade soda mix from Sodastream's new line of Free syrups, which are free of artificial sweeteners, flavours, colours and preservatives. Naturally flavoured and lightly sweetened with fructose for a lower-calorie alternative to regular soft drinks, they come in six fruity flavours including Green Tea Lychee, Passion-Mango, Apple-Peach and Kiwi-Pear. Each bottle has enough syrup to flavour a dozen 1L bottles of sparkling water.
I first discovered the Free line earlier this summer at a Sodastream launch party, and was lucky enough to get my hands on some free samples to try out at home for myself plus a couple of bottles to give away to one lucky reader.
Yes, that's right. There are two bottles of delicious soda mix up for grabs! Just scroll on down to the bottom of the post for more details.
I've been keeping the Free soda mix on hand for the days when I don't have time to make up a new batch of homemade syrup, since they're not overly sweet or fake tasting, and they don't have that slightly "off" artificial sweetener taste that some of the other soda mixes on the market often have. (Oh, and the Passion-Mango makes a killer caipirinha. Just sayin'.)
So, as gauche or not I'm going to make another batch of these cocktails later this week. And then I'm going to sip one while sitting on my back deck, while wearing my white jeans and white sandals. Because I'm a rebel like that.
There will be plenty of time for pumpkin spice everything once fall actually does arrive. And it will be all the sweeter for having waited. Promise.
Disclosure: I received complimentary samples of Sodastream Free soda mixes from the Mint Agency on behalf of Sodastream Canada for review and giveaway purposes. All other elements of the prize pack are being supplied by yours truly. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 cups soda water
- 1 cap (40ml) Sodastream Free Fresh Lemonade soda mix
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup gin (optional)
- Lemon slices, for garnish
- Blueberries, for garnish
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
- In a large pitcher, combine the blueberries, mint and sugar. Using the back of a wooden spoon, muddle the berries until they've released their juices.
- Add the soda water, Sodastream Free Lemon Syrup, lemon juice and gin, if using. Stir to combine.
- To serve, divide the cocktail into four tall glasses filled with ice, and garnish with slices of lemon, sprigs of mint and fresh whole blueberries.
One lucky reader will win:
- 2 full-sized Sodastream Free soda mixes (Apple-Peach and Raspberry-Cranberry flavours)
- 1 variety pack of MyWater flavour essences
- 1 reusable Sodastream carbonating bottle
How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your favourite sparkling summertime cocktail or mocktail. And please, no pumpkin spice! :)
You can also get up to four more entries by:
1. Following @Izzbell on Twitter
2. Liking Crumb: A Food Blog on Facebook
3. Following Izzbell on Instagram
4. Following Izzbell on Pinterest
Remember: You should leave one comment for each additional bonus entry, so that I can count them separately. Please also make sure you provide a valid email address with each comment so that I can contact you if you win.
Eligibility and Deadlines:
This contest is open to Canadian readers only (apologies, my US and overseas friends).
Entries will be accepted until midnight September 8th, at which time a winner will be randomly selected from all eligible entries received before the deadline.