Boozy Watermelon Rosemary Lemonade

By • July 14, 2011 • 101 Comments



Author Notes: I came up with the recipe for the lemonade first and then discovered that it went amazingly with gin, making it a favorite summer drink in our house! - piccantedolcepiccantedolce

Food52 Review: This tart, pink cocktail is a burst of summer in a glass. You don't strain the watermelon puree, which gives the drink some texture, and we love that piccantedolce calls for gin instead of a more predictable spirit like vodka. The mineral quality of the gin is echoed in the rosemary infused syrup, which announces its presence clearly without hijacking the whole flavor profile. We recommend you serve this over plenty of ice in Mason jars. - A&MA&M

Serves 6

  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup lemon juice - fresh squeezed
  • 7 cups watermelon - cut into a 1" dice - approx half a medium watermelon
  • 8 ounces gin
  • 1 lemon - thinly sliced
  1. Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan, add rosemary sprigs. Cook over medium heat stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved remove from heat, cover saucepan and let sit for at least an hour to infuse.
  2. In a blender combine the lemon juice with cubed watermelon. Add the watermelon in batches, blending in between each addition.
  3. Add in the rosemary simple syrup 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is at your desired sweetness. I use about a cup.
  4. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher and add 1 cup of cold water, the gin and fill with the watermelon mixture. Stir to combine. Serve in jars garnished with a lemon slice and half of a rosemary sprig.
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Comments (101) Questions (3)

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23 days ago Theresa

We made this for a party (multiplied original recipe by 4) and it was a big hit!! Also followed the recommendations of previous comments and used Hendrick's gin and 3-4x the rosemary. Make this, you'll love it :) Thanks piccantedolce!

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3 months ago SweetTooth

This is amazing!! I ended up using key lime juice (because I was lazy) and vodka (since that's what we had) and it is one of the best drinks I've ever had. I absolutely love that rosemary syrup in there! It works amazingly well with the watermelon to make a refreshing, delicious drink. It's also fantastic without the alcohol, which I had to do for one person.

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4 months ago Tereza

Do you need to use as much sugar? Maybe honey?

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4 months ago piccantedolce

you can use what ever sweetener you like. though as noted I only use a cup of simple syrup which for the whole pitcher of lemonade isn't even half a cup of sugar. whatever sweetener you use you just have to infuse it with the rosemary.

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10 months ago Esther Galan

Used the leftover watermelon / lemon juice / syrup mixture in iced tea for the rest of the week. Completely addictive!

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12 months ago rpacheco

Loved this recipe. Decided to get the Hendrick's based on the recommendations, and that combined with the rosemary-ness and watermelon was absolutely divine!

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12 months ago JLErickson

I tried it both ways but substituting club soda for the cold water in step 4 only improves what is already a fantastic drink.

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about 1 year ago GailValente

I substituted vodka for gin, doubled the recipe, added a bit more lemon and headed off to a party with this in a big beverage dispenser. It got rave reviews, no hangovers, no dehydration and my dispenser was returned empty! Making it again for a gathering at my house this weekend! Lovelovelove it!

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about 1 year ago Jo El Snyder

This was FANTASTIC! The combination was really unique (although I added twice as much fresh rosemary when I infused the simple syrup.) I am going to make it for Mother's Day lunch!

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over 1 year ago Sashinka

p.s. I used Hendrick's Gin as Mcraigclark suggested and it was the perfect choice,thanks for that! I may add cucumber next time as suggested, that sounds like it may work well in this fabulous recipe... Love this drink. :-)

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over 1 year ago Sashinka

I love watermelon so much that I cube it and freeze it. I like the texture of frozen watermelon so i keep it on hand. So, imagine my pleasure at finding this recipe AND having the correct amount of watermelon on hand! I just made this and it's fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting and delicious recipe! This is a keeper.

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over 1 year ago haley.madsen.77

This was the most delicious drink we have ever made. It is so tasty and the rosemary is such a wonderful hint to the sweet watermelon. My boyfriend and I drank a whole pitcher over the course of the day and no hangover the next day either ha.

Stringio

over 1 year ago haley.madsen.77

This was the most delicious drink we have ever made. It is so tasty and the rosemary is such a wonderful hint to the sweet watermelon. My boyfriend and I drank a whole pitcher over the course of the day and no hangover the next day either ha.

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almost 2 years ago Ms. T

I've been lusting after this recipe forever and finally had a chance to try it this weekend. Bravo! Equally enjoyed by pregnant ladies (with a splash of sparkling water) and the boozers (with gin or vodka), it was a huge hit all around. Like summer in a glass. Love the subtle hint of rosemary. I did end up straining the juice to remove most of the pulp and the little white seeds from the "seedless" melon. Thanks for sharing a great recipe!

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almost 2 years ago EmilyC

Made this today without the booze -- it's fantastic! I used raw sugar for the rosemary simple syrup, sparkling water instead of still, and served it over lots of ice. So delicious.

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about 2 years ago ihaventpoisonedyouyet

I used vodka and heavens! What a great way to add fruit to our diet! Best recipe ever!!!

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about 2 years ago hmaier

Excellent! I made this for Memorial Day and got nothing but compliments for it!

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over 2 years ago JackieP

this is seriously the best homemade cocktail i've made yet! it's sooooooo delicious! we've tried with vodka and bourbon, and oh my, nothing but delicious! the rosemary simple syrup is genius too! gonna try to concoct a few other drinks w/it come spring!

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almost 3 years ago hilary.ann.smith

Just made this tonight and it is AMAZING. I put the 8 oz in the pitcher and am letting people add more gin as their tast suits. Do you think this could be done with a fruit other than watermelon? (my boyfriend is allergic to melons--his loss).

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almost 3 years ago sygyzy

This drink was amazing. I am not sure if this was teh intention but you could barely taste the gin. I am not trying to make the drink taste like I am taking shots but really, 4 oz is barely anything. Next time I am going to boost it a bit. Used Citadelle gin.

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almost 3 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

The recipe calls for 8 oz of gin - not 4 oz.

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almost 3 years ago Aimless

I have an enormous jug of this again in my refrigerator. This time I cranked up the rosemary, doubled or tripled it, and minced it so the rosemary simple syrup was more potent and assertive. Was more judicious with sweetening too, and got it just right. It has been sustaining me nicely through the rigors of Irene.

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almost 3 years ago Traci Thomas Peugnet

I agree that Hendricks would have been perfect in this cocktail, though I wish my watermelon were more in season and perhaps sweeter? Tasty enough for one drink and different than my usual G&T

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almost 3 years ago Traci Thomas Peugnet

I agree that Hendricks would have been perfect in this cocktail, though I wish my watermelon were more in season and perhaps sweeter? Tasty enough for one drink and different than my usual G&T

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almost 3 years ago sloppyjoe1

Looks fantastic! Perfect summer drink, as is anything with gin!

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almost 3 years ago Bob Brown

Try my Cactus Margarita:
12 glugs of tequila
8 glugs of ruby red grapefruit juice
8 shakes of hot sauce

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almost 3 years ago Bob Brown

Try my cactus margarita: 12 glugs of tequila; 8 glugs of ruby red grapefruit juice; and 8 shakes of hot sauce,

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almost 3 years ago ErikChris

Can this drink be made a day ahead of the party and just store in the fridge till ready to be served, with the lemon and rosemary?

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almost 3 years ago Bevi

Hi Erik,

I made this last week in a big pitcher, and it stored nicely. I did take the rosemary out of the infused syrup after we drank our fill on Day 1. I would recommend decorating with rosemary sprigs and lemon slices the day of the party if you are making the boozy lemonade in advance. piccantecdolce may have some other advice, though. But it worked for us and there did not seem to be any downgrade in the taste.

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

It's surprisingly lived in my fridge for a couple days and been super yummy.

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almost 3 years ago Carrie Bertz

This was outstanding!! Thanks for the recipe. I suggest that anyone who has an aversion to gin to try out Hendrick's gin (which fits beautifully in this recipe). It has a more floral/herbal note than juniper/pine.

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

I'm so going to seek out Hendrick's Gin, I'm intrigued now!

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over 2 years ago aalexander

Thanks Carrie! I can't stomach the pine flavor. Have you tried it with any other alcohol?

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almost 3 years ago rachaelmr

i made this for our summer BBQ last weekend and it was a big hit! it's a keeper, thank you!

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

you're welcome!

Cakes

almost 3 years ago Bevi

I just made this for my son and his company. We are swooning. It's perfect for the hot day! And so refreshing. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

You are very welcome. Thanks for making it!

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almost 3 years ago ADS

Excellent, not too sweet.
I would use more rosemary next time.
Thanks.

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

glad you liked it. Depending on the people you are serving, I think amping up the rosemary is a great idea!

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almost 3 years ago Full-Flavored Cook

Made this wonderful, unusual combination for a dinner party this weekend and everyone loved it -- thank you! I will definitely be making this again!

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

I'm so happy it was a crowd pleaser in your house too!

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almost 3 years ago LauraMychal

This was amazing. The rosemary and gin went great together, and I adored the lemon against the sugar! Thank you.

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

Your welcome!

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almost 3 years ago ejm

Made this today and it is marvelous. Has been a cool summer here in Europe but this helps me pretend it is hot and sunny!

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

I'm so happy you liked it!

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almost 3 years ago bloomer.jeffrey

Gin recommendation?

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

We keep Bombay around, but if I'm honest I'm not really a gin drinker, something about it in this cocktail just felt right when I was developing it.

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almost 3 years ago mcraigclark

I used Hendrick's (and I added a cucumber to the watermelon puree). It's a different kind of gin, and one you might like if you don't want a heavy juniper kick.

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almost 3 years ago leigh.bartolomeo

Making this tonight for a boat cruise with friends!

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

That sounds like the perfect way to enjoy it!

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almost 3 years ago Aimless

Thanks piccantedolce. This looked so good and I realized with a start as I was driving home last night that i had all the ingredients in house. A gorgeous, special, highly delicious and refreshing concoction.

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almost 3 years ago piccantedolce

Isn't that the best when you realize you have everything you need to make something? I love it! Hope you enjoyed the drink.

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about 3 years ago beyondcelery

Congrats! Looks like I need to go find a watermelon.

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about 3 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Congratulations piccantedolce, well done, beautiful and refreshing.

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about 3 years ago nannydeb

Congratulations! Sounds refreshing!

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about 3 years ago EmilyC

Congrats on your win! What a great drink you've created!

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about 3 years ago SouffleBombay

Congrats!! So fun!

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about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The rosemary and gin are a brilliant combination. And I love that you're generous with the lemon. What a beautiful creation.

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks so much!

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Congratulations! What a great addition your Poolside Cocktail will be to Food52's Book2. So refreshing, I do like gin, have a recipe "almost" similar using rhubarb,lemon and rosemary w/o any gin or vodka, though. Am looking forward to trying this :)

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

oooo I love rhubarb, I may have to try your concotion!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations!! Love your addition of rosemary to your syrup. Can't wait to make this .

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

SurvivingMyKitchen - I'm not a huge gin drinker but I decided to go for it in this drink because I thought it would be good with the rosemary and I LOVE it. That being said vodka does work, but I'd challenge you to try the gin.

Thanks everyone for the positive response and for voting!

Cakes

about 3 years ago Bevi

Congrats!!

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks!

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about 3 years ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

Yeah! Congrats to you!

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks!!

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about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Congratulations! Watermelon is a great direction for a poolside cocktail.

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks!

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations!!

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks!

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about 3 years ago Summer of Eggplant

Congratulations!

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks!

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about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congratulations! Summer in a jar, this is!

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

It is absolutely summer in jar!

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about 3 years ago JennyInKS

It is 105 here in Wichita, and more heat in the forecast for the rest of the week. Just READING this recipe made me feel better! This lovely thing is on the agenda for the weekend...

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about 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

Congratulations! I look forward to making this cocktail over the weekend. Love seeing the jar!

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about 3 years ago bethshax

I pickle watermelon and am going to use that to add a little briney tartness to the whole thing!

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about 3 years ago MeghanVK

Made something similar over the weekend (watermelon, lime juice, basil, gin) and am giving you a tip of the hat for the idea of using gin. Such a great idea - a delicious pairing! Thanks for sharing!

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about 3 years ago mcraigclark

Made a batch last night to help beat back the northern Virginia heat. This will be a go-to cocktail for summer BBQs from now on.

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about 3 years ago david.bushery

I dig that you have gin as the base liquor. Most people are scared of the thought of something they don't know [i.e. gin]. While vodka and rum reign as the traditional "fun drink" liquor, this gin cocktail changes the landscape as a fruit forward recipe. Very enjoyable for all palates, and something very different. Cheers.

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks dave!

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about 3 years ago inthebow

Oh my goodness, these are good!

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about 3 years ago celticircle~cuisine

winner!!!...

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about 3 years ago rachaelmr

This drink sounds fantastic - i am going to blindly and bravely make it our signature drink at our summer party next week! Thanks for such a lovely idea, both with the drink and the serving in jars! Super Summer!

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about 3 years ago Maria Teresa Jorge

Congratulations on being a finalist. The drink sounds so amazingly refreshing and delicious. Have to try it when away from work!

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about 3 years ago SurvivingMyKitchen

I have fresh rosemary in my garden and a forlorn watermelon on my kitchen counter. I will definitely be making this for the weekend. How do you think it would be with vodka? I have a strong aversion to gin...

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

I probably amy replying too late and am a bit special and posted a reply to the whole thread instead of you, sorry! But here are my thoughts on gin:

'm not a huge gin drinker but I decided to go for it in this drink because I thought it would be good with the rosemary and I LOVE it. That being said vodka does work, but I'd challenge you to try the gin.

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about 3 years ago piccantedolce

Thanks everyone!

James - I keep a pitcher of it without the gin in our fridge at all times in the summer. Just sub a bit more water for the gin. It's super refreshing!

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about 3 years ago SLD

Congratulations! This sounds wonderful!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats, piccantedolce! I can't imagine a more perfect hot summer drink.

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

GIN! I love it!

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about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Wow, this looks and sounds stunning. I love that the watermelon isn't strained. Congrats on being a finalist!

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about 3 years ago Bevi

Oh yes.

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about 3 years ago Midge

Delish! Congrats on being a finalist!

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about 3 years ago james.kuenzi

Make it virgin and I'm all in

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about 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Well done - love it!

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Congratulations on being chosen as a finalist. The drink sounds refreshing and delicious.

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about 3 years ago Emiko

Congrats! This sounds lovely!

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about 3 years ago EmilyC

Congrats on your recipe...looks refreshing and delicious!

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about 3 years ago SouffleBombay

MMMM! Sounds and looks so good, with or without the gin!