Up North, they’re kitsch. Down South they’re, well, everywhere. As a Dixie native, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t own a collection of the clear glass, Ball jars. Pantries are stacked with them and windowsills are decorated with them. But the savvy hostess knows that you can do a lot more with the countrified containers than just plant (herbs) or preserve (seasonal veggies and fruit).

For casual cocktail hour, we use the jars to serve drinks like our Blackberry Tequila Sunrise (you’ll find that one in the cookbook) and our Rosemary Lemonade. There’s something about the glass lip and the familiar, rounded shape that makes us feel like we’re back down South, settled in rocking chairs on a deep porch, feeling a gentle evening breeze while watching the sunset over the Gulf. (More likely than not, the two of us are actually sipping something strong and sweet from our perch in the window, looking out onto 6th Avenue and the tony apartment buildings of Washington Square Park and beyond.)

Cheaper than a plane ticket to Florida and a house at the beach, here’s what we do for a fun, easy cocktail hour in the city,


Rosemary Lemonade

One of our favorite little Gulf-front towns, Rosemary Beach, Florida, inspired us to create this recipe. In July and August, the summer heat’s blazin’ so strong and we’ve exhausted ourselves on bikes or in the water, that all we want is to drink glass after glass of fresh lemonade. Of course, once the sun sets, we have a hankering for something a little stronger- and maybe a little fancier- than just lemon juice and water. Rosemary adds an herbaceous kick and vodka, well, makes everything better.

Casual Cocktail Hour: Rosemary Lemonade
Recipe type: cocktail
  • 3 oz lemon juice, plus a few slices for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, more to taste
  • 3 ounces vodka (optional)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, more for garnish
  • 1 cup ice
  • 8 ounces water
  1. Combine lemon juice, honey, sugar, vodka and rosemary in a cocktail shaker and shake vigoursly until the honey and sugar is dissolved. Add the water and ice and shake to chill thoroughly. Strain into mason jars filled with ice. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and lemon slices.

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