I strongly believe that sharing good food and drink with friends is one of the most fun way to create memories. After a recent girls weekend driving up California Highway 1 that was filled with car trouble, storytelling, and a few late nights, I wanted something to toast our memories. Something refreshing and a tad sweet – aka the equal-opportunity hard lemonade – so I came up with this Lillet Lemonade Cocktail. It's light enough to sip on while you chat away the hours but still strong enough to wash away the hardest of work weeks!
To remove the zest from the lemons, use a paring knife or Y peeler and, while rotating the lemon, carefully remove the peel in one long, continuous strip (avoiding the white pith). (I use the peel of one lemon for garnishing two drinks.) Place one spiral in each of two narrow glasses then add a few ice cubes to help hold it in place.
Having a big party? Make this in batches by mixing everything except the ice and club soda in a large pitcher up to 4 hours ahead of time. When ready to serve, fill glasses halfway with ice, add the Lillet mixture, then add the club soda to each glass and serve.
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, stir together honey or simple syrup and lemon juice in the bottom of a shaker until dissolved and thinned out. Add Lillet and gin and fill shaker with ice. Use a bar spoon to stir the mixture until it's thoroughly chilled and the shaker has condensation.
Strain mixture into the prepared glasses then divide the club soda among the glasses and serve.