Beach Boys Picnic Pops Concert & Crowd Control Recipe

Last night we attended another Picnic Pops concert from the Grand Rapids Symphony – this time we brought a couple who had never come to one…and it was instant love.  *sigh*  I love set-ups!  While on our way to the concert, we sat in about 30 minutes of traffic to get to the venue.  And all of this traffic was FOR the concert.  So, although we’d left quite early, we didn’t get there until after the scheduled start time.  Luckily, the symphony conductor was also stuck in traffic!  He was super excited to see a traffic jam for a symphony show – and I must say, I agree with him!  This week’s concert featured music from the Beach Boys, so of course there had to be some beach themed items!

PS – while trying to take photos on our super sloped area (the concerts take place on a ski hill), Mr. Lemon said, “Why don’t you take these photos in our backyard before the concert instead of trying to take them here?”  Right.  Duh.  Guess that means next year I’ll have to be more organized and get ready sooner…that will be a challenge!

We went a snack route for this week’s concert with crackers, Brie and a cherry raspberry spread, red peppers and hummus, and lemon cookies with Crowd Control and wine to drink.  Everything was so good!  I put in a bit of the beach with the tray liner, flower drink markers (both from a pack of scrapbooking paper!), beach buckets, and our pink flowered picnic sheet, which is from the 1970s :)  It’s an item I remember from my childhood – along with a sun yellow laundry basket that I still use and love – and cannot imagine getting rid of!

Crowd Control might be my favorite drink to serve at summer picnic concerts (you can see them at the Picnic Pops in 2010 here).  I particularly like serving it in mason jars because it transports well and also avoids spillage (and you know about my general love of mason jars from this post).  Last week Mr. Lemon and I EACH dumped my glass of white wine, so avoiding spillage is pretty sweet in my book.  What is Crowd Control, you ask?  *gasp!*  Well, it’s ah-mazing, lemony, minty goodness from my favorite cocktail connoisseur, AJ Rathbun, in his book Good Spirits.  If you are looking for a good cocktail book, I highly recommend it!

Crowd Control (from AJ Rathbun)
handful of fresh mint leaves
10 to 12 lemon slices
ice cubes
12 ounces vodka
8 ounces limoncello
chilled club soda

All of the mint leaves and lemon slices go into a large pitcher.  Squash (muddle) them in a wooden spoon to get some of their juices going.
Fill the pitcher with ice cubes.  Add the vodka and limoncello, stirring well.
Top off the pitcher with the club soda and stir again.
ENJOY

These Lemon Burst Cake Mix Cookies by TidyMom were phenomenal!  And super easy, to boot!

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