Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Cool Drink

We are having a heat wave, from the 60's to the 90's in a few days time and expecting hotter still. The perfect time to blend up some of the fruit I have and turn them into a refreshing drink. Puree the fruit and serve it over ice with a drizzle of sparkling water, or sparkling apple cider. If a sweeter drink is desired add some sugar, syrup form is best since the crystals are already dissolved. Recipe for simple syrup is 1 part sugar and 1 part water, bring to a boil until the sugar melts and then take it off the heat and cool. Have a little made and store it in an old jam jar, it'll stay good for a week or longer on your counter tightly sealed. I have a bottle of aguave syrup, a sweetner made out of the cactus, in my kitchen and use it to sweeten up my drinks and sauces. When adding sweetners start on the smaller amount and add more as you taste.

Vary the fruit used with what is in season and the combinations unfold: mangos, nectarines, melons, berries, guava, grapes, cherries and so on. These easily turn into cocktails, a splash of grand marnier and vodka?

Sparkling Fruit Quencher Recipe:

4 cups rinsed strawberries
4 cups peeled and large diced kiwis
sparkling water, apple cider, or any other fruit flavored sodas
Ice cubes

Place fruit in a blender and puree.
With the strawberries and kiwi, there is enough liquid that it should blend very easily. Other fruits may require assistance due to their low moisture content such as bananas or pineapples in which case add a bit of the sparkling water into the blender and/or cut the fruit a bit smaller.
If adding a sweetner, doing it in the blender will make the job a lot easier or serve the sweetner on the side. Taste while adding a spoonful at a time and the final amount should be a bit sweeter since it will get diluted with the addition of the sparkling water or soda.
Place ice cubes in a glass, fill about 1/2 with the fruit puree and 1/2 with the sparkling water. Again, taste as you add the water to find the desired balance.

Garnish with a slice of the fruit used or a mint sprig.

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