Beverages

Homemade Blueberry Soda

In less than two weeks, we will be back home in Haiti, with both a chattering toddler and tiny newborn in tow. On my bucket list of foods to enjoy before we leave are the delicious peak-of-summer blueberries that line our local farm stand. So this week I boiled up a batch of blueberry syrup to make into tall frosty glasses of Homemade Blueberry Soda; a thirst quencher on these steamy Indiana days. For more blueberry additions to your cooking, try: Summer Chicken Waldorf Salad, Blueberry Bay Leaf Quick JamHoosier Milk Tarts with Berries, and for a blue tinted breakfast, Blue Corn Griddle Cakes with Lime Butter.

Homemade Blueberry Soda

Watermelon Limeade

Last week we decided to get out of the hustle of Port-au-Prince. We leave the city through congested streets and drive up Route National 1, up the Cote des Arcadins. We are in search of two things, salty ocean breezes and beautiful watermelons. Watermelons, by virtue of their size and water requirements, are expensive and hard to come by in the capital, but along the coast, and especially around the small town of Luly, there are mounds of them piled high on roadside stands. We pull over and I ask for one watermelon, "youn melon dlo." And with thoughts of watermelon recipes dancing through my head, I can't help but ask for two more. Incredulous, the farmer asks me if I am sure I really want three watermelons? "Yes," I say. "Well then you must have a very big family who loves watermelons," he laughs. At home this week our small watermelon loving family of two-and-a-half polished off watermelon saladspies, and one of our new favorites, a Watermelon Limeade. With a spike of tartness from key limes, this is a great thirst quencher in these hot August days.

Watermelon Limeade

Blood Orange & Ginger Shrub

Blood Orange & Ginger Shrub- we are talking about an odd sounding, old fashioned beverage that has nothing to do with gardening or hedges.  The shrub was a popular drink in America during the colonial times, and referred to a vinegared fruit syrup mixed with water, alcohol or sparkling water, also called a drinking vinegar.  The British have their own version of a shrub, a fruity alcoholic cordial, without the vinegar.  Recently, shrubs have had a revival in bars and restaurants, and for good reason, they are refreshing, tangy and delicious!  Shrubs are easy to make, and have only three ingredients, fruit juice, sugar and vinegar.  They can be made in two ways, hot or cold, and in our recipe for Blood Orange & Ginger Shrub, we opted for a slightly modified cold version.

Blood Orange & Ginger Shrub

Basil Lemonade

I have been making basil lemonade for years now, it's a sweet, almost grassy flavored lemonade that is by far, my favorite summer drink.  I like this green lemonade so much that I grow three types of basil for the sole purpose of having the necessary ingredients on hand whenever I crave a cold glass.  This drink melds the aromatic qualities of sweet basil, with notes of mint, cinnamon and anise with the lovely tart taste of fresh lemon juice.  

Basil Lemonade

Carrot Orange Energy Juice

Carrot Orange Energy Juice is as bright and cheerful in flavor as it is in color. Before (or after) a holiday stuffed with food, it is nice to have something fresh and light.  The sweet earthy creaminess of the carrots gets kicked into high gear by the oranges, giving this fun juice an unexpected smoothness and complexity. Its quick to make and it will keep you going for several hours. Bottoms up!

Carrot Orange Energy Juice

Tart Apple Kiwi Juice

I'm a little nuts for sour flavors. Paul will sometimes remark, as I gobble up sour candies, that I have the taste buds of a 7-year-old.  It's true. I crave all things mouth-puckeringly, tear-jerkingly sour! This apple kiwi fruit juice completely hits the spot for me, it is a great, green jolt of tang with strong tropical flavors of kiwi.  I can make this apple kiwi juice in under 2 minutes, including cleaning up the juicer. The great secret of this juice: it's too sour for Paul, so I get to drink it all myself! 

Tart Apple Kiwi Juice

Paul's Morning Beet Juice

When I have a little time in the morning I like to start off with my favorite fresh juice. It is thick and creamy, sweet, earthy and a little tart. Its a fresh and health way to start the day, but it also has enough substance to hold me over until lunch...or dinner if its a busy day at work. It takes about 5 minutes to make, including cleaning up the juicer.

Paul's Morning Beet Juice