Longboard Sodas

19 Sep

longboard meeting

 

The call was for some of our natural sodas made from our favourite infusions    to be served at a board meeting.  This board meeting, however, would be hundreds of longboard enthusiasts cruising down the city streets with skateboards built for speed.

 

longboard skaters

 

They dressed in suits, white shirts and ties for their annual event.  For two to three hours every year they careen through the city streets.  One year they proudly skated through the crowd and celebrities at TIFF, the international film festival.

 

longboard helmet

 

There is no rest for these skaters.  Some of them plan to join Push for The Cure, a group who are skating across the country to raise money and awareness of the national  breast cancer foundation.  They will be off again, this time skating 200 kilometres from Toronto to Niagara Falls.

 

longboard skater

 

 

Longboard Sodas

Lavender

Rhubarb Ginger

Plum

Watermelon Cooler (With a Twist)

7 Aug

watermelon cooler

 

We are celebrating midsummer with fresh watermelon coolers.  These easy drinks are a blend of fresh and frozen fruit.  The twist is to add just a touch of aromatic simple syrup to the mix.  Ginger syrup will give a lift to any drink.  We like basil syrup, made from the fresh herbs which are plentiful right now.  The subtle clove flavour of the basil syrup seems designed for watermelon.  For a simple treat just drizzle the syrup  over wedges of the fresh fruit.

 

fresh watermelon

 

Watermelon Cooler

1/2 cup frozen watermelon cubes

1/ 2 cup fresh watermelon

1 tbsp. basil or ginger syrup

Blend ingredients until smooth

 

Related Recipes:

Basil Syrup

Ginger Syrup

 

Tip:  To freeze watermelon cut it into cubes keeping the pieces separate.  It will freeze quickly since it is 92 percent water.

 

Summer Berry Lemonade

9 Jul

fresh summer berries

 

This drink marries the two joys of summer, fresh berries and ice-cold lemonade.

To make summer berry lemonade, you puree and strain the fresh berries and add the sweet fruit to the lemon juice.  Here’s your chance to experiment.  Rather than using just one fruit, this lemonade needs a mix.  Try raspberries or strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or even the humble mulberry.

 

Summer Berry Lemonade

1 cup mix berry puree

1 cup simple syrup

1 cup fresh lemon juice (4 to 5 lemons)

4 cups cold water

 

Puree berries and strain mixture

Add berries to cool simple syrup

Add mixture to fresh lemon juice

Add cold water to taste

Garnish with lemon slices and fresh berries

 

Simple Syrup

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Simmer and stir  until sugar has dissolved

 

Related Recipes:

Modern Lemonade

Rose Syrup

23 Jun

new dawn rose

 

The scent of summer roses fills the garden and the kitchen.  Our latest infusion is a rose syrup to flavour cocktails and drinks and drizzle over summer cakes.

 

rose syrup

 

The syrup, which is made from dried rose petals, is easy to make and is ready in an hour.  The rose, it seems, is less fussy in the kitchen than in the garden.

 

Rose Syrup

1 cup dried rose petals

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

 

Place ingredients in a pot

Slowly simmer, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved.

Remove from heat and let the syrup cool for about an hour.

Strain pressing the petals to release the full flavour

 

Tip:

You can find rose petals at specialty tea shops and health food stores

Use the rose syrup to sweeten lemonade,  in cocktails  or to glaze summer cakes

 

Drinks For Dad

14 Jun

Not sure which cocktails to make for Father’s Day?  Here is a list for our favourite dads.

 

whiskey smash

 

The Old-Fashioned Dad:    He knows the difference between whiskey and bourbon and prefers simple cocktails. Whether he is an old dad or a new dad, who has just discovered the classics, make him a whiskey smash.   He’ll enjoy the fresh mix of whiskey and mint.

Recipe :  Whiskey Smash

 

bowl of fresh limes

 

The Free-Spirited Dad:   His favourite vacation is a trip to the sea.   He can tell you the names of the original Wailers and won’t let you recycle his floral shirts.  Go tropical and make this dad a lime cocktail, a blend of lime, rum and brown sugar.

Recipe :   Summer Lime Cocktail

 

mango margarita

 

The Backyard Dad:    The backyard is his refuge.  Just don’t ask when he’s going to mow the lawn.  Buy some good tequila and whip up a mango margarita that he can sip as he tends the barbecue.

Recipe:   Mango Margarita

Sweet Deception

2 Jun

fresh lichee

 

June arrives with the simple pleasure of a bowl of fresh lichees.  They are deceptive,  with the prickly skin giving way to sweet almond-flavoured fruit.

A Drink For The Gods, Purple Corn

24 May

purple corn drink

 

Sometimes an ingredient will throw you for a loop. For us, this happened when we sampled the Peruvian summer drink made from purple corn.  While the drink gets its colour from deep purple corn, the flavour is from pineapple steeped with aromatic spices.

The drink dates back to the time of the Incas.  “It’s an aphrodisiac,” we are told, as we are handed the fruity drink. Then, and now, purple corn, which is packed full of nutrients, is considered a food with healing abilities and, yes, magical powers.

 

making purple corn drink

 

Pineapple slices, the fruit and skin, are steeped with cinnamon and cloves.  The addition of the inky-purple corn instantly changes the brew into a wine-colored drink.  The mixture simmers for an hour.  As the spices fill the air, the drink starts to resemble a mulled wine. It’s ready, but we prefer to let the infusion sit overnight for a fuller flavour.

It’s a refreshing drink for a warm summer day.  Serve it ice cold, mixed with wedges of fresh fruit, pineapple, apples, and lime or lemon, the way you would garnish sangria.

 

glass of purple corn drink

 

Purple Corn Drink

5 cobs purple corn

Medium pineapple, organic if possible

2 sticks cinnamon

1 tbsp. clove

6 cups of water

 

Thoroughly wash pineapple since you will be using the skin

Cut the pineapple lengthwise into slices with about an inch of fruit

Add pineapple slices, spices and corn to a pot and cover with water

Simmer for an hour

Let the mixture sit overnight and strain

Sweeten to taste and serve ice cold

Garnish with wedges of remaining fresh pineapple, apples and lemon or lime


Tip:

You’ll find purple corn in Latin American and health food stores

Purple corn is said to have more powerful antioxidants than blueberries

 

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