Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Strawberry Lime Basil Sparklers

The day I thought would never come has come. The day that I feature a non-alcoholic cocktail on my blog. Oh, how college-age Jessica would have rolled her eyes and let out a snort of derision. Then she would have smacked me upside the head and said, "Where the vodka?".

There's no vodka in these.

I will concede that vodka would be a nice addition to these mocktails, I just wasn't in the mood. I made these last week one day after the hubby had gone to work, and I was settling in for an evening of reading my book (I'm currently in the middle of "The Secret of Nightingale Palace"). I love to sit down with my book and a big glass of ice tea. Or a glass of wine. Or now, a glass of this!

It's not hard to make your own much healthier soda. It's not necessarily the carbonation that's bad for you in commercial soda. It's the chemicals. And the preservatives. I've read articles that say commercial soda is basically like drinking battery acid. I like my Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke probably more than the normal person, but I make a serious effort to limit my consumption. 

So there I was. Home alone. A couple handfuls of freshly harvested basil sat on the counter by my kitchen sink. One sad lime, leftover from Cinco de Mayo, laid on top of my fruit bowl. I had strawberries and soda water in the fridge, and suddenly, I had an idea. An idea to make my own beverage. I ended up taking a pestle and muddling the strawberry and basil in the bottom of my cup. Every time I brought my pestle down on the fruit and herbs, I released more juice to be combined with soda. If you wanted to make a big pitcher of this beverage, I would suggest muddling the strawberry and basil right in the pitcher. Since I was making an individual drink, I just muddled right in my glass. Add some soda water, a splash of lime juice, some ice, and you are set! 

I recommend letting these sparklers chill for 30 minutes before consumption. The flavors really meld together with a quick chill. You won't believe how much you can taste the basil in these. I've never had basil in a beverage before, so I was pleasantly surprised. Paired with lime and strawberries, the basil really shines. If your palette is bored and you're looking for something new, try this!

So. This post was brought to you today by my kitchen errors. The recipe I was wanting to post today was screwed up yesterday. The hubby has been having a lot of stomach and digestive-related issues lately, mainly related to acid reflux. I've been trying to make tummy-taming meals, and indeed, I had to alter my planned recipe of Eggplant Parmesan yesterday. I feared the marinara would have been too much for the hubby. I decided to batter my eggplant and bake it in the oven till it was browned and crispy. I was then going to make a lightened up Alfredo sauce with almond milk to pour over the eggplant. A little parsley and a side salad would make the perfect light dinner for the hubs. My eggplant came out beautifully, but my sauce? Not so much. I must have been off on my butter and flour ratios, because the sauce never thickened and even seemed to separate. Kitchen fail. The hubby and I both loved the flavors though, so I won't be giving up on this one. You'll be seeing it soon, especially with so much eggplant at the store right now. In the meantime, I was glad I had this recipe in my back pocket to post today!

Kitchen fails. They happen to the best of us :)

Happy Wednesday!

Ingredients (makes 1 beverage):

1/2 cup strawberries, diced
1 handful of basil leaves
1 1/2 cups soda water
1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
garnish- lime wedges, strawberry halves, basil leaves (optional)


1. In a glass, combine diced strawberries and basil leaves. Using a pestle, begin "smushing" strawberries and basil at the bottom of the cup. Continue until you have a pulp at the bottom of your cup. 
2. Add soda water and lime juice. Stir. Add more lime juice to taste. Add ice, stir. Garnish with lime wedges, strawberry halves, and basil leaves, if using. Serve immediately with straws. 

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  1. Damn these look like they would be totes awesome on a hot summer day, vodka or no :)

    1. I'm totally going to try them with vodka soon! It's too tempting to not try! :)