Summer beverages are fun to play around with when you are doing some easy backyard entertaining. Icy beverages stay cool in big beverage dispensers like this one; otherwise they keep cool in a jug in the refrigerator and can be a handy mix-in with your favorite summertime liquor. I like a summer beverage recipe to be something I can make in advance and keep in the fridge. Then I can serve it to the kids as is, and add liquor if desired for the adults.
This last weekend I made a watermelon tequila refresher, which was basically watermelon juice, fresh lime juice, mint and tequila for one evening. For another party, I made a simple syrup from mint and fresh ginger, strained it, and added it to a quart of store-bought guava juice. The kids could sample this as is, and then adults could add rum to it if they wanted to.
Fresh lime soda is a fantastic summer drink that you can have in India; it’s everywhere on restaurant menus, and that’s what you would call it: “fresh lime soda”. And it’s another make ahead quick concoction that you can add gin to if desired (not usually done in India!). We had the fresh lime soda and the guava beverage in our potluck Western Asian backyard menu of Afghani style kofta/kebabs (recipe in a FANTASTIC BBQ book), mast-o-khair (a Persian yogurt dish with 6 different herbs and cucumber), an Indian-inspired chickpea and vegetable salad with a roasted cumin dressing, pita bread, hummus, and a watermelon-feta salad.
Think of fresh lime soda as a savory version of Sprite with a touch of sweetness. And to make the variation of it that includes spices such as black pepper and dry mango powder, add a pinch or two of jaljeera masala powder, but the first time you make it try it plain. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons cold fresh lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cold sparkling water
- ¼ cup cold simple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon jaljeera masala (optional)
- Mix all ingredients together in a glass and serve! Serve over ice if you wish but know that in India, this is usually not done!