By Savayda Jarone, Herbalist
Elevate these precious summer days by treating yourself to special beverages that capture the freshness of local herbs and fruit. Enjoy the fresh flavors of summer in the form of smoothies, iced teas, and cocktails or mocktails if you prefer alcohol-free. By adding herbs, you increase the nutritional profile and flavor of your drinks. Here are some of my favorite recipes for memorable herb-inspired drinks for special occasions, weekend gatherings with friends, or simply sipping during a quiet moment on the patio.
Tomato and Parsley Sling:
- 2½ cups tomato or mixed vegetable juice
- 1 small bunch parsley
- Worcestershire (or soy) sauce to taste.
Combine juice and parsley in the blender or food processor until smooth. Pour over ice, season with Worcestershire or soy sauce to taste. Add 1 oz vodka per serving if desired.
Very Berry Ginger – serves 2:
- 4 tbsp. lime juice
- 4 tbsp. elderberry syrup
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup water
- 5 fresh mint leaves
- Ginger beer
Blend ingredients in a blender. Strain over ice, mix with ginger beer (1/3 or to taste).
Raspberry & Mint Yogurt Drink:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup water, flat or sparkling
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 3 oz raspberries
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves.
Puree all ingredients in the blender. Pour into glasses and decorate with a sprig of mint. Serve chilled.
Strawberry-Rose Agua Fresca - Serves 4:
- 1 lb. strawberries, hulled, plus some for garnish
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus sprigs for serving
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp. rosewater
- 2 cups cold water
- Club soda and lime wheels for serving
1. Puree ingredients in the blender until smooth (except club soda). Transfer to a jar with a lid and refrigerate for an hour, or until cold.
2. Pour puree into four 12 oz glasses, with ice, about 2/3 full. Top off with club soda. Garnish with lime wheel, sliced strawberry, and mint sprig.
Rhubarb & Hibiscus Sparkle - Serves 5:
- 500 ml Rhubarb juice
- 150 ml Hibiscus syrup
- 100 ml Orange juice
- Sparkling water
Mix top three ingredients, pour over ice, top with sparkling water.
Lemonade with Bitters - Serves 2:
- Juice from 2 lemons
- 1 cup water
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. bitters tincture
Shake all ingredients in a jar, except bitters, which are added after pouring over ice.
Mint Julep – serves 4:
- ½ cup water
- 6 tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
- 2 tbsp sugar
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 cup club soda
- ½ cup whiskey or ginger ale
1. Bring the water to the boil and pour over the mint. Stir in the sugar until it dissolves, leave it to cool. Strain.
2. Add the lemon juice.
3. Just before serving pour in the club soda and the whiskey or ginger ale. Garnish each glass with a sprig of mint. Add ice cubes.
Watermelon & Hibiscus Gingerita - Serves 4:
- ½ cup watermelon juice
- ½ cup hibiscus tea concentrate
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- Ginger beer
Shake ingredients, half-fill glasses, add ice and ginger beer.
Join Savayda in her home garden for a workshop on Summer Skin Care and learn how to make herbal lotions, salves, compresses, and bug repellent. We'll discuss how to use home remedies for the skin for first aid, after sun care, and bug bites. August 9th, 6:30-8 pm. Register at www.bloominstitute.ca