“Because every healthy recipe deserves to be delicious.” – Motto of the The Recipe ReDux (Click here to learn more about this super fun recipe rally challenge.)
I was eager to contribute to this month’s Recipe ReDux theme of “Summer Beverage” as this particular summer, I’ve been working on kicking the diet soda habit (so now it’s more of a weekly thing vs. a daily thing but still working on it.)
Inspired by the traditional Mexican aqua frescas or “fresh waters” that are becoming more mainstream, my refrigerator has been overloaded with little Tupperware containers of various fruit juices.
My assorted juices come from the remnants of a cut watermelon, half of lemon leftover from a recipe or extra lime wedges that didn’t make it into a gin & tonic – all juiced with blender or my handy dandy wooden OXO reamer and stored into the fridge.
A supply of homemade simple syrup and steady stash of San Pellegrino and I’m ready to mix up a fizzy fruit mocktail whenever the mood hits.
A recent Twitter chat on basil (#spicechat on the 1st Wednesday of every month at 4 pm ET if you want to join in the fun!) got me thinking about experimenting with herb infused simple syrups. It was as easy as tossing in a handful of basil leaves in the pan with equal parts water and sugar then bringing to a boil for about a minute. I pureed a super ripe cantaloupe melon and a new summer drink was born.
Cantaloupe Basil Aqua Fresca Fizz
Makes 4 drinks
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
15 basil leaves, torn
½ large cantaloupe (about 3 ¼ cups cubed)
24 ounces seltzer*
Basil leaves for garnish
In a small pan over medium heat, add sugar, water and basil. Stir frequently until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit for one hour. Remove basil leaves or run through a strainer.
In a blender, add cantaloupe. Blend until smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer. (Yields about 2 cups of strained cantaloupe juice.) For each serving, mix ½ cup cantaloupe juice, ¾ cup seltzer and 4 teaspoons basil simple syrup. Garnish with 1 or 2 basil leaves in the drink.
*If you prefer no bubbles, replace seltzer with plain water as they do in Mexico. For an adult beverage, replace seltzer with Prosecco.
Check out all the wonderful and unique summertime beverages from my fellow Recipe ReDuxers:
- Dr. Barb, Nutrition Budgeteer, Triple Cherry Chiller
- Carlene Helble, Carlene’s Figments Mint Berry Seltzer
- Kara Lydon, Peace, Love, and Food Blueberry Basil Lemonade Fizz
- Jessica Fishman Levinson, Nutritioulicious Blueberry Basil Cooler
- Marie Spano, Performance Nutrition Post-Workout Power Smoothie
- Elizabeth Jarrard, Don’t White Sugar-Coat It Southern Blackberry Smash
- Emily Greenfield, The Nutriscientist Apple, Pear and Strawberry Smoothie with Chia
- Kristen Bourque, Swanky Dietitian Fresh Fruit and Club Soda Cooler
- Regan Jones, The Professional Palate Berry-Lime Bubbly
- Kat Lynch, Eating the Week Sparkling Melon Fizz – nice & naughty
- Lisa @ Healthful Sense Berry Refreshing Chia Seed Smoothie
- EA Stewart, The Spicy RD, Gingery Peach Float
- Alysa Bajenaru, Inspired RD, Blackberry Banana Swirl
- Ann Dunaway Teh, Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish Pregnancy Mocktails
- Yuri, Chef Pandita Green Tea Ginger Limeade with Chia Seeds
- Karman Meyer, Nutrition Adventures, Orange-Mint Iced Green Tea
- Cherie Schetselaar, Grain Crazy, Mango Strawberry Smoothie
- Emma Stirling, The Scoop on Nutrition, Recipe Redux Tangelo-ade
- Carrie Miller, Nutrition Know How, 12 Smoothie Recipes to Beat the Heat
- Alexandra Caspero, Delicious Knowledge, Strawberry Splash Mojito
- Gretchen Brown, kumquat Ginger Ale
- Janel Ovrut Funk, Eat Well With Janel, Mango Melon Smoothie
- Janice Bissex & Liz Weiss, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen, Pint-Size Pina Colada
- Danielle Omar, Food Confidence RD, Almond Iced-Coffee Latte
- Rebecca Scritchfield, #MeFirst, Banana Split Smoothie
- Diane Welland, Eatwell Eatclean, Watermelon Ginger-Lime Aqua Fresca