Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Beatin' and Cheatin' the Heat With Cool Beverages...

LiFe is just a bowl of cherries... Juicy Bing cherries are blended with fine black tea leaves in this dark delicious blend from Harry & David served as a refreshing iced tea! Keep Calm and Cherry On 🍒🍒🍒...

Here are some of my favourite fun bevies to cool down the summer heat ...

Seriously who doesn't love lemonade? And with the summer in full effect, strawberries locally produced, ripe and extra sweet adds a pretty red and sweet twist to puckery lemonade served over ice! Try my cinchy and refreshing home brew that is sure to have yours coming back for more.

Strawberry Lemonade
Makes 9 cups for about 8 to 10 servings

3 cups strawberries, hulled
5 large lemons to yield 1-1/2 cups lemon juice
1 cup granulated sugar
5 cups cold water
3 cups ice cubes

In a food processor, puree strawberries until chunky. In medium pot, bring strawberries, lemon juice and sugar to a boil; simmer over medium-low heat for three minutes. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve, pressing out liquid. Let syrup cool. In serving pitcher, combine syrup with water; stir in ice to chill. TIP: Garnish each glass with mint and strawberries if desired. Make Ahead TIP: Store sealed in the fridge for up to one week.

Strawberry Lemonade

Cold & Refreshing Korean Watermelon Soup (Hwachae)... When the humidity of the summer air creates parched throats everywhere, Korean Hwachae`s refreshing soothing cold fruit soup is guaranteed to quench and quell! Asian cuisines often call this kind of dessert a soup-- a dessert you can eat and a beverage you can drink in one! I am amazed at the unlimited varieties you can make with a simple punch base-- water sweetened with honey or syrup, and any fruit(s) you wish. The consistency could be thin or chunky. Traditionally, Omija tea (known as the five-flavour berry) was used as the base sweetened with honey, added with in-season fruits, pine nuts and flower petals. These days, part of the base has since been commonly replaced with a simple punch base as above or fruit juices, carbonated beverages such as ginger ale, 7up or Korean carbonated milk beverage Milkis  for its creamy taste, or regular, flavoured or condensed milk or make it truly an adult drink with alcohol-- soju, a Korean vodka. 

Here is my version using strawberry milk blended with juice from a watermelon and mixed with fresh strawberries and watermelon chunks presented in a watermelon half, hollowed and carved as a punch bowl. See my post for how to carve and more ideas on this delicious and fun refreshing drink/dessert.

Korean Watermelon Soup (Hwachae)

From top left clockwise: Traditional Omija with pear flowers and pine nuts, Mixed fruit medley Photo Credit: Galleria:
Korean Food WITH Flair Aug 2015 issue, Mixed fruit with milk, and Mixed fruit in carbonated juice (Galleria).

Vietnamese smoothies, or sinh to are thick creamy shakes-- made from blending peeled fruit, crushed ice and a touch of condensed milk until glossy-- and do double duty as drink and dessert. Next time you have a bowl of beef noodle pho at a Vietnamese restaurant, try cooling or washing it down with a jackfruit smoothie, which is made with canned fruit. To make your own Vietnamese-style jackfruit smoothie at home for one, blend 1/3 cup canned jackfruit pieces, 1/2 tsp. sweetened condensed milk, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup jackfruit liquid from can. Add 1-1/2 cups crushed ice and blend until smooth. Serve with a straw and spoon. 

You can also make similar smoothies with a nod to Vietnam using fresh avocados, mangoes, durian and sour soup. Just add 1/2 cup water first to blend and add more if needed to achieve desired consistency.

Vietnamese Jackfruit Smoothie

Ginseng yogurt juice is a quick healthy, energy-boosting drink that is super in hot weather to help deal with the heat. In Korea, ginseng (insam) has long been treated as a rare but excellent medicinal food, so much that some say, "it is the best gift that God has given man," with its rejuvenating properties valued as a booster for the immune system and a source of energy and vitality. The best grade is fresh cream-coloured wild ginseng roots; it has a deep mystic fragrance that tastes bitter at first, but after, the lingering taste in the mouth is sweet; ginseng is commonly blended for drinks and used for cooking. 

Lightly frothy, smooth, slightly sweet with a pleasant hint of fragrant bitterness from the ginseng. Refreshing, easy to drink and delicious!

Ginseng Yogurt Juice
Makes one serving

1 root ginseng, stem removed, rinsed well and thinly sliced
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup plain yogurt
ice (optional)

Blend well in a blender to finely grind the ginseng or you will taste the particulates or gritty texture. Add ice. 

TIP: You can pour it through a strainer before drinking it!

The best grade is fresh cream-coloured wild ginseng roots.

And of course, we can't forget about alcohol! Try my lovely friend from Phoenix, Arizona Amy Baker Wambold's refreshing Cucumber Jalapeño Margaritas to serve four. You may switch out any orange liquor or tequila you prefer.

1 cup Grand Marnier
1 cup Patron Tequila Silver
1 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup cucumber, diced
½ jalapeño, diced
optional: margarita salt for glass rim
Lime for garnish

Into a pitcher, add the Grand Marnier, tequila, and lime juice. Recipes are guidelines, so if you want to add more or less of anything that’s fine.

Serve by salting the rim of your glass if you wish. You can do this before you pour that pitcher by filling a shallow bowl with sea salt. Run a piece of lime all around the rim of your glass, then dip into the salt. Add a small amount of fresh diced cucumber and jalapeño to the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, and pour in the fresh margaritas. Add a circular slice or wedge of lime! Cheers! 

Photo Credit: Amy Baker Wambold

What is your fave beverage(s) to beat the heat and to cool down in the summer with?

1 comment:

  1. Good sharing. Ginseng is used in traditional and herbal medicine to improve energy levels and concentration. Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer is one of the most well-studied species of ginseng with more than 70 published papers citing its various health promoting benefits. Read more at: