Non Alcoholic Cocktail Recipes

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Prickly Pear Juice Recipe (Cactus Fruit) Recipe

Prickly pears are the fruit of the nopales cactus plant. They're named for their pear-like shape and size. The texture and aroma of the fruit is very similar to grainy watermelon, with a mild sweetness. The seeds from the prickly pears look the same as the ones from kiwis.

This weekend, my father-in-law (I call him Daddy), my husband Lulu and I were sitting on the swing in the garden. Daddy noticed the fruit on the cactus plants in the corner of our garden. When we got closer we realized that the prickly pears were fully ripe. Daddy got so excited that I didn't have time to run and get leather gardening gloves; he just picked the fruit with his bare hands. Poor Daddy! I had to spend quite a bit of time to remove all of the almost invisible hair-thin spines.

We were able to gather a fair amount of ripe fruit. Even though the fruit is quite bland, the flesh has a very rich color. I used some for making vinaigrette and with the rest I made little cocktails with raspberries. I placed fresh raspberries in the freezer and used them as ice cubes to chill the drink. If you can get your hands on some prickly pears at your local market, give them a try. They're a wonderful treat.

Prickly Pear Recipe with Picture


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Basil Mint Lemonade Recipe

Basil Mint Lemonade

09.24.09 by Jackie

It's already the end of the summer and I've been making every effort to get the best use out of the leftover mint and basil in my herb garden. With the basil, I've made a lot of pesto that I store in the freezer for the winter. There isn't enough left for an additional sauce, and I've always wanted to try a basil infused drink, so today I made a basil lemonade, basil limeade, to be more precise. Sweet basil can be a bit subtle, so I wanted to pair it with another herb to give the drink some kick.

Mint immediately came to mind. I've made drinks all summer using the different kinds of mint we have, including spearmint, peppermint, Vietnamese mint, and apple-mint. I still, however, have a lot of leftover chocolate mint in the garden. Lulu planted it for me a few years ago and it's been growing literally like weeds. It's not as strong as the other mint varieties, so it complements the basil in the limeade I made today without overpowering it. It may sound odd, but it's a really fun, beautiful and delicious drink.

I wish I had tooken the main picture but it is not mine. It was taken by a brilliant photographer named Ken Phuong. He's currently shooting with a team of photographers in the Bay Area.

how to make basil-mint limeade


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Sweet Tamarind Drink (Nuoc Da Me) Recipe

Nước đá me, literally "tamarind ice cubes" in Vietnamese, is a fairly common drink in Vietnam. It's served in various ways, such as with salted key lime rind preserves, but today I made it with fresh pineapple purée. It's sweet and tart at the same time but most important, it's so refreshing!

Tamarind is quite popular in Asian and South Asian cooking. I usually eat the fresh pods as they are, and use tamarind concentrate or tamarind powder for cooking.


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