Non Alcoholic Drink Recipes

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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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Ginger Lemongrass Drink Recipe

Ginger Lemongrass Drink

08.27.09 by Jackie

Xả gừng literally translates to lemongrass and ginger. I love lemongrass, and the flavor it imparts to the drink is very pleasant and refreshing on a hot day.

Lemongrass (xả) is very common in Vietnamese cuisine. It is considered a mild diuretic, tonic and stimulant. Lemongrass is typically sold in packs of 5 stalks, and can be quite expensive. Last year, I asked Lulu whether we could grow it at home, and in response he planted 4 "bushes".  They are doing quite well, and since it is a perennial, we keep getting fresh stalks. If you're planning on cooking a lot of Asian cuisine, consider investing in some lemongrass.


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Mint and Cardamom Flavored Arnold Palmer (Lemonade with Iced Tea) Recipe

An Arnie Palmer is quite refreshing on those dog days of summer. The drink is named after the American professional golfer, Arnold Palmer. Legend has it that while golfing in his country club in Colorado, he requested that lemonade be added to his iced tea but the bartender initially refused.  After some cajoling, the bartender finally relented. And thus the Arnold Palmer was born.

I infused some fresh mint from the garden in the tea and some cardamom seeds in the lemonade. You can of course either just make a Morrocan tea or a cardamom lemonade but the combination of the two is simply divine.

This drink is dedicated to our friend Scott who is an avid golfer. Summer is on its way and I bet he's going to be back on the greens very soon. Scott: I promise that next time you stop by the house, I'll make an Arnold Palmer for you and Lulu.


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Sharbat (Indian Milk Drink made with Rooh Afza Syrup, Cardamom Seeds, Almonds, Cashews and Pistachios) Recipe

Sharbat is a very common drink during our family gatherings. It's a sweet chilled dairy drink mixed with Rooh Afza syrup, cardamom seeds, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Sharbat is a popular ethnic pink drink in India and Pakistan. Sharbat gets its characteristic pink color from Rooh Afza.

I'm still unclear of its composition but here's what I've learned from Lulu's aunt: Rooh Afza is made out of fruit (Watermelon) extracts, coriander seeds, flower petals like Gulab (Rose) and herbs.

It's very good, sweet, very filling and addictive.  The high calorie combination of sugar and nuts is an energy drink by itself.  It's great fuel for an evening with family and friends.

 


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