It’s summertime, which means it’s hot + humid. Very hot, + very humid, to be precise. To me, that’s the perfect weather for light, refreshing drinks. So, the other day, I decided to make this new-to-me twist on limeade. The original recipe called for this to be Cucumber-Mint Limeade, not Cucumber-Basil. When I started making this recipe, I got the lime syrup started on the stovetop, then ran outside the garden to cut some fresh mint. Uh oh – Our big container of fresh mint? Was very dead.
I panicked for a second, then remembered that we grow all sorts of other fresh herbs. Surely there was something else alive + well that I could substitute? I spotted some gloriously healthy-looking basil + decided that would do. And wouldn’t you know it? In the end, I’m glad I was forced to make that substitution. The cucumber, basil + lime all work SO well together. The end result is absolutely delicious – bright, crisp, citrusy, + fresh, with just the right hint of sweetness. I loved it as a non-alcoholic drink, but for those of you wanting to spice it up, try adding a splash of rum, or substituting sparkling wine instead of sparkling water. I know that you’ll love it either way!
Sparkling Cucumber-Basil Limeade
serves 4-6, adapted from Every Day With Rachael Ray
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest, plus 1 cup fresh lime juice (4 to 6 limes)
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1 medium English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups chilled sparkling water
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, lime zest + 1 cup water to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat + stir in the basil leaves. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Strain the lime/basil syrup through a sieve into a pitcher. Add the cucumber + lime juice; refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, add the sparkling water. Serve over ice.print this recipe