ONE FOR THE TABLE: Fresh Strawberry Limeade Soda a treat for mixologists of all ages
Strawberry Limeade Soda. (Susan Salzman/Tribune Media Services / July 3, 2013)
What does one do with two dozen limes, freshly picked from a friend's tree, and a few too many strawberries bought at the local farmers market? Strawberry Limeade Soda anyone?
I tend to be fairly conscious on my weekly trip to the farmers market. But sometimes "a special" gets the best of me. A flat of strawberries at a special price was something I could not pass up. Strawberry protein smoothies, a batch of strawberry shortcake cookies for friends, and a strawberry-blueberry crisp made a very small dent in what felt like a bushel of berries. I began to think about what else I could create.
I have been making a lot of fruity "sodas" this summer using San Pellegrino sparkling mineral water as the carbonate, and I wanted to have something new on hand when the kids arrived home from camp. Why not use the limes I had on hand and make a limeade-strawberry cocktail?
In the fridge I keep a bottle of fresh strawberry sauce, and next to it is a pitcher of fresh limeade. The kids have become quite the mixologists. They like coming up with their own ratios, which feels as though they are drinking "soda" without all the stuff in it.
We adults like to add a splash (or two) of vodka to our fresh fruit soda. Everyone wins. The kids get their soda craving and the grownups get their lemonade spiked. Cheers to a beverage the whole family can enjoy!
Fresh Strawberry Limeade Soda
Yield: 8 ounces of strawberry sauce, 16 ounces of limeade
For the strawberry sauce:
1 pint of fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed
2 tablespoons white organic sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
For the limeade:
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
Fresh mint leaves (optional)
For the strawberry sauce: In your food processor, puree all the ingredients. Set a strainer over a glass bowl and pour puree into the strainer. Once strained, cover and refrigerate.
For the limeade: Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water by putting both ingredients into a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat down to simmer and let steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Combine the lime juice and simple syrup, and store covered in the fridge. When ready to use, mix the strawberry sauce, limeade, and sparkling water to create a fruity, tangy soda.
If serving to a crowd, before your guest arrive, combine all of the sauce and all of the limeade with 4-5 cups of sparkling water in a pitcher. Add ice, lime slices and bit of fresh mint leaves. Let your guest serve themselves.
(Susan Salzman writes The Urban Baker blog to explore her dedication to good food in the hope of adding beauty to the lives of her family and friends. One for the Table is Amy Ephron's online magazine that specializes in food, politics, and love. http://www.oneforthetable.com