Cherry Limeade

Cherry Limeade
I have a weakness for fresh cherries.  Luckily for me, they are everywhere this time of year here in the pacific northwest.  Plus, since they are grown locally we can get them super fresh.  This recipe can be used with frozen cherries just as easily though, so it will turn out great if that’s all you have as well.  If you do use frozen just let them thaw for a bit first so they blend easier.  I didn’t write in how much water to add to it because I don’t like drinks too sweet, so I don’t add as much syrup as some would.  A nice way to serve drinks is to leave the syrup separate and have cold water or club soda and let everyone mix their own cup to their liking.

I made it for my daughter’s Mary Poppins birthday party recently (hence the cherry tree lane sign and lack of better picture…) but I’m sure we’ll be having it often!

CHERRY LIMEADE

5 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
1 1/2 cups lime juice
1 1/2 cups sugar

Puree in a blender until smooth.  Strain if desired. (My vitamix gets it pretty darn smooth so I don’t.)
Refrigerate until ready to use, then add water or club soda for a sparking limeade.

Cherry Limeade

Cherry Limeade

Ingredients

  • 5 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Instructions

  • Puree in a blender until smooth. Strain if desired. (My vitamix gets it pretty darn smooth so I don’t.)
  • Refrigerate until ready to use, then add water or club soda for a sparking limeade.
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    Strawberry Honey Cream Soda

    Strawberry Honey Cream Soda
    We are having an early strawberry season this year, and nothing makes me love living in the Pacific Northwest more than fresh berries! 🙂  Okay, there’s a few other reasons too.  But we are seriously spoiled when it comes to berries.  I’m not a fan of soda, but homemade sodas are a different story all together.  This one tastes like summer in a glass.  Honey and strawberries go so well together, it reminds me of this amazing cheesecake.   It’s super fast, and while I haven’t made it with frozen berries yet they should work just fine as well.  Just thaw them first.   There is no sugar in this, so it isn’t overly sweet, and of course you should adjust the honey depending on the sweetness of your berries and how sweet you want it.  I don’t like super sweet drinks so sometimes I use even less honey.  Happy (almost) summer!

    STRAWBERRY HONEY CREAM SODA

    1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
    1/2 cup milk (I use fat free, but any is fine)
    1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste)
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    Seltzer water, to serve

    Combine the strawberries, milk, honey, and vanilla in a blender and puree until smooth.  Strain if desired to remove the strawberry seeds.
    To serve put about 1/3 cup puree in a glass and pour about 1 cup seltzer water over puree.  Refrigerate remaining puree.  Will keep a couple days in fridge.

    Recipe adapted from Homemade Soda by Andrew Schloss

    Strawberry Honey Cream Soda

    Ingredients

    • 1 pint strawberries, washed and hulled
    • 1/2 cup milk (I use fat free, but any is fine)
    • 1/4 cup honey (more or less to taste)
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • Seltzer water, to serve

    Instructions

  • Combine the strawberries, milk, honey, and vanilla in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain if desired to remove the strawberry seeds.
  • To serve put about 1/3 cup puree in a glass and pour about 1 cup seltzer water over puree. Refrigerate remaining puree. Will keep a couple days in fridge.
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    DIY Sparkling Cider

    DIY Sparkling Cider

    We may or may not have decorated for Christmas… a couple weeks ago… I’m not saying.  But if we HAD, then I most definitely have served this for our annual “Tree decorating dinner” (I know, catchy name).  Every year, the day we decorate for Christmas we have a dinner by candlelight and fancy appetizers and such.  I plan ahead so I don’t have to do any cooking that night, except maybe rewarming in the oven.  Sparkling cider is a must too, but I forgot to get some at the store.  A friend told me about this way of making it and thought we’d try it.  Honestly, we couldn’t really tell much difference!  We’re going to try some other juices sometime too for fun.  If you are making a bigger batch serve in a closed drink dispenser if possible to keep the bubbles better.
    I served with some frozen cranberries to help it keep cold instead of ice since they look better and won’t water down the drink.  You may want to warn people about eating them though since they are pretty tart 😉

    DIY SPARKLING CIDER

    12 oz frozen apple juice concentrate
    1 liter club soda (or carbonated water)

    Place juice in a pitcher and pour club soda over juice and stir just to combine.
    Serve immediately.

    DIY Sparkling Cider

    Ingredients

    • 12 oz frozen apple juice concentrate
    • 1 liter club soda (or carbonated water)

    Instructions

  • Place juice in a pitcher and pour club soda over juice and stir just to combine.
  • Serve immediately.
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    Blueberry Thyme Lemonade

    DSC03599

    If you’ve made my Blackberry Basil Lemonade before (and if you haven’t, you should!) then this recipe will look familiar.  I just subbed out blueberries for the blackberries, and thyme for the basil.  Thyme is incredibly easy to grow.  I have quite a few varieties in my herb garden and I love seeing it come back bigger and better every year.  It’s very low maintenance and is wonderful to add to so many recipes.   I wanted to make some blackberry basil lemonade the other day but I was out of fresh basil.  I figured I would give thyme a try and we loved it.  Blueberries seemed like a good fit with thyme.   This tastes like summer in a glass.  The blueberries and lemon are refreshing and tangy, and the thyme adds a floral note without being overpowering.  At the bottom of the recipe you’ll find directions for freezing this like a concentrate.  I love making a big batch for the freezer so we have it on hand for a quick summer treat.

    BLUEBERRY THYME LEMONADE

    For the thyme simple syrup:
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    handful of thyme sprigs

    To serve:
    6 cups water
    1 1/2 cups lemon juice
    2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

    To make the thyme simple syrup put the water, sugar, and thyme in a pot and bring to a boil.
    DSC03554
    Let cool then strain.
    Puree the blueberries and strain to get 1/2 cup puree.  Add to the simple syrup along with the lemon juice and water.  Chill and serve over ice.
    DSC03600

    For a fizzy drink: replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: In a quart freezer container put the simple syrup, berry puree, and lemon juice.  Freeze for later use.  Just add water when ready to serve.

    Blueberry Thyme Lemonade

    Ingredients

      For the thyme simple syrup:
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • handful of thyme sprigs
    • To serve:
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
    • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

    Instructions

  • To make the thyme simple syrup put the water, sugar, and thyme in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Let cool then strain.
  • Puree the blueberries and strain to get 1/2 cup puree. Add to the simple syrup along with the lemon juice and water. Chill and serve over ice.
  • For a fizzy drink: replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: In a quart freezer container put the simple syrup, berry puree, and lemon juice.
    Freeze for later use. Just add water when ready to serve.
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    Blackberry Basil Lemonade

    DSC02074

    This is the best lemonade you’ll ever have.  Promise.  And if you don’t agree.. well, I don’t think I know you anymore.  At the bottom of the recipe I have directions for freezing this ahead of time and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used it that way.  It makes a great quick summer treat and is great to have on hand for BBQ’s.. or mondays…
    DSC02076
    BLACKBERRY BASIL LEMONADE

    For the basil simple syrup:
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil

    To serve:
    6 cups water
    1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh is best)
    2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)

    Make the basil simple syrup.  Put the sugar, water, and basil in a pot and bring to a boil.  Let cool then strain.
    Puree the blackberries and strain.  You should have 1/2 cup.  Mix with the lemon juice, water, and basil simple syrup.  Chill, serve over ice.

    For a fizzy drink, replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: Place a batch of basil simple syrup in a freezer container with the 1/2 cup blackberry puree.  When ready to serve add water and lemon juice.  I don’t even thaw it, it will quickly thaw enough to mix together and makes for a very cold refreshing drink.

    Blackberry Basil Lemonade

    Ingredients

      For the basil simple syrup:
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil
    • To serve:
    • 6 cups water
    • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice (fresh is best)
    • 2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)

    Instructions

  • Make the basil simple syrup. Put the sugar, water, and basil in a pot and bring to a boil. Let cool then strain.
  • Puree the blackberries and strain. You should have 1/2 cup. Mix with the lemon juice, water, and basil simple syrup. Chill, serve over ice.
  • For a fizzy drink, replace the 6 cups water with seltzer water.
    To make ahead: Place a batch of basil simple syrup in a freezer container with the 1/2 cup blackberry puree. When ready to serve add water and lemon juice. I don't even thaw it, it will quickly thaw enough to mix together and makes for a very cold refreshing drink.
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    Lime Slush (Or Leprechaun Punch)

    lime slush
    I wanted a fun green drink for our annual Irish dinner, and made this one up the day before, hoping it would turn out.  Luckily, it turned out well!
    The kids LOVED it, I’m not sure how much my 5 year old drank, but I’m guessing that’s why she was bouncing off the walls at bedtime 😉
    Next time I might try making it with seltzer water for a more tart punch, but I just loved how green this was 🙂

    LIME SLUSH (OR LEPRECHAUN PUNCH)
    2 1/2 cups sugar
    4 cups water
    large lime jello
    1 cup lime juice (unsweetened)
    1 cup lemon juice (or an additional cup lime juice)
    46 oz pineapple juice

    To serve: 2 (2 liters) lemon lime soda (or ginger ale)

    Bring the sugar, water, and jello to a boil in a pot.  Let boil for 3 minutes, then stir in the remaining ingredients.  Let cool, then divide between 2 gallon ziplock bags and freeze overnight or longer.
    To serve add one 2 liter of lemon lime soda to each bag (or ginger ale) in a punch bowl.  Break up with a wooden spoon.

    Lime Slush (Or Leprechaun Punch)

    Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 cups water
    • large lime jello
    • 1 cup lime juice (unsweetened)
    • 1 cup lemon juice (or an additional cup lime juice)
    • 46 oz pineapple juice
    • To serve:
    • 2 (2 liters) lemon lime soda (or ginger ale)

    Instructions

  • Bring the sugar, water, and jello to a boil in a pot. Let boil for 3 minutes, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Let cool, then divide between 2 gallon ziplock bags and freeze overnight or longer.
  • To serve add one 2 liter of lemon lime soda to each bag (or ginger ale) in a punch bowl. Break up with a wooden spoon.
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    Cherry Lime Soda

    DSC00093
    I was cleaning out my freezer recently and realized I had gone a teeny bit overboard freezing cherries last summer.  I was also trying to think of a fun red drink to make for Valentine’s day, so it worked out well. 🙂

    I love lime in.. pretty much anything… but you could leave the lime out for a plain cherry soda.  I love the addition of the bright citrus though.  If you want the drink on the sweeter side, serve with soda, or if you want it on the tarter side, serve with seltzer water.  I liked it both ways. 🙂

    CHERRY LIME SODA (AKA Love Potion)

    4 cups sweet cherries, halved and pitted (frozen or fresh)
    1 cup sugar
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup lime juice
    seltzer water or lemon-lime soda for serving

    Place the cherries, sugar, and water in a medium pot on medium high heat.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cherries break down, mashing with a potato masher if needed.
    Puree mixture in a blender then strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.  You should have just over 2 cups.  Discard pulp.
    Stir in the lime juice and cool completely.
    To serve, pour over ice and add seltzer water or soda.
    (I liked it about 1 part syrup to 2 parts soda).

    Cherry Lime Soda

    Ingredients

    • 4 cups sweet cherries, halved and pitted (frozen or fresh)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup lime juice
    • seltzer water or lemon-lime soda for serving

    Instructions

  • Place the cherries, sugar, and water in a medium pot on medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the cherries break down, mashing with a potato masher if needed.
  • Puree mixture in a blender then strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. You should have just over 2 cups. Discard pulp.
  • Stir in the lime juice and cool completely.
  • To serve, pour over ice and add seltzer water or soda.
  • (I liked it about 1 part syrup to 2 parts soda).
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    Raspberry Limeade

    We are over run with fresh raspberries at the moment.  I can’t seem to keep up with picking all of the ripe berries every day on our little patch.
    I had some fresh limes on hand and though this would be a nice treat at dinner.  You could also make it with lemons if you prefer, or even bottled lime juice (but fresh really does taste better in my opinion).
    We liked it best with a little carbonated water or citrus soda, but try it without first, you might like that better.
    I think this would be even better made with marionberries, but then again, everything is better with marionberries.  Well.. maybe not everything.

    RASPBERRY LIMEADE
    4 cups fresh raspberries (or blackberries, marionberries, or combination)
    6 cups water, divided
    1 cup sugar
    3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    carbonated water or citrus soda for serving, optional

    Combine the berries with one cup of the water in a blender and blend until smooth.
    Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher, discarding the seeds.
    Add the remaining 5 cups water, sugar, and lime juice.  Stir to combine.
    Pour into glasses over ice, filling cups about 2/3rds full.  Top with carbonated water or citrus soda, if desired.

    Watermelon Agua Fresca


    “Agua Fresca” is basically just a term for flavored water, and falls in the same category as Horchata.  It’s a great cooling drink served with spicy food, and I think would be a fun twist on the usual watermelon served at a Fourth of July BBQ.
    We love it because it’s slightly sweet but incredibly refreshing, so it goes great with grilled food too.

    WATERMELON AGUA FRESCA

    8 cups watermelon chunks (seedless, or make sure there are no seeds in your chunks)
    1 cup water
    2-4 T honey or sugar (depending on how sweet your melon is)
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
    1 tsp kosher salt

    Puree the watermelon and water, either in a blender, food processor, or a stick blender. (work in batches if necessary).
    Push through a fine mesh sieve to get completely smooth.
    Mix in the remaining ingredients until well combined.
    Serve over ice with lime wedges, if desired.

    Horchata

    I had never tried horchata before visiting Mexico, and I was totally hooked the first time I tried it.  It is light and cooling, and very refreshing with spicy food.  I’ve seen quite a few variations of horchata, and you can even make flavored varieties, like strawberry, but we prefer it plain.  I’ve seen recipes that use no milk, but contain almonds. I love how easy this one is to make and it’s just our favorite.

    HORCHATA

    1 quart milk, I use fat free
    4 cinnamon sticks
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup uncooked white rice, ground to a powder in a blender
    1 T vanilla
    2 quarts water

    Place the milk, cinnamon sticks, and sugar in a pot and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring.
    Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.
    Discard cinnamon sticks.  Place rice powder, vanilla, and water in a pitcher, pour cooled milk in as well.
    Stir well, then chill for at least 4 hours.
    When ready to serve, don’t stir.  Pour horchata off the top, leaving the sediment on the bottom.  Serve with cinnamon sticks if desired.

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