Monday, July 7, 2008

Strawberry Sparkler

Crisp, cold, fruity, and refreshing. This was a perfect cocktail for the 4th of July holiday. I perused some cocktail recipes here and there online but didn’t find quite exactly what I wanted. So, with inspiration from several sources, I created this light and lovely strawberry sparkler which proved to be a delightful thirst quencher in the July heat. The fresh strawberries were steeped in lime juice and simple syrup and were then pureed with ice and rum. Sparkling mineral water topped it off and gave the drink its effervescence. I left these cocktails a little light in the sugar department, but the simple syrup can be added to taste. The important thing here is to use fresh, organic strawberries and fresh lime juice. I specify organic strawberries because when grown conventionally, they are a very heavily pesticide-covered fruit. Also, I’ve been using organic sugar lately and find it has a warmer or rounder flavor than bleached, granulated sugar. One more tip: turbinado sugar makes a nice crunchy coating on the top of the glass.

3/4 c organic sugar
1 c water
2 1/2 c organic strawberries, hulled and halved
16 oz fresh lime juice
1 c your favorite summer rum
4 T turbinado sugar
Sparkling mineral water, chilled

-place sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves; remove from heat and let simple syrup cool to room temperature
-place strawberries in a medium bowl and cover with lime juice; add 3/4 c cooled simple syrup and let sit for 20 minutes or longer; save remaining simple syrup for another use or add more to taste
-fill blender pitcher 1/3 full with ice; add half of the strawberry mixture and steeping liquid; add 1/2 c rum (or more to taste); blend until smooth
-place turbinado sugar on a small plate; dip tops of four tall glasses in water or steeping liquid and then press into turbinado sugar; fill glasses 3/4 full with blended strawberry mixture and top with sparkling mineral water
-repeat blending and serving for four more cocktails or refills


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