Welcome to this glorious occasion of the onset of the Indian summer, which can also be recognized by the sudden rise in fights with the AC and steady decline of talcum powder levels.
Tis’ the season to be unknowingly annoyed and perpetually fidgety. Mumbai summers, in all its humid glory, has always inspired me to seize that hedonist in me and to go about my way during this period.
So a few days ago, I tried my hand at being an eccentric innovator and putting two totally different things together.
Strawberries with Nutella. Yum.
Strawberries with Peanut Butter Waffles. Heaven.
Strawberries with Cream. A classic.
Chunky Tomato Basil Sauce. Divine.
Basil Pesto. A heart breaker.
Bruschetta with strips of basil. The BEST.
… Strawberries AND Basil?
At first, it seemed off – mixing a dessert fruit with an Italian fresh herb famous for garnishing your pizzas and pastas.
But, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense : The sweetness of the basil, the tart of the strawberry and the cold soda led to one of the most refreshing drinks you could recreate this summer. Introducing the Strawberry Basil Soda!
Makes : About 6-8 glasses.
Difficulty : Simple as the first level of Candy Crush Saga.
Preparation Time : 5-10 minutes.
Cook Time : Nada.
- 8-10 Strawberries
- 4-5 Basil Leaves
- 1/3 cup of Sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Lemon Juice
- A bottle of Sprite (As Needed)
Hull the strawberries (Hull = Cutting out the stems, leaves to leave a beautiful strawberry)
Drop all the hulled strawberries in a blender/juicer/mixer and pulse till smooth.
Strain the strawberry puree through a sieve to remove the strawberry seeds.
In a liquid measuring cup, pour out this strawberry puree. Add water to reach 1 cup.
In a saucepan, add the strawberry puree, water, sugar, roughly chopped basil leaves and let it place it on the stove over low heat.
Keep stirring from time to time. Make sure all the sugar dissolves.
Once mixture starts bubbling from the sides, remove from heat. Let it cool.
Strain this mixture to get a smooth Strawberry Basil Syrup. Bottle this syrup. (This syrup can be refrigerated up to 1 week)
When in need of a drink, add 2 tablespoons of syrup into a tall glass.
Add freshly sliced strawberries, chopped basil and ice into the glass (Optional)
Top with Sprite and serve chilled.
There are very few things in the world that are as refreshing as this recipe on a sunny afternoon.
A tall chilled glass of a Strawberry Basil Soda, flipping through an absorbing magazine in the comfort of your room and listening to some Norah Jones : perfect way to spend a summer’s day, if you ask me.