Sunday, July 19, 2009

Saturday Night

My preschooler starts every story with "one time", so that's how I'll start this one. One time, my husband begged me to make tea. It was a pain to make it every night (though I'd grown up with a fresh pitcher every night), so I told him I'd make him some tea on Friday night. After a few weeks, he started asking what drink I was making on Friday night. And, somewhere along the way, we started looking forward to "special drink Friday nights". During the week, we drink water or seltzer. Every once in a while, I splash some cranberry juice into seltzer. But, mostly water. Which is good and healthy and cheap, but boring. So special drinks made us smile.

And, he is a huge encourager of whatever crazy ideas I get up my sleeve. When I tell him to put his shoes on, we're driving an hour to buy a camper off craigslist right.that.very.minute, he puts his shoes on. If I spend all day on a recipe, he oohs and aahs appropriately. He even admires my cross stitch when I put it away every night.

So, that means that I have great motivation to come up with something new and different every week. Somewhere along the way, Friday nights turned into "they go to sleep early more easily on Saturday" date nights, and somewhere along the line, we decided it was just easier to eat at home than attempt to get take-out. But, the drinks have stood the test of time, and we have a lot of fun with them.

Whew, that was long!

All that to say, when I came across this book at the library, I needed to check it out and see what I could find. Drink recipes that are written specifically for non-alcoholic drinks tend to be really, really sweet. I like them that way, but Mike isn't a huge fan. I have better luck making drinks that are written for alcohol, then substituting seltzer for the alcohol. It almost always works.

This week's drink is called a rickshaw. First, you make simple syrup. It's just equal parts sugar and water (this is 1/2 cup of each).

And, because sugar and water don't naturally mix at room temperature, you have to do something about that. I microwave for 3 minutes.
Add basil, and you end up with this beautiful clear syrup flavored with basil.
Fresh squeezed lime juice (I got these on sale for $0.49/lb, which meant that 9 limes cost me $0.45!)
I used the same amount of juice as sugar and water. Half a cup of all three.
Add it to the basil syrup, and you have a really sweet concentrate.
I mixed the concentrate half and half with seltzer (from our seltzer machine). And, my preschooler and I had a little taste test. He approved of the choice! Doesn't sound like much, but he's a bit picky, so it was high praise.
Later on, for date night, I garnished with basil leaves, and we enjoyed it in wedding present glasses. While sitting on the deck admiring my husband's beautiful garden. A great night.
We finished the night with homemade pizza and a few episodes of the Sopranos from Netflix. I can't wait for next Saturday night!


tammy said...

Love your story!! :) That also looks like a dynamite drink. Keep on sharing them...I'm beginning to look forward to your weekend recap of date night drinks and food. :)

Anonymous said...

now maybe I can make these drinks the instructions were really sounds really good and so like summertime..