A tasty way to beat the heat is with a cool refreshing beverage. I've created a new, non-alcoholic, drink I'm calling the 'Peacock' because it's has six colorful ingredients that match the colors of the NBC icon: lavender, cherry, orange, blueberry, lemon and mint. The base of this drink is a lavender simple syrup that adds a nice level of sweetness contrasted with the tart freshness of the muddled lemon and mint. The club soda adds a light effervescence and the skewered fruit on top colorfully completes the drink.
I've also included a recipe for the "Citrus Splash". This pitcher filled with orange, lemon and lime juice, and fresh fruit is colorful and appetizing. The club soda balances out the sweetness and keeps the drink light.
Both drinks offer a cool relief to these hot summer days.
non-alcoholic cocktail with lavender and fresh fruit
1/4 cu Fresh Mint Leaves, loosely packed
1/4 Fresh Lemon, cut into two pieces
1 1/2 oz Chilled Lavender Syrup (recipe below)
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
1 cu Crushed Ice
Fresh Cherry, pitted
3 Fresh Blueberries
1 thin Wooden Skewer
Place mint leaves and lemon wedges in a 12-ounce tall glass. Muddle the ingredients together to break up the leaves and release their flavor. Add lavender syrup, orange juice and ice and stir to combine. Top with club soda and stir again. Skewer a blueberry, the nectarine wedge, another blueberry, the cherry, and the last blueberry. Place skewer on top of the drink to serve.
recipe for a 10-cup pitcher
1 Kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 Nectarine, sliced into wedges
1/4 cu Fresh Blueberries
3/4 cu Regular Simple Syrup (see note with lavender simple syrup)
3 cu Ice
2-3 cu Club Soda
Fresh Strawberries, for garnish
Slice half of one of the oranges, lemons and limes into thing slices and put in a large pitcher. Juice the remaining one and a half orange, lime and lemon and pour into pitcher. Add simple syrup, kiwi, nectarine and blueberries and stir to combine. Add club soda. To serve, pour into individual glasses including a bit of fruit. Make a small slit in the pointed end of a strawberry and wedge it onto the rim of the glass.
Lavender Simple Syrup
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dried lavender blossoms
Pour sugar and watering into a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lavender buds and bring to boil. Remove from heat once water has reached a rolling boil and cover for 15 - 20 minutes. Strain liquid into an airtight container and refrigerate. Syrup is good for up to 2 weeks.
Note: If you can't find lavender buds, you can use lavender oil. But, be careful, lavender oil is very concentrated and a few drops goes a long way. Also, for a regular simple syrup, simple omit the lavender