Archive for Beverages

Almond Milk

1 c. sliced blanched almonds
4 c. water
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. honey – optional
⅛ tsp. vanilla – optional

Blend together well; strain through nut milk bag or fine mesh.  Place in glass container; keeps in fridge 4-5 days.


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Elderflower Cooler

Something nice to try on a hot day, from Master Chef Australia:

30 ml gin (Tanqueray)
20 ml (1 tbsp.) elderflower cordial
3 mint sprigs
2 cucumber slices, sliced very thin
Soda water

Fill a tall glass with ice, and add gin.  Add cordial, mint sprigs, and cucumber slices.  Top off with soda water.

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Strawberry Pomegranate Syrup

The tartness of the pomegranate is offset by the sweetness of the strawberries in this antioxidant syrup.

1 pint strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
1 c. sugar or equivalent of stevia
1 c. unsweetened pomegranate juice

Combine the strawberries and sugar (or stevia) in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.  Combine with the pomegranate juice and puree.  Strain the puree, stirring it to get as much liquid as possible; there should be about 2 cups.

To serve, mix equal parts syrup and seltzer and serve over ice.  The syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, but is best used immediately.

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Immunity Booster Syrup

There are a lot of good vitamins and anti-oxidants in this syrup.

1 pint blueberries
½ c. carrot juice, preferably fresh
½ c. unsweetened purple grape juice
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ c. honey
1 cinnamon stick, broken into small pieces
1 inch length of fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped

Combine the berries, carrot juice, grape juice, lemon juice, and honey in a small saucepan.  Mash the mixture with a vegetable masher, then stir in the cinnamon and ginger.  Heat over low heat, stirring often, until the berries have released their liquid.  Let cool to room temperature and strain; there should be about 2 cups of syrup.

To serve, mix equal parts of syrup and seltzer.  Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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Root Beer Syrup

4½ c. water
¼ c. raisins, coarsely chopped
2 oz. dried sassafras root
¼ oz. dried wintergreen leaves
4 star anise
½ vanilla bean, cut into three pieces
2 c. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. maltodextrin (optional)

Combine the water, raisins, sassafras, wintergreen, star anise, and vanilla in a large saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally; let simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Blend the brown sugar and maltodextrin (if using), and gradually add the mixture to the simmering root infusion, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat, cool for 30 minutes, and strain.

To serve, mix ½ c. syrup with 1½ c. seltzer.  The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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Peppermint Tummy Tamer

To calm an upset tummy.

1 c. sugar, or equivalent of stevia
1 c. water
3 peppermint tea bags
1/3 c. finely chopped fresh peppermint leaves

Combine the sugar (or stevia) and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat.  Add the teabags and mint leaves and steep for five minutes.  Remove the tea bags and let the syrup cool to room temperature; strain to remove the mint leaves.

To serve, mix ½ c. syrup with 1 c. seltzer.  The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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Plunger (French Press) Coffee

Since I generally only drink coffee when in Australia, I need instructions for those few times when I make it in the States.

To make single cups of plunger coffee:

Bring fresh water to a boil, then wait a minute or two.  Swish a bit of the hot water in the plunger to warm it, then pour it out.

Put 2 tablespoons of freshly-ground, coarsely-ground coffee into the plunger.  Pour 8 ounces of the hot water evenly over the grounds; stir to make sure the water gets to all the ground coffee.  Steep for about 4 minutes; then press down on the plunger evenly and slowly.  Pour and enjoy!

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