Complement Your Barbecue with a Cool, Tangy Beverage
May is National Barbecue Month—a time to celebrate grilled food, usually cooked outdoors. And what’s not to like? The experience is primal: we see the juices running, we hear the sizzle, we smell the aromas carried on the breeze, and finally, after all that waiting, we taste the flavors coaxed out by the hot coals. Mmmm, mmmm.
Celebrate National Barbecue Month by grilling different types of food. Of course you can grill steak and chicken and fish. But mix things up by grilling up some scallops, zucchini and summer squash, corn on the cob with lime butter, or even pineapple for an alternative dessert.
Want to create a special beverage to wash down all of that deliciousness? Granted, the default barbeque beverage is beer. But for your next barbecue party (maybe for Memorial Day, coming up soon), why not offer something a little lighter, a little tangier?
Here’s a refreshing and healthy drink to compliment the strong flavors of barbeque.
Limeade with a Touch of Mint
Grated zest of one lime (about 1 T)
1 cup lime juice (from about 4 to 8 Persian limes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar* (or more to taste)
3 cups water
Several sprigs of fresh mint
In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the sugar, one cup of water, and the lime zest. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.
Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the sugar syrup through it, straining out the lime zest. Add the lime juice and 2 cups of water. Taste for sour/sweet balance. If it’s too sweet, add more lime juice. Add several sprigs of fresh mint. Chill, or serve immediately over ice.
(Makes about 1 quart)
Variation: Add ½ cup unsweetened cranberry juice for even more zing!
*Try using light agave nectar instead of sugar, for a more natural sweetener. Start with ¼ cup, and add more to taste if you need it.