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Your recipes for sum­mer cool­ers

The Guardian - Cook - - Front Page - Dale Bern­ing Sawa Dale Bern­ing Sawa is a com­mis­sion­ing ed­i­tor and writer at Cook; @dlaebe

Ear­lier this month, a group of Cana­dian uni­formed of­fi­cials de­scended on a road­side le­mon­ade stand with flash­ing lights and bu­reau­cratic frowns, be­cause the own­ers – Ot­tawan sib­lings Adela and El­iza An­drews, aged five and seven re­spec­tively – had failed to se­cure a per­mit. Ot­tawa’s been known as the city that fun for­got since the late 1960s and this sorry tale only re­in­forces that rep­u­ta­tion. Who in their right minds sees two kids in pink sun­dresses – all gappy smiles and floppy hats – sell­ing pop they’ve made them­selves, and doesn’t promptly pull up a chair and have a glass? That Cana­dian Na­tional Cap­i­tal Com­mis­sion’s gloomy out­look on life in gen­eral not­with­stand­ing, home­made soft drinks are a marker of happy times. We urge you to get mud­dling.

The win­ning recipe Man­darin-basil shrub

I love that this is called a shrub. I love that it re­quires vine­gar. And I love that Colo­nialCrav­ings has opted for the un­ex­pected cit­rus, and the un­sus­pect­ing herb.

Serves 10-12 For the shrub

2 man­darins 20g basil leaves 100g sugar 120ml white wine vine­gar

For the cooler

40g de­mer­ara sugar 120g basil leaves plus ex­tra small leaves, to gar­nish 1.5-1.7 litres cold soda wa­ter, to taste A few slices of man­darin (op­tional) 1 To make the shrub, re­move the zest from the man­darins, try­ing to keep the amount of white pith to a min­i­mum. Mud­dle the zest thor­oughly with the basil and the sugar be­fore cov­er­ing and leav­ing it for 1 hour (this al­lows the sugar to ex­tract the cit­rus oils from the zest).

2 Squeeze the juice from the fruit and com­bine it with the oily sugar mix and vine­gar. Stir un­til the sugar dis­solves, then strain the liq­uid into a clean jar and give it a good shake. Put the shrub in a cool, dark spot and leave it for a cou­ple of days for the flavours to mel­low and min­gle to­gether.

3 When it is ready, store it in the fridge un­til you want to use it – the sugar and vine­gar com­bined with the cold of the fridge should keep it fresh for a long time.

4 To make the cooler, mud­dle the sugar with the basil in a jug. Add the shrub, then add the soda wa­ter slowly, so it keeps its fizz. Add a few slices of

man­darin, if us­ing. Serve in glasses with a gar­nish of small basil leaves.

Spiced tea

Louise John­son’s chai syrup in cold milk is all kinds of ex­cel­lent: warm, creamy, sweet and cool, all at once.

Makes 250ml

500ml wa­ter 4 black tea bags 3 car­damom pods 6 cloves 1 tsp fen­nel seeds 225g caster sugar

1 Bring the wa­ter to the boil in a saucepan, add the teabags and spices, then sim­mer for 5 min­utes.

2 Take the teabags out and throw them away, then add the sugar. Turn up the heat and boil un­til the syrup is re­duced by half. Cool, then strain out the spices. The syrup keeps for a cou­ple of weeks in the fridge.

3 Di­lute with wa­ter to taste, but start with 1 in 10 or weaker – it’s strong.

Grape­fruit crush

Natascha Leonie

some­times uses this as a mixer for vodka or gin, but I found the bit­ter­ness of the grape­fruit and the heat of the chilli enough of a buzz.

Serves 2-4

Juice of 1 grape­fruit A hand­ful of crushed ice 1 chilli, finely sliced A few mint leaves 1

Blend the grape­fruit juice with crushed ice, the chilli and a few mint leaves, then serve.

Plum and gin­ger mud­dle

Such a pretty tum­bler, Anna Thom­son, and such del­i­cate flavours. This is one to drink by the gal­lon. To make your own plum syrup, boil some plums in a lit­tle wa­ter un­til mushy (about 20 min­utes) then strain in a colan­der overnight. Mea­sure the re­sult­ing juice and add the same vol­ume of sugar (plus 1 tsp of lemon juice for ev­ery cup of juice) and bring to the boil, then set aside to cool.

Makes 1 litre

2 gin­ger tea bags 500ml boil­ing wa­ter 2 ripe plums 2cm knob of gin­ger, grated Ice 1-2 tbsp plum syrup 500ml sparkling wa­ter Mint leaves and slices of gin­ger, to gar­nish

1 In­fuse the gin­ger tea in 500ml boil­ing wa­ter, then leave to cool com­pletely.

2 Slice the plums and mud­dle in the grated gin­ger.

3 Add some ice to a jug with the plums (I like to keep the grated gin­ger bits, but you can strain them out later, if pre­ferred). Pour the tea over the top.

4 Sweeten to taste with the plum syrup, and top up with sparkling wa­ter.

5 Gar­nish with mint leaves and slices of gin­ger.

Cherry fizz

I know this was meant to be a soft-drink swap, but Rachel Kelly’s sub­mis­sion had me reach­ing for a bot­tle of bub­bles. And what a fine drink this was – boldly sweet­ened and blush­ing like a se­cret.

Serves 6

350g cher­ries, pit­ted, 12 cher­ries re­served and frozen 175g caster sugar 200ml wa­ter 1 tbsp fresh gin­ger, finely chopped 1 bot­tle of sparkling min­eral wa­ter (or sparkling wine), chilled

1 Blitz the pit­ted cher­ries in a food pro­ces­sor un­til coarsely chopped.

2 Add them to a saucepan along with the sugar, wa­ter and gin­ger. Heat and stir un­til the sugar has dis­solved, then bring to the boil and sim­mer for 10 min­utes. Set aside to cool a lit­tle, then blend again in the food pro­ces­sor. Strain to re­move any stringy bits, then set aside to cool.

3 To serve, di­vide the cherry syrup among 6 glasses. Top up with chilled min­eral wa­ter (or sparkling wine). Serve im­me­di­ately, topped with a cou­ple of frozen cher­ries.

Orange wa­ter­melon freeze

Ex­actly as sweet and as sat­is­fac­tory as

Jan Costea’s won­der­fully con­cise list of in­gre­di­ents sug­gests.

Serves 2-4

225g wa­ter­melon cubes, frozen 120ml orange juice, freshly squeezed 2 tbsp honey A splash of orange juice and caster sugar, for dec­o­rat­ing the glasses

1 Blend in­gre­di­ents in a blender un­til smooth. Pour into a glass rimmed with sugar (dip the rim of the glass into orange juice, then into caster sugar).

Lime soda

LaCoc­cinelle rus­tled up a 1950s Egyp­tian child­hood mem­ory with this hand­made pop. I found that this much lime zest made it a lit­tle too bit­ter, so added some honey. You might pre­fer to up the sugar con­tent.

Serves 4-6

Juice and zest of 8 limes, plus 1 lime, thinly sliced 25g sugar, or more to taste 1 litre soda or sparkling wa­ter

1 Heat the juice, zest and sugar to­gether – with­out boil­ing – un­til the sugar has dis­solved. Re­move from the heat, add the wa­ter and set aside to cool in the fridge.

2 Serve over ice with slices of lime or with ice-cream.

Trop­i­cal cooler

Tyne­gal’s cooler makes a lovely break­fast drink – pink and perky.

Serves 2-4

500ml pineapple juice 100ml co­conut milk 2 ripe apri­cots A hand­ful of straw­ber­ries 1 Whizz ev­ery­thing to­gether in a blender and serve over ice-cubes.

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