It’s days like today I wonder when summer will be over, the heat is extreme and the air conditioning is sparse here in upstate NY. It’s hard to adjust from the liberal Florida air conditioning consumption to the conservative (if any) used here – but I digress! These days we’re thinking about recipes that are delicious and cold! There’s something about a tasty cold drink when your hot that is heavenly, and this recipe doesn’t disappoint!
It takes a little prework, but its incredibly tasty. If your not familiar with Thai basil or Asian basil, compared to the common Mediterranean sweet basil, Thai basil has a more pronounced licorice or anise flavor, the flavor is pepery and warm. Although there is a difference between Thai basi and the common sweet basil, they can be subsitituted for each other in most recipes.
Cherry and Thai Basil Soda
1 Bunch Thai Basil
500 ml cold water, then 800 ml cold water
1/2 pint cherries, sliced and halved
1/4 cup white sugar, to taste
The night before: remove the basil leaves from the stems and wash well. Discard any brown/wilted leaves. Add the leaves to the 500mL cold water and muddle/bruise with a wooden spoon or muddler. Refrigerate overnight.
Once the cherries are rinsed, stemmed, and halved, add to the 800mL water and boil for about 45 minutes. When the cherries are boiled and have lost most of their color, taste the juice and add sugar, about 1/4 cup, if necessary. Filter the juice through a strainer; be sure to remove any pulpy bits (a fine sieve or gold coffee filter is best). You want the juice as clear as possible. Press out any remaining juice from the cherries.
Once the fruit juice is cool, strain the basil-infused water into the cherry juice. Pour the juice into your pre-chilled whipper, screw on one to two soda chargers (however carbonated you’d like!) and shake well. Refrigerate overnight. Serve immediately and very chilled.