Lately, the use of my porch has bordered on abuse. In the search for the slightest reason to park on the swing or rocker, I’ve come to notice that a beverage is always near and this rosy concoction has been my latest companion. It’s laced with the flavors of fresh ginger and lime, but it’s the addition of sparkling mineral water that truly heightens the level of refreshment. Enjoy sipping it slow in a heavily iced glass that stands for a minute or two. The intentionally tart brew needs no accent, but if you must garnish, a simple lime twist does the trick.
Norm’s Notes: Ice Ice Baby
I am a recovering ice nerd. I have molds on molds and trays on trays that capture simple water and transform it into a sublime luxury. I still love shattering a few cubes for a slushy drink or using whole chunks for the slow dilution of a cocktail, but after all of my experimentation I made up my mind that the bagged stuff from the grocery store is best. Blasphemy? I don’t think so. The folks who make that stuff know what they’re doing and I find clean filtered water frozen into consistent pieces works best for me. Maybe I’ve become lazy or more efficient in my years, but gone is the quest to make the “perfect” ice cube. Although I still freeze up a tray of large cubes for a Manhattan from time to time, more often than not, I’ll dip into the bag of pre-made crystals and go on about my way.
Sparkling Hibiscus Cooler
Makes 6 servings
1 (1-oz.) package dried hibiscus flowers (about ½ cup)
½ cup chopped fresh ginger
½ cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
32 oz. chilled sparkling mineral water
1. Bring hibiscus, ginger, sugar and 2 ½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; boil 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Strain through a fine wire mesh strainer; discard solids. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours or until well chilled.
2. Combine hibiscus mixture, lime juice and sparkling water in a large pitcher filled with ice cubes; gently stir. Serve over ice cubes.