Looking through my blog, you can find plenty of recipes for desserts, snacks, main dishes, and pretty much anything else. There’s one area where oven&apron is slacking off, though, and that’s in the beverage department.
You may remember my honeyed peach aguas frescas from last March? I must get a craving for sweet, fruity drinks around the end of wintertime. This drink is similar in idea, but a little less sweet and more complex. I’ve always been enamored with the flavor combo of cherry and lime (and who doesn’t love the Cherry Limeaid from Sonic?) Consider this drink the older, more mature cousin of Sonic’s fruity, overly sweet version.
Dark, sweet cherries pair nicely with a hint of lime and a bit of sparkle from some club soda. While I’m not much of a consumer of alcoholic beverages, I imagine a glass of this cherry-lime awesomeness would be right at home with some vodka or gin. Make it how you like it!
cherry + lime aguas frescas
simple syrup: (yields 1 cup)
1/2 c + 2 Tbs (149 g) water
1/2 c + 2 Tbs (120 g) granulated sugar
fruit puree: (yields about 4 cups)
24 oz fresh or frozen dark sweet cherries, pitted
1/2 c lime juice (about 4 large limes’ worth)
1/2 c (118 g) water
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 c (488 g) cold water
2 1/4 c (18 oz) chilled club soda
lime wheels, to garnish
alcohol! (you know, if you want…)
This whole aguas frescas party starts with simple syrup. Stir together your water and sugar in a small sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture starts to boil, 7 to 8 minutes. Pour into a measuring cup and let the syrup hang out in the fridge while you assemble the other components!
In the bowl of a food processor or the cup of a blender (a blender would probably work a lot better, if you have one), place the cherries, lime juice, 1/2 cup water, and almond extract. Blend on high until everything is combined, and the cherries are more or less completely broken down. If you’re doing this in a food processor, the cherry pieces will still be evident, not unlike orange juice with extra pulp. I imagine that a blender would do a much better job of pureeing the fruit, so there should be less pulp if you go that route! I chose not to strain my cherry puree because I would have wound up with a lot less juice that way. It’s up to you, though!
Once the cherry puree is all finished, pour it into a large pitcher along with the partially chilled simple syrup that you made earlier. Add 2 cups of very cold water, and stir to combine. Here’s the time to spike it with a little alcohol, if that’s your jam.
When you’re ready to serve this fruity deliciousness, pour about 6 ounces of the cherry juice into a glass and top it off with 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of chilled club soda. It’ll make it a little sparkly, and really tasty! Put a lime wheel on the edge of your glass if you’re feelin’ fancy, and sip away!
This recipe is easily scaled up or down, so make as much or as little as you’d like! Have a big party to celebrate the end of winter, and serve this. It’ll fit right in!