Great cooking ideas many times arise from the abundance of ingredients. Pickles are one great example. This drink is another. I have posted my Thai basil fried rice mentioning that this is the best year for Thai basil since I have lived in Austin. I owe it to my beloved husband to turn our beautiful and nutritious compost and get our soil ready for each planting season. I also owe it to heavy rainfalls we had this year, including an amazing one today that dropped the temperature by 20 degrees.
There are many delicious recipes for aqua fresca out there including many from Matt at MattBites. I made his cucumber lemongrass (those are also the two ingredients that I have so much of) and it was so light and refreshing. You can probably go wild with it. I also tried cucumber melon, blackberry ginger, watermelon mint and ginger peach. The Thai basil lime is my most favorite. All these ingredients are at your local farmers' market, right now. These ingredients are the reason I long for summer and are the tools for me to get through summer.
The surplus of Thai basil this year inspired me to make this refreshing drink. I harvested 6 pounds of basil from my own garden the other day, six whole pounds. It's so easy and fast to make. You can of course make much less if you don't need to feed the customers at a Thai restaurant like I do.
Thai Basil Lime Aqua Fresca
4 cups Thai basil
1/2 to 3/4 cup lime juice
2 cup simple syrup (1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, bring to a simmer or until sugar is dissolved)
Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain it through cheese cloth or fine sieve. Top with sparkling or still water about 1/3 basil lime mix and 2/3 water/sparkling water.