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I love summertime more than anything else in the world. That is the only thing that gets me through the winter, knowing that summer is going to be there.
- Jack McBrayer
Summer is happy times - beautiful golden sunlight, lo-o-o-n-n-ng days and greenery all around. It feels like winter blues just drown away in the golden summer sunshine. I am in love with the enticing summer.
Summer never felt so good back in India. It was just a few more degrees higher than the otherwise hot temperatures. The only season that looked and felt different was probably the monsoon season. Now, that was a totally different story - the pleasant cold breezes, the lush green surroundings, the fresh smell of the soil when the first rain drops hit them - rains were almost surreal.
After moving to the US, I have started appreciating summers more than I did back in India. Summer is such a pleasant feeling – the warmth, the greenery, the flowers, the beautiful birds and the cool starlit nights... When we first came to the US, we were looking forward to seeing snow, and when I talked to Sonshine's friends' moms, they were fascinated by our fascination for snow. But things have changed now, we look forward to summer - the golden gleam brings an un-explainable joy into our lives. I love everything outdoors - a stroll in the park, watching birds, biking around the neighborhood and most importantly, the lazy afternoons in the backyard just reading a book. Though immersing myself in a book is my absolute favorite thing to do on a lazy summer afternoon, I wish I could do it more often than I do now. And my absolutely absolute favorite - afternoon siestas. Hmmm...
Summer invariably means refreshing drinks. Sometimes, water is just not enough. I am kinda partial to fruit concentrates/syrups made at home and combining them with soda/sparkling water - addictive 🙂 .
The fizz of the soda, the light tingling feeling when you drink it - mmmmm! It is like those soda bubbles are dancing on your tongue.
Mix it with a little blueberry syrup and voila! you have the refreshing blueberry sparkler.
I have been toying with the idea of a blueberry sparkler ever since I posted the Indian Ginger Ale recipe. I posted that recipe a couple of months back when my sister requested for the same when it was summer time for her. I have been waiting for our summers to kick in to try the blueberry sparkler recipe.
You might have guessed that I prefer soda to be mixed with the syrups (from these posts - Soda Sambharam and Indian Ginger Ale). I do the same with my blueberry syrup too. When I crave a refreshing drink, nothing sounds good to me than a glass of blueberry sparkler - a little bit of the syrup and a wee bit more of the soda. Perfect summer drink.
Frugal Tip For You!
Do not throw away the pulp of the blueberries when you make this blueberry sparkler. Refrigerate it and use it in your smoothies or mix it with your yogurt.
Did You Know?
- In the US, blueberries are ranked to have the highest anti-oxidants among all fruits and vegetables. It is best to consume raw blueberries, preferably organic.
- Blueberries are native to North America, but there are similar berries in other parts of the world.
- The beautiful indigo color of the blueberries are from anthocyanins - the colorful antioxidant pigments.
- Consuming blueberries is good for cognitive health, cardiovascular health and these power packed berries act as low-GI (glycemic index) fruit when you look at their blood sugar impact.
The hand model in this photo had to be "bribed" with an extra glass of blueberry sparkler to model for the photo. It was very difficult for the model to stop watching the football world cup match to pose for a photo. Who would want to leave their favorite spot on the couch when their favorite team is playing football? Definitely not Sonshine, my darling little hand model! 🙂 . But I have to say that no harm was done and his favorite team still won the match that day. Phew!!!!
Have some blueberries today!
For the Blueberry Syrup
- 3 cups approximately 400 g/14 oz Blueberries
- 2 cups Water divided
- 2-3 Small pieces of Lemon Rind
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2-3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- Water/Sparkling Water/Club Soda
- 3 medium sized Sauce Pans
- Sieve/Muslin Cloth
- Wash the blueberries in cold water and drain.
- To make the sugar syrup, add 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar in a medium sized sauce pan and dissolve the sugar over medium heat. Once the sugar is dissolved completely, bring it to boil. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, add the blueberries, 1 cup water and lemon rind to another medium sized sauce pan.
- Bring to boil and then simmer it down for about 20 minutes or till the blueberries are cooked well.
- Remove the lemon rinds and sieve the blue berry mixture using a muslin cloth or using a big sieve.
- Once the sugar syrup and the blueberry mixture has cooled down completely, add the sieved blueberry mixture and 2-3 tbsp of lemon juice to the sugar syrup and mix well.
- Just before you serve, dilute the blueberry syrup with chilled water/club soda/sparkling water. Garnish with lemon peels or blueberries. Serve cold.
Linking to the event "Healthy summer recipes" @The Veggie Indian