We've just returned from Spring Break in California. My head is still in the clouds and I'm finding it hard to adjust to east coast time. I will sort through the gazillion photos that I took and soon I'll do a post for you recapping the highlights. In the meantime, though, I have a little something bubbly for you.
I love the idea of having a frou frou drink for a party, something fruity and refreshing. It would be something special for the nondrinkers and it could be spiked for those that care to indulge.
For me and the fancy drink, though, idea and execution rarely meet. I lie in bed dreaming up all kinds of fabulous concoctions, but often I forget to put the needed ingredients on the shopping list. Or I buy the ingredients, but run out of time for the actual preparation.
This time I thought I was golden. I had that green apple syrup prepped in the morning, hours before our guests were to arrive. Gabe did run out at the last minute because we had forgotten the seltzer and ice. But by the time the curtain went up, it was all assembled: ice, seltzer, and syrup were on their own table, ready to be mixed for our guests. And then our friends arrived, and I began chatting and eating, and drinking. I forgot all about my sweet drink.
So there were leftovers. Which we thoroughly enjoyed. The green apple is crisp and refreshing, a perfect drink for the spring, before the berries are out, but when a cool, sweet drink hits the spot.
Makes 8-10 drinks
30 minutes preparation time, plus several hours for chilling
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
4 Granny Smith apples, plus extra slices for garnish
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (from about 6 limes)
2-3 quarts seltzer water
Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a low boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
Cut the apples into quarters and remove the cores. Grate or shred the apples (I used a food processor, but you could also use a grater). Pour the shredded apples into a large pitcher (or two, if you don't have one large enough). Add the lime juice and, when the syrup has cooled to room temperature, add it too.
Let the mixture sit for several hours or overnight to allow the flavor of the apples to steep into the sugar syrup. Before serving, pour through a strainer into another pitcher, mashing the shredded apples with a back of the spoon against the strainer to remove all of the juice.
To serve, fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Add about 1/3 cup syrup and top off the glass with seltzer. Stir. Taste and add more syrup, if you want a stronger flavor. Garnish with a slice of apple.