What to Drink on Hot Sticky Day, Chilled Cucumber and Orange Juice from 'Morocco'

After sharing Snails in Spice-Tea Laden Broth recipe from Marrakech 'Djemaa El Fna' excerpted from Morocco 'A Culinary Journey...' (Chronicle Books, June 2012) by Jeff Koehler I thought this (non-alcoholic) drink recipe would be just right as what to drink on a hot sticky day.

Chilled Cucumber and Orange Juice with Oregano

Moroccans love fresh juices, and the combinations they make are eclectic and highly seasonal. This is one of my favorites. Although it is commonly prepared as a juice, it can also be a drinkable dessert, especially on warm summer days. I once had it as a “salad” served with a spoon in late fall in the eastern High Atlas. Oranges hadn’t yet ripened, and instead the cook used small clementines from down the valley. Served before a communal platter of Berber Barley Couscous with Vegetables, the drink seemed closer to a light, sophisticated, vibrant green gazpacho than a rustic salad.

Serves 6

2 lb/910 g medium cucumbers
21⁄4 cups/530 ml fresh orange or mandarin orange juice, preferably clementine
11⁄2 tsp superfine sugar, plus more as needed
1⁄2 tsp dried oregano or zaâtar, plus more as needed

Morocco_Chilled Cucumber and Orange Juice

Trim the ends from the cucumbers and scrub the peels. Remove about half of the peels from each cucumber and remove the seeds if they are large. Cut the cucumber into chunks and put in a food processor or blender. Pour in the orange juice and sprinkle in the sugar and oregano. Blend for at least 1 minute or until very finely puréed. The drink should be a bit thick and slightly foamy. Taste for sweetness and seasoning and adjust as needed.

Pour into a pitcher, cover, and refrigerate until chilled. Serve in tall glasses or in small bowls with spoons.

(* Recipe from 'Morocco' A Culinary Journey with Recipes from the Spice-Scented Markets of Marrakech to the Date-Filled Oasis of Zagora by Jeff Koehler-Chronicle Books, June 2012- All rights reserved)

Bangkok Thirst Quencher, Thai Tea Pudding with Lime Caramel and Caramel Cashews

Not just another around the world in 80 foods book, here's Susan Feniger's Street Food (Clarkson Potter, July 17)

On a day when the East Coast will be under under another heat spell I picked a Bangkok thirst quencher as a first excerpt.

Thai Tea Pudding with Lime Caramel and Caramel Cashews

Serves 6

½ cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
1 quart half-and-half
1 cup sugar
¼ cup dried Thai tea mix
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Lime Caramel (recipe follows)
Candied Cashews (recipe follows)
Lime Whipped Cream (recipe follows)


1. Whisk the milk, eggs, and cornstarch together in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Combine the half-and-half, sugar, Thai tea mix, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, and then slowly whisk it into the egg mixture until well incorporated.

3. Wash the saucepan and then return it to the stove. Pour the tea-egg mixture back into the pan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan so that the ingredients don’t stick and burn, until the mixture is noticeably thicker, 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the pudding into 6 dessert cups. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

4. Serve topped with the lime caramel, candied cashews, and lime whipped cream.

* Thai tea mix: This is a prepackaged blend of black tea and spices found in Thai markets.

Lime Caramel
Makes 1 cup
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup lime juice (from 2 to 3 limes)

1. In a deep saucepan over medium-high heat, cook the brown sugar, cream, corn syrup, and salt for 2 minutes without stirring. The caramel will start to bubble rapidly. Then swirl the pan gently to stir the caramel (instead of using a spoon), continuing to cook until the bubbles get larger and slower, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. Stir with a rubber spatula to combine.

2. Transfer the caramel to a small bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Or cover the bowl and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (let it soften to room temperature before using it).

Candied Cashews
Makes 2 cups
Olive oil spray
2 cups raw unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

2 In a medium bowl, toss together the cashews, sugar, butter, salt, and cayenne. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring the nuts occasionally, until well roasted, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3 Chop the candied cashews slightly before using them as a topping for the pudding or other desserts.
Store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Lime Whipped Cream
Makes 2¼ cups
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 ½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Grated zest of 2 limes (1 packed tablespoon)

By hand or with an electric mixer, whisk together the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and lime zest in a bowl until light and fluffy. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

(* Recipe from Susan Feniger's Street Food published by Clarkson Potter-Random House- July 17, 2012- Photographs by Jennifer May- All rights reserved)

Honey it's Tea Time, Honeydew Green Tea from Sip and Savor

On the lookout for something zestier than plain iced tea to quench your thirst on a 90 to 100 degree day, Sip and Savor 'Drinks for Party and Porch' (Gibbs-Smith, April 2012) by James T.Farmer offers many non-alcoholic libations including my selection, today.

Honeydew Green Tea

“Honey, do you care for a drink?”
“Honey, I surely do!”
This will be the conversation between you and your honey, for the delicate flavors of honeydew
melon and green tea meld together for a refreshment so visually enchanting that the taste is nothing
short of magical. Combining elegant airs of fresh melon, crisp notes of tea, and a bit of herbal
sensation sweetness, this beverage is a treat on the hottest of summer days and the perfect way to relax and unwind from the heat of the day. With its health benefits aside, green tea might also be a wonder drink for our waistlines! Serve some of the blended honeydew melon in the hollowed rind.
Gather some of your garden’s freshest mint, thyme or basil for herbal flair, find a perfectly ripe
honeydew melon, and then brew and blend a treat for you and your honey!

Serves 6–8

2 cups water
1 baker’s dozen fresh herb leaves (mint,
mild basil, thyme, or your choice)
4 bags green tea
1⁄3 cup Simple Syrup (Basic or Herbal; see pages 5 and 6) or honey
1 small to medium honeydew melon
1 and 1⁄ 2 cups ice cubes


Bring water to a boil. Add about a dozen or so mint leaves and tea bags to the boiling water. Allow to steep for 3–4 minutes then discard the tea bags and herb leaves. Sweeten the tea with simple syrup or honey. Chill tea before serving.

Scrape out the inside of the melon and add to a blender with the ice. Spoon the slushy melon puree into ice-cold green tea and garnish with herbs.

(* Recipe from 'Sip and Savor, Drinks for Party and Porch', Text © 2012 by James T. Farmer III, Photographs © 2012 by James T. Farmer III and Maggie Yelton except pages 9 and 60 from Shutterstock, reproduced with permission of the publisher)

Thirst Quencher for 90 Degrees Day, Tarragon Lime Green Tea

Looking for a thirst quencher on 90 degrees day, look no further than this recipe from RIPE by Cheryl Sternman Rule published by Running Press (2012).

Tarragon Lime Green Tea

My sister Julie helped me conceive of this refreshing iced tea, a new favorite with citrusy, herbal notes that makes us both feel fancy. Boiling the water in a kettle speeds things up.

Serves 8

4 bags green tea

8 cups (2 liters) hot, just-boiled water

1/4 cup (85g) honey

1 bunch fresh tarragon

4 limes, divided



Place the teabags and water in a large bowl or pot. Whisk in the honey until dissolved. Add 2 leafy tarragon sprigs. Squeeze in the juice of 3 of the limes and toss in the spent limes, too. Set aside to steep, off the heat and uncovered, for at least 10 minutes, or until desired strength. Discard the teabags. Cool to room temperature.

Pluck out the limes and herbs. (If not serving right away, refrigerate.)

Cut the remaining lime into 8 wedges.

Divide the tea among eight ice-filled glasses, garnishing each glass with a fresh tarragon sprig and lime wedge.

(* Recipe reprinted with permission from RIPE © 2012 by Cheryl Sternman Rule, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group. Photography © 2012 by Paulette Phlipot.)

Explosion Free Homemade Ginger Beer from A Country Cook's Kitchen

With current mini heatwave the East Coast is experiencing, after downing umpteen glasses of water, I paused to think of drinks that might taste better while keeping me hydrated.

I perused my cookbooks and noticed a title that I have yet to mention here, A Country Cook's Kitchen by Alison Walker (Rizzoli New York, March 2012).

Under Liqueurs and Cordials, she offers a range of recipes from Wild Plum Brandy to Lemon Barley Water.


I picked her Ginger Beer recipe.

Ginger Beer

Once the ginger has fermented, drink within a couple of days.

Preparation 20 Minutes plus standing

Makes about 2 cups


2-inch piece of fresh ginger

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 quarts boiling water

1/2 tablespoon dry yeast

1) Roughly slice the ginger and put into a large bowl with the ream of tartar, sugar and lemon zest. Pour in the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand until hand-hot.

2) Add the lemon juice and yeast. Cover; let stand in a warm place for 24 hours.

3) Skim and strain the liquid through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into sterilized swing-stoppered glass bottles.

4) Leave for 2 to 3 days, checking daily to make sure the ginger beer is not too fizzy, loosen the caps if the liquid looks too fizzy to avoid the bottles exploding.

Store in the fridge and use within 3 days.

(* Recipe from 'A country cook's kitchen ' by Alison Walker published by Rizzoli New York, March 2012, Photos by Tara Fisher, reproduced with permission, all right reserved)

Thai Basil and Cumin Lemonade, Flavor Exposed for your Week-End Garden Party

Those menu or time challenged have been treated in the past year to a few cookbooks that give a 360 degree view of the world's cuisines in one tome.

One of the entriesin that category is Flavor Exposed '100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy' (Kyle Books, April 2012) by Angelo Sosa with foreword by Alain Ducasse.

Besides sweet and savory dishes, Summer garden parties deserve creative drinks, here's one.

Thai Basil and Cumin Lemonade

Serves: 4 Time: About 15 minutes Flavors: Sour/Sweet/Herbaceous

If my son ever decides to have a lemonade stand, I’d like to think I’d have some influence over his product. If so, this would be my suggestion for our collaborative effort: a refreshing, fragrant beverage suitable for all ages. Seriously, I’m pretty sure this is a get-rich-quick idea for a small business, so if you want to steal it and start a Thai Basil and Cumin Lemonade stand, by all means, go for it.

 2 cups fresh lemon juice

1½ cups water

1½ cups sugar

2 fresh sprigs Thai basil, plus leaves

2 tablespoons sliced ginger

2 teaspoons cumin seeds



1 In a large pitcher, combine the lemon juice, water, sugar, Thai basil, and ginger.

2 Put the cumin seeds in a small dry sauté pan over low heat and toast until just

aromatic, about 2 minutes. Immediately add the warm cumin seeds to infuse the

lemonade with the cumin flavor and stir to dissolve the sugar. Refrigerate until

fully chilled, about 30 minutes.

3 To serve, mix again and pour over ice. Garnish with Thai basil leaves.

(* Recipe from Flavor Exposed '100 Global Recipes from Sweet to Salty, Earthy to Spicy' (Kyle Books, April 2012) by Angelo Sosa with foreword by Alain Ducasse, Photos by William Brinson, reproduced with permission of the publisher, all rights reserved)

Shy Shy, Go for the Blushing Greyhound Drink, Alcohol, Gluten & Lactose Free

Shy, shy go for the Blushing Greyhound non-alcoholic drink from The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books)

Blushing Greyhound

Makes 1 Serving

Enjoy as a beverage or use as a base for a sorbet.

½ cup ice cubes
½ cup fresh grapefruit juice
2 ½ teaspoons grenadine syrup
Wrap the ice cubes in a dishtowel and pound with a heavy saucepan. Place the remaining ingredients in a tall glass with the crushed ice. Stir well. Serve immediately.

Intolerant gourmet

Blushing Greyhound Sorbet
Makes 1 Quart
To make a sorbet, combine 2 cups grapefruit juice, 3 ½ tablespoons grenadine, and 1 cup Simple Syrup and freeze the mixture overnight. Make sure to scrape it periodically with a fork to prevent it from becoming one solid block. Otherwise, pour the mixture into ice cube trays, freeze overnight, and then process in a food processor. Alternatively, use a sorbet maker.

Simple Syrup

Makes 3 cups

Simple Syrup is often used to sweeten cold drinks—alcoholic and non—as the sugar is already dissolved. It is also used to make sorbet. It sweetens the dish but also keeps it from degenerating into large crystals.
The simple syrup given here is a one-to-one syrup, meaning one part water to one part sugar. Sometimes a heavier syrup made with two parts sugar to one part water is desire, or, conversely, a lighter one made with one part sugar to two parts water. Boiling the syrup not only dissolves the sugar but also stabilizes the mixture.
2 cups sugar
Combine the sugar with 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

(*Excerpted from The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2011. Photographs by Johnny Miller.