The basil is coming! The basil is coming! Now that summer has finally arrived in the Northeast, our garden has taken off. The result: more basil and mint than I know what to do with.
So when I saw this month’s Recipe Redux theme, summer drinks, my main goal was to find a way to get those sweet leaves into a tasty beverage. When it’s hot and sticky, a light, clean-tasting drink is the way to go. The subtle flavors of melon salads with basil and mint are a favorite of mine, and I figured they could be easily transformed into a refreshing summer drink: sparkling melon fizz.
Head past the jump for the simple recipe, and to see how I Reverse ReDuxed it to make a naughtier version.
To make the sparkling melon fizz (four servings), you’ll need:
Approximately one half each of a honeydew melon and a cantaloupe
One bottle (large) of lemon seltzer
One handful each basil and mint leaves, roughly torn
Using a melon baller, scoop out 10-15 balls from each melon and set aside. Then make another 4-5 rough scoops from each melon, and dice those.
Divide the basil, mint, and diced melon among the four glasses and mix briefly. Divide the balled melon among the four glasses. The melon won’t fully weight down the leaves when you add the seltzer, but they’ll keep it under semi-control.
Pour the seltzer to fill the glass to near the top, and serve! There’s no particular science to the ingredient proportions, by the way; you can just wing it and I’m sure it will come out great.
Now, the whole point of Recipe Redux is for participating bloggers to rethink tasty recipes as healthier versions. But almost as soon as I came up with the melon fizz recipe, my mind wandered to a naughtier alternative. Or maybe I should say, another version popped into my head (sorry, couldn’t resist).
If your otherwise-healthy diet has room in it for the occasional libation, then you may like this version. Instead of lemon seltzer, use a sparkling wine (I used prosecco); add a couple grinds of fresh black pepper for a little extra kick.
Tasty though the prosecco version is, let’s not stray too far from the ReDux mission. To get us back on the healthy path, here are the links to fellow ReDuxers’ blog posts with great summer drinks:
- Gretchen, kumquat – Ginger Ale
- Dr. Barb, Nutrition Budgeteer – Triple Cherry Chiller
- Carlene Helble, Carlene’s Figments – Mint Berry Seltzer
- Kara Lydon, Peace, Love, and Food – Blueberry Basil Lemonade Fizz
- Deanna Segrave-Daly, Teaspoon of Spice – Cantaloupe Basil Aqua Fresca Fizz
- Jessica Fishman Levinson, Nutritioulicious – Blueberry Basil Cooler
- Marie Spano, Performance Nutrition – Post-Workout Power Smoothie
- Elizabeth Jarrard, Don’t White Sugar-Coat It – Southern Blackberry Smash
- Emily Greenfield, The Nutriscientist – Apple, pear and strawberry smoothie with Chia
- Kristen Bourque, Swanky Dietitian – Fresh Fruit and Club Soda Cooler
- Regan Jones, The Profession Palate – Berry-Lime Bubbly –
- Lisa @ Healthful Sense – Berry Refreshing Chia Seed Smoothie
- EA Stewart, The Spicy RD – Gingery Peach Float
- Alysa Bajenaru, Inspired RD – Blackberry Banana Swirl
- Ann Dunaway Teh, Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish – Pregnancy Mocktails
- Yuri, Chef Pandita – Green Tea Ginger Limeade with Chia Seeds
- Karman Meyer, Nutrition Adventures – Orange-Mint Iced Green Tea
- Cherie Schetselaar, Grain Crazy – Mango Strawberry Smoothie
- Emma Stirling, The Scoop on Nutrition – Recipe Redux Tangelo-ade
- Carrie Miller, Nutrition Know How – 12 Smoothie Recipes to Beat the Heat
- Alexandra Caspero, Delicious Knowledge – Strawberry splash mojito
- Janel Ovrut Funk, Eat Well With Janel – Mango melon smoothie
- Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen – Pint-size pina colada
- Danielle Omar, Food Confidence RD – Almond iced-coffee latte
- Rebecca Scritchfield, MeFirst – Banana split smoothie
- Diane Welland, EatwellEatclean – Watermelon Ginger-Lime Aqua Fresca