In wintertime, it’s a great and welcome thing to put one’s hands around a mug of hot tea, cocoa, coffee, cider; a great and welcome hand-warmer that, when upended at the lips, becomes heartwarming as well. The mulled drinks and toddies and steaming honey lemonade can do so much to ameliorate the harshness of the cold months that I am always grateful for the offer of a cup of such kindness.
Nonetheless, it is in the hottest parts of the year that my mind turns continually to longings for a glass, a pitcher, a fountain of something refreshing to drink. Thirst becomes more of a necessity and sometimes borders on unseemly obsession. And I find that when it’s offered to me, a good drink can be full of surprises, too.
I suppose it’s a little like whatever crossroads in my life led me to learn that many flowers were edible. That cheering revelation, coupled with the realization that this was only in keeping with recognizing how many other parts of plants I had already been eating without so much as a second thought, meant that a whole realm of unexplored flavors and methods of preparation and recipes unfurled before my hungry mind and stomach.
Safe to say that ever since that tipping (or tippling) point, I’ve been on a perpetual hunt for the next flavor, common or unique, and the next combination, easy or complicated, that will thrill my taste buds and those of my buddies, alike. Prickly Pear
To the uninitiated, it’s unappealing to think of cooling the desert air
by slurping at something named for its prickles
But after slaking fiery thirst with it, one finds the Prickly Pear
just as fine and dandy as ice cream and popsicles.
1 cup Prickly pear syrup + 1 cup fresh lemon juice + 1 qt/4 cups sparkling water = Prickly Pear Pink Lemonade
1 batch Prickly Pear Lemonade + 1/4 cup Limoncello + 1/4 cup Prickly pear liqueur + speared pieces of dragon fruit as garnish = Parents’ Potent Prickly Pear Lemonade
As with all of my ‘recipes’, the best way to make this in either version–or your own–is to have the ingredients on hand and then mix them, a little at a time, to your own taste.
Would greatly appreciate, O’Mistress of Liquid Refreshments, a dark, thick ale absent fat-producing ingredients…
Now I’m having to start thinking of how to find ones that are gluten free. Who knew! But I’ll bet there’s some such, if I just keep my peepers peeled. Worth the effort, no? 😀