I know it’s fall but we still enjoy a fancy melon cucumber soda!
One of the by-products of being foodie parents is raising foodie kids. This most often is a great thing, but at times has it’s minuses. The term “Foodie” can easily be synonymous with boojee! And there are times that boojee element to my kids can force me to SMDH! I can recall having some of the fellas over to enjoy a rather large amount of pork belly I had sourced from a nearby Wisconsin farmer and smoked. Excited to have my young son participate in a gathering of cool guys, he promptly enters the kitchen and announces we’re out of cheese. Keep in mind I grew up thinking both veleveeta and government “cheese” were actually real cheese. After reminding my son of the fact that we did have cheese on hand he corrected me in a matter of fact polite tone of privilige with the words, “I’m sorry dad, but I meant we are out of the smoked Gouda.” I guess given where I came from I should consider myself blessed that it’s all good baby bay-bee!
It’s the same attitude and behavior with other ingredients and products including soda. On any given night my son infuses water or club soda with herbs, citrus zests, or tart berries. Other times he’s gulping down homemade agua frescas or craft ginger beers from the likes of Soco which we buy weekly at our local farmers market. I joke about his “foodieness” but the reality is he is not likely to buy/consume commercially produced sugary sodas. Given his interests (he once asked for a Soda Stream for Christmas), I decided we’d start making homemade soda. This is his first foray as he chose the ingredients and I showed him the quick and simple way to make his own melon cucumber soda.
It goes without saying that quality ingredients is key in making anything worth consuming. For this melon cucumber soda we went for refreshing qualities owing partly due to the fact that despite it being late fall we’re still having rather warm weather down here in Austin. I’ve also observed that my son is a texture person similar to myself. Given the thickness of the melon-cucumber puree the club soda offers two benefits – it helps to thin out the drink as well as provide that sparkling effervescence element that adds a fun factor. Finishing with basil leaves you with a refreshing, sparkling soda with both floral and herbal notes. The lime juice helps to bring out the dull flavor from both the cucumber and melon.
Besides using quality ingredients, it’s important to strike a balance between the cucumber and melon. It’s this balance that makes the soda work. Balance in this instance, literally means using equal parts of each of the two main ingredients.
This recipe can easily be converted to a tasty cocktail. Gin, vokda, and cachaca (Brazilian rum) blend well without disturbing the character of the drink. Think gin/vodka tonic but elevated.
Dope beats, fresh eats. Enjoy this refreshing melon cucumber soda!
Honeydew Melon and Cucumber Soda with Basil
- 1/2 lb. ripe melon honeydew, musk or similar with white to green flesh, peeled, seeded, chopped into chunks
- 1/2 lb. cucumbers peeled, seeded, and chopped into chunks
- Juice from 3 medium limes
- 2 large whole basil leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp of sugar or equivalent honey
- Club Soda
Combine cucumber and melon in blender with basil and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture into a large bowl and chill immediately for 30 minutes to an hour.
Add lime juice, sugar/honey to the mixture and stir well. Adjust sweetness as needed. Keep in mind the addition of the club soda will dilute the flavor some depending on how much soda you use.
Fill a tall glass with equal parts club soda and cucumber-melon mixture. Garnish with more basil.
For a grown-up alcoholic beverage this pairs well with gin or Brazilian Rum Cachaca.