July 10, 2011

Pretty in Pink

When it gets really hot, I seriously crave cold drinks. It just started to be summer here in Minnesota a few weeks ago, but we’ve already had quite a few 90-plus days. And in that time, I’ve collected a good number of cold drink recipes. I nabbed a rose water milkshake recipe on Pinterest; I filed away a burnt banana chocolate malt recipe from Joy the Baker. I’ve ear marked the equipment I need to make homemade sodas in the most recent Williams-Sonoma catalog. And I happily sipped (or chugged) my watermelon mint water from the Mill City  Farmer’s Market yesterday (one of three reasons why I love that market).

So this weekend, I decided a cold drink was in order. I wanted to do something seasonal. And I wanted a little bit of a project. Not a lot of a project.

Strawberry Ice Cream Sodas.

As with a lot of what I’ve been making lately, they are incredibly easy, but so sweet and refreshing.

You start with fresh strawberries (preferably fresh from the a farmer’s market). You combine them with sugar and lemon juice, put them in the fridge, and let them do their thing overnight.

Then the next day, you squeeze the buh-Jesus out of them through a sieve and collect the bright pink luscious syrup they make. It’s so pretty and delicious, it even made a smiley face in the bowl. Can you see it?

When you’re ready to enjoy, you put some of the syrup on the bottom of a soda fountain glass, pour some club soda in, stir. And then you bring out the big guns. And scoop in some strawberry ice cream. And top with a little bit more club soda.

Then you make sure the lovely recipient of your drink is given a straw and a spoon. And you enjoy while sitting on the porch. (We actually didn’t enjoy while sitting on the porch. We enjoyed while putting our bedroom back together after having hardwoods installed THREE months ago. But the porch would have been a nice touch.)

Strawberry Ice Cream Sodas, adapted slightly from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten

Strawberry Syrup

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
½ cup sugar
Juice from 1 lemon

Also need:

Club soda
Strawberry ice cream (I like Haagen Dazs best, and not only b/c I work for General Mills)

To make syrup, stir together the sliced strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve, pushing down on the strawberries to release all of their juices.

To assemble, place 3 tbsp of the syrup in the bottom of a soda fountain glass. Fill the glass 2/3 full of club soda, and stir. Add 3 scoops of ice cream, and top with a little bit more club soda.

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