Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nectarines put to delicious work
in addictive summer potion

Nectarines are at their glorious best right now, and I’ve got a recipe that puts them to delicious work.
   Nectarine-Basil Lemonade (click for the recipe) is an addictive potion that first appeared in the pages of Gourmet magazine in July 1993.
   Since I first discovered the recipe a few years ago, I’ve made it several times, and been amazed every single time at how terrific it is. It’s also a favorite of my husband’s.
   It’s not too sweet; rather, it’s a fine tribute to the refreshment properties of nectarines.
   The non-alcoholic drink is family-friendly and would do very well at a backyard barbecue. But it’s also super for weeknights, too, and perks up any suppertime.
   I always substitute an equal amount of Splenda for sugar in the recipe, and the result is pleasing.
   Nectarine-Basil Lemonade is astonishingly easy to make.
   In a small saucepan, water, one cup of fresh basil, one coarsely-chopped nectarine and the sugar or Splenda are brought to a boil, then simmered for five minutes (I turned the burner down all the way to low for simmering).
   The mixture is cooled, then strained through a fine sieve into a pitcher. Water, a thinly-sliced nectarine, and one cup of fresh lemon juice is added and the mixture stirred.
   At this point, I always refrigerate the drink for at least three hours.
   The lemonade is served over ice.

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