I realize that lemonade is not exactly considered a Fall Favorite. But how about Pear Lemonade with Thai Basil?
Lemonade typically reminds us of lazy summer afternoons spent on the porch– ice cubes tinkling in our glasses, sweat dripping from our brows. Lemonade is for swimsuits and heatwaves, not rainstorms and fuzzy sweaters, right?
Well to my way of drinking lemonade should be a year-round treat. All it takes is tart, juicy lemons mixed with seasonal produce, and a bit of creativity. I’m sure we could think of an appropriate lemonade for every season. Starting with this season and this Pear Lemonade with Thai Basil.
Whole, fresh ripe pears add a hint of honey taste and a rich texture to this sweet and sour seasonal sipper. I used green-skinned Bartlett pears, which results in a beautiful celadon color. The addition of Thai basil adds the barest hint of anise, another favorite fall flavor of mine. In fact, I find myself substituting Thai basil this time of year in almost every recipe that calls for basil. In my garden, sweet summer basil has already begun to fade and go black and slimy! My Thai basil is just beginning to set big purple spikes of flowers and is developing its most pronounced flavor of the year.
So pull out the fuzzy sweater and get the rakes out while you’re at it. Because along with cool, crisp weather and preparations for Thanksgiving, fall brings the additional chore of leaf clean-up. Some people love getting out there and raking up a yard full of leaves. Others would rather do just about anything else. No matter which sort you are, I predict a little Pear Lemonade could get you quite a few happy helpers.
So call all the kids on the block– their reward is simple. In fact, while you’re at it, invite the parents too. A splash of Poire Williams pear brandy will turn a few fallen leaves and a glass of Pear Lemonade with Thai Basil into a real party. GREG