“Garden to Glass” is the theme of the MSHS Minnesota State Fair educational display this year. We’ve been offering tips and four special beverage recipes developed just for us by the folks at Quincy Street Kitchen. The recipes incorporate herbs, fruits and vegetables into cocktails, mocktails and other drinks.
In addition to the four recipes you can pick up when you visit our booth in the Dirt Wing of the Horticulture Building, here’s a bonus recipe you can try at home. The recipe calls for cantaloupe, but it would also work with watermelon, honeydew or whichever melon you like best.
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 limes, zested and the juice
Ginger root, a piece the size of your thumb
Small handful of mint or other herb, if desired
1 or more Minnesota Midget melons (or other cantaloupe)
Ice, sparkling water for serving
Mix the sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and bring it to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Zest the three limes, peel and slice the ginger, and remove herb leaves from stems. When the water boils, remove from heat and add ginger, lime zest and herbs to infuse the syrup. Let cool.
When the syrup is room temperature, strain the syrup to remove ginger and herb pieces. Juice the lime, and seed and remove the flesh from the melon. Blend the sugar syrup, lime juice and melon flesh in a blender until it’s smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve, if desired.
To serve, pour about 1/3 cup of the melon mixture in a tall glass with ice and top it off with sparkling water. Enjoy in the garden. This is a flexible recipe. Use watermelon, if you prefer, substitute different herbs or add lemon instead of lime. To make it a cocktail, add your favorite liquor—maybe rum?
We hope you enjoy this bonus recipe, but be sure to stop by our booth at the Minnesota State Fair to get the other recipes and talk all things horticulture with our volunteers.
This recipe originally appeared on the MyNorthernGarden blog.