We’re supposed to hit 90 for Memorial Day (which I’m thrilled about, though I will now shut up about it since I know you guys don’t want to hear how much I love DC’s most tropical months) so here’s another report on summer drinks.
This time I got a quart of strawberries from the farmer’s market. They were, let’s say, rich in ripeness. A little ways over the peak of their lusciousness and skidding into that blowsy, makeup-smeared stage, the 2 AM of la vida loca fresa. I cut off the tops and chopped maybe six or seven medium-sized strawberries. I threw them into a blender with sugar, cayenne, and salt, and whirred them until they were basically smooth, just a little slushy. Then added fresh chopped basil and whirred a tad bit more. Decanted into a big glass–the strawberry slush filled at most a third of it–and filled to the top with club soda, then ground some black pepper over it (with the grinder on… I’m not sure how to describe the settings, but it’s a setting where you still get some big fat granules of pepper to crunch between your teeth, yum yum).
The verdict: This is pretty terrific, though if I had it to do over I’d add a bit more sugar and leave out the cayenne. I generally like heat, but this is already a complex drink and it just didn’t need the extra weirdness. OTOH the pepper and basil were super, good job there, self.