BLUEBERRY LEMON MINT SODA

Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca

In support of summer weather I bring you this cooling drink so you can settle into the deep heat. Let if flow over you; welcome it because it won't stay forever and you'll be craving it soon. Sip cold drinks, point fans at your barely clothed body and avoid turning on your oven. This is how I live in hot summer months. 

Pros of Hot Weather

  • No need for a sauna, you live in one
  • A multitude of cold drinks all day long
  • Swimming feels exceptional and necessary
  • Being lazy and not feeling bad about it 
  • Patio drinks
  • Rose wine (or frose)
  • Hair on head grows faster

Cons of Hot Weather

  • Hair on body grows faster
  • Bugs everywhere
  • Hot garbage smell (in the city)
  • Hot manure smell (in the country)
  • Under boob sweat
  • Back sweat pooling in butt crack
  • Chub rub– the struggle is real my fellow thick thigh ladies (and men).
  • It's so hot your drink sweats and slips out of your hand and spills all over your new summer dress. But at least you're cooled off so maybe it's a pro?

I've been obsessed with blueberries lately (see my blueberry tarragon gravlax). They are a classic Canadian summer food and I feel the need to devour them in pies, smoothies, jams, muffins or all on their own. They awaken memories of wandering through forests, swimming in lakes and the sound of cicadas on hot days. 

Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca
yellow water lily + my bff Alex

yellow water lily + my bff Alex

I just returned from a camping trip with two of my favourite people and we had the most amazing time. We canoed down a river filled with lilies and lily pads, saw blue herons up close, bought doughnut and watermelon floaties and swam in the waves of Lake Huron, made delicious camp food, played cards, sipped on these wine-ciders (half cider + half pinot noir = the perfect cooler), listened to baby wolves howling at night and relaxed into our naturey surroundings. It reminded me how peaceful and calming my mind can be and how connected I feel in the outdoors. It reminded me I live in an outrageously beautiful country with a rich history of people who lived off this land and respected it to the highest degree. It reminded me of the beauty all over the world and how much I still want to see and experience. As much as I tend to dislike winters in Canada (which feel never ending), the summers are so gorgeous that it might make up for it. No Canadian has ever uttered the words “Winters go by so fast!". If they do they're lying and are probably trying to get you to visit when it's cold and dark and all they'll want to do is cuddle and eat bread. Don't. Do. It.

But do come in the summer. It is breathtaking. 

white water lily

white water lily

Lake Huron at Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Lake Huron at Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca

Let's talk simple syrup for a hot minute. I want to show you how to make your own easily and with more exciting things than white sugar. This recipe calls for a honey simple syrup. Don't worry, it takes no time and you'll have a new skill to impress people with. 

Standard simple syrup recipes are a 1:1 ratio of sugar/sweetener to water. If you prefer a thinner less sweet syrup, add a bit more water than sugar. If you prefer a thicker sweeter syrup, add more sugar than water. “Rich syrup" is a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. Usually simple syrup is made by adding water and sugar/sweetener of choice to a small pot and heating to just before a boil until fully dissolved. But there is no need to turn on the stove on a hot day. Below I have included the lazy person's way which is how I usually make drink syrups of all kinds. 

Make simple syrups out of any of the following for subtle but different flavours:

  • Demerara or turbinado syrup– for a deeper more caramel-like flavour. Good for tropical drinks/ rum drinks.
  • Honey syrup– you can use any type of honey you like. Good for iced black/green tea, drinks with jasmine, gin, lemon, or bourbon. 
  • Agave syrup– the lighter in colour the agave is, the more it will taste like classic simple syrup. The darker in colour the more rich the flavour will be, closer to honey. Good for margaritas (lighter agave), tequila or mezcal cocktails, drinks with lime or watermelon.
  • Coconut sugar or brown sugar syrup– for a deeper, more molasses-like flavour. Good for winter cocktails, old fashioneds, bourbon based cocktails. 
  • Maple syrup– use real maple syrup always. Good for old fashioneds, bourbon based cocktails, ciders, mulled wine, dark or light rum, any warm winter flavours like allspice, cinnamon or clove. 

One Minute Honey Simple Syrup Recipe

  • Boil water in your kettle. Add equal parts of honey and boiled water to a container with a tight sealable lid. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds or until completely dissolved. Keep in fridge for up to one month. Make as much or as little as you like. 
Blueberry Lemon Mint Soda || Refreshing summer mocktail recipe made with blueberries, lemon juice, honey, sparkling water + fresh mint. No refined sugars and tastes amazing as a gin or vodka cocktail. || creamandhoney.ca

BLUEBERRY LEMON MINT SODA

the magic

inspiration:                         hot summer days in Canada

the feels:                             sweet, tart, fresh, effervescent

eat with:                              barbecued fish, blueberry tarragon                                                    gravlax, a splash of gin, watermelon                                                  feta salad

might like if you're into:      Foraging, fruit galettes, pine forests,                                                canoeing, The Great Lakes, the sound of                                            cicadas, daddy long legs, wading in                                                  rivers

 

the science

ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                       blueberry preserves

  • 1 cup blueberries (frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 4 - 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 lemon zested

blueberry lemon soda (one serving)

  • 1.5 ounces (3 tablespoons) blueberry preserves
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce honey simple syrup (see above for easy one minute recipe)
  • 4 mint leaves
  • sparkling water
  • mint sprig or lemon wheel for garnish

method:

                                                                                                                                                                                          blueberry preserves 

  1. Add blueberries, sugar, lemon zest and 4 tablespoons of water to small pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer blueberries for 10 to 15 minutes. Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water if thick. The final consistency should be more like blueberry syrup, not thick like jam. Let cool, pour into mason jar  and seal. Keep in fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for up to two months. 

blueberry lemon soda

  1. In a cocktail shaker (or mason jar), add blueberry preserves, lemon juice, honey simple syrup, and mint leaves. Fill shaker or jar 3/4 full with ice, seal and shake for 10 seconds. Fill short rocks glass with ice, open cocktail shaker and strain (with cocktail strainer or hand held strainer) over rocks glass. Top with sparkling water, stir gently and garnish with mint sprig or sliced lemon wheel. If using a bigger/taller glass or making two, double the ratios in the recipe. 

 

GINGER HIBISCUS SWITCHEL: A FERMENTED DETOX DRINK

Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Hello January. This is the time of year when sleeping the next 2 to 3 months away sounds like a viable  and more pleasant option than bearing the dead of winter. The weather has turned unbearably cold, I've become OCD about applying (and re-applying) body butter so I don't crack from dryness and the high from Christmas cheer is no more. It isn't all bad though, it's an opportunity for resting and stillness. The holidays filled with relaxing, parties and obscene amounts of food and alcohol are over. For me this means some kind of cleanse or detox is necessary to regain balance so that I do more than nap - eat - Netflix - repeat. This is more of a renewal period rather than a New Years resolution. Being a human is hard enough without putting too much pressure on yourself to be the healthiest most beautiful successful lady in the land. How about just a better feeling me? That I can handle. 

Pressure and responsibility in my brain:

On Vacation                                                                                                                                                               Pressure level: 0.                                                                                                                                                           Thoughts: I'm great at vacation! It's probably the thing I do best. Also drinking margaritas. But that's all part of the job.."

A day off with nothing to do                                                                                                                                Pressure level: 2 (because Toronto always has an air pressure and sometimes I forget look both ways before crossing the street).                                                                                                                                       Thoughts: I woke up, cleaned my body and put food in it. I'm a lady boss right now" *Puts in head phones, turns up music very loud and dances around apartment to Beyonce and Solange*

A cleaning + groceries day.                                                                                                                                       Pressure level: 3                                                                                                                                                                         Thoughts: Look at me doing stuff! I'M A REAL ADULT NOW, WORLD! I even organized the tupperware lids that attack me when I open the cupboard!" 

Paying bills and making an appointment (aka a very adult day)                                                                    Pressure level: 6                                                                                                                                                       Thoughts: What IS money though, really?! It's not even a real thing, like bars of gold or precious gems! We should go back to trading things so I could pay my phone bill in that Pinterest DIY wine cork craft I made."       

A work day plus additional chores after.                                                                                                                         Pressure level: 8                                                                                                                                                     Thoughts:  THIS IS TOO MANY THINGS FOR ONE PERSON! WHAT AM I, A FUCKING WIZARD?!"

People talking about pensions and retirement plans.                                                                                       Pressure level: 95, 000                                                                                                                                               Thoughts: How will I survive as an old lady? I mean, the games of bridge will be fun but where will I live and how will I digest the gruel they feed people in old age homes?! Omg! What about if I'm too broke for an old age home?! Where do they send poor elderly people?! Probably those places where they're abused and the gruel is made with water instead of milk. Or is THAT even too expensive? Maybe when I'm almost old enough for that I'll just go stand in the middle of a field with a metal rod in a thunderstorm in hopes lightning strikes me dead. I've always wanted to die by lightning strike (or asleep peacefully in my bed). I'd rather die early than spend 5 to 20 years eating grey meals and sitting in front of the one gazing window. Also, WTF is a mutual fund anyways!?!?!?"

Doing taxes.                                                                                                                                                                   Pressure level: System Overload                                                                                                                     Thoughts: ⑂⏚␦⍥⌲⎀⌘☞♤☃☂℅🎶"

Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Great, so now that I've given myself a panic attack (and maybe you, I'm sorry, I love you) about how I've never been able to adult properly let's just all chill out and be good to ourselves and our bodies for a minute. 

This drink is a perfect start to detoxing in the new year. It's called switchel or haymaker's punch and it has unconfirmed mysterious roots in the Caribbean (mystery makes everything better). It is speculated it was brought to North America where farmers began drinking it as an old timey gatorade! It has electrolytes galore, it's fermented (which means good for your digestion and pretty much everything ever), it's anti-inflammatory and the taste!!! Ohhh the taste. It's so refreshing and delicious. Also, an ideal hangover drink or if you've indulged in a lot of rich food. And! It's so easy to make. You can mix up a big batch and have it on hand for whenever you need some nourishment. It's also amazing with gin if you find yourself off a cleanse and needing to calm down after doing taxes or having an existential crisis. Just sayin.   

Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca

Benefits:

  • Raw apple cider vinegar: Good for almost everything ever. If you haven't been doing shots of apple cider vinegar for years and wishing they could taste better (and now it can!) then check out here the benefits of apple cider vinegar. It makes our bodies more alkaline, helps detoxify the liver, prevents heart burn/acid reflux, helps digestion, regulates blood sugar and so much more). It must be the raw unpasteurized kind from the health food stores. You want all that weird looking sediment at the bottom, just shake before pouring. (Good brands: BRAGG's, Eden, Filsinger's, Omega Nurtrition)
  • Ginger: anti-inflammatory, good for digestion + nausea, boosts immune system + helps fight infection, lowers blood sugar, + more. 
  • Honey: antibacterial, anti fungal, helps heal wounds, boosts immune system, good for heart burn + more. 
  • Hibiscus: high in vitamin C (boosts immune system), lowers blood pressure, cooling effect so it's good for fever and hot flashes. 
  • Mint: good for digestion + nausea, cooling effect, good for liver function, good for breath and inhibiting bacteria growth in mouth. Bonus! Apparently makes you fart less too.
  • Lime (optional): Vitamin C (boosts immune system), good for digestion, helps heartburn, anti-inflammatory, helps with constipation.

 

Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca
Ginger Hibiscus Switchel || This healthy fermented drink recipe is super easy and uses only a few ingredients. Similar to kombucha and perfect for a summer mocktail or a detox! Add gin to make it a cocktail. || www.creamandhoney.ca

GINGER HIBISCUS SWITCHEL

the magic

inspiration:                my kombucha obsession

the feels:                    refreshing, slightly tart and sweet

eat with:                     a hangover, after exercise, heartburn, a                                             need for nourishment. Add gin or vodka to                                         make it a fun cocktail. 

might like if you're into:          kombucha, jun tea, all things                                                            fermented, detoxifying, hibiscus                                                        watermelon popsicles

 

the science

makes 4 cups of switchel || prep time: 5 minutes // steep time: 2 to 12 hours

ingredients:

  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into coins or matchsticks
  • 5 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup dried hibiscus (sorrel) flowers
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups water
  • splash of soda water
  • optional: slice of lime 

method:

  1. In a litre mason jar or container with sealable lid, add fresh ginger, apple cider vinegar, honey, hibiscus and water. Seal lid and shake until honey is dissolved. Add mint leaves and reseal. Place in fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours (I usually leave mine overnight).
  2. Strain switchel after 8 to 12 hours (no more so that it doesn't over steep, it can get quite astringent if the hibiscus is in too long).
  3. Pour into glass over ice with an inch to spare. Add a splash of soda water to top up the glass. Add a slice of lime if desired. 

WATERMELON HIBISCUS LIME POPSICLES

Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca

The first time I had agua de jamaica (pronounced hah-MY-kah) in Mexico, I was hooked. It was a vibrant deep red-purple, always made from scratch and tastes divinely tart and fruity. 

A few things I learned while living in Mexico...

 Always kiss people on the cheek upon greeting and parting ways. They love love.                             Arrive late to all things, it is basically expected.                                                                                                             The best tacos of your life are eaten on the street at 4 am after the bar.                                                               Green salsa may be hotter than red salsa. But red salsa may be hotter than green salsa. Depends on      the place. Taste them before adding to your food. Or be wild and don't.                                                 When you ask for directions, chances are they don't know. But they will gladly make something up      and send you wherever sounds right. (This might be part of why everyone's always late).                      Popsicles aka paletas are made with fresh fruit and there are shops devoted to just these.                  Agua de Jamaica with lime, always.                                                                                                                                     Watermelon juice with lime.                                                                                                                                 Tequila with lime. Not lemon. Lemons don't even grow in Mexico and if you try and ask for one, you   will get lime. And you will like it, dammit.                                                                                                                      Tacos with lime.                                                                                                                                                       Popcorn with lime. (For real–squeeze on some lime, pinch of salt + hot sauce, preferably Valentina).     Meat with lime.                                                                                                                                                                    Fruit with lime.                                                                                                                                                                      Lime with lime.                                                                                                                                                                Everything with lime! Forever and ever, and we all live happily ever after. 

These popsicles are an ode to two of my favourite aguas frescas from Mexico–Agua de Jamaica (hibiscus) and Agua de Sandia (watermelon). I made them not too sweet to focus on the freshness of the watermelon alongside with the tartness of hibiscus. 

Shopping Note: You can find dried hibiscus flowers at Latin grocery stores (aka flor de jamaica) or Caribbean shops (aka sorrel).

Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca

Is it weird that I like how these photos remind me of blood spatter patterns and the intro to Dexter

Bonus–besides being tasty, watermelon is so good for you guys! Like crazy good. Check out these 25 science-backed health benefits of watermelon! Hibiscus also has healing properties. It is helpful for the heart, digestive system and contains vitamin C. Also, these popsicles turn your tongue bright red! Healthy and fun. You're welcome. 

Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca
Watermelon Hibiscus Lime Popsicles || Fresh + healthy ice pops made with all natural ingredients. Easy to make with no refined sugars! A perfect summer dessert and great for kids. Only six ingredients, plant based, dairy free + vegan. ||creamandhoney.ca

WATERMELON HIBISCUS LIME POPSICLES

t h e   m a g i c

i n s p i r a t i o n :                     Mexican aguas frescas + paletas

f e e l s :                                        fresh, cool, tart + sweet

e a t   w i t h :                              fresh fruit juices, sparkling water, horchata, margaritas + friends 

m i g h t   l i k e   i f   y o u ' r e   i n t o :           heat waves, sunny days, soothing sore throats, garnets +                                                                                            rubies, summer vacation, pool lounging, slip and slides

t h e   s c i e n c e 

makes approximately 8 popsicles

i n g r e d i e n t s :

  • 1/4 cup dried hibiscus flowers 
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave
  • 5 cups cubed watermelon (approximately 1/2 a small watermelon)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed

m e t h o d :

  1. In a medium saucepan add the water and hibiscus flowers and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat, add mint leaves and honey and stir until dissolved. Let mixture sit for 20-30 minutes to steep.
  2. Meanwhile, blend watermelon in a blender until smooth. Strain watermelon through cheesecloth so that only the juice remains. 
  3. Pour hibiscus mixture through a strainer to remove all the flower and mint leaves. Pour watermelon juice into hibiscus mixture. Add lime juice and stir.
  4. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. 

Health Benefits of Watermelon by Well-beingsecrets.com