The last hot stretch of summer may well be behind us. I had to trade my shorts for a pair of jeans earlier this week. The days are officially getting shorter and the air cooler. I find these in-between periods separating two seasons interesting, as they force us to sit still and enjoy what’s right here. It’s easy to start getting excited for squashes, crunchy leaves under our feet and warm soups. Or to think back with nostalgia about the summer that has just passed, reminiscing over its joys and pleasures. This transition stage is often uncomfortable, but always necessary. And I’ve been making conscious efforts this year to enjoy it fully. To not feel sad about the fact that my favourite season is slowly fading away, but instead celebrate today – and each day – for what it is: unique and wonderful.
Speaking of celebration, I created this cocktail as part of today’s #DRINKTHESUMMER virtual party, hosted by the lovely Sherrie of With Food + Love (more on the party below!). This little drink is the perfect expression of this in-between feeling, I think. Refreshing enough to be enjoyed in the warm season, but with grounding and warming spices, gently preparing our senses for fall. Plums and figs are the real heroes here, naturally sweet and delicious. The fruits are lightly spiced with ginger and star anise, for some comfort and a bit of kick.
I’ve declared my love for kombucha and talked in this post about how wonderful it is for us, so it was a given for me to use it in a cocktail again. It brings a natural fizziness that I just can’t get enough of. And it balances the flavours here in a very lovely way. The healthy benefits are just a bonus. There are still a few good summer nights ahead, so I hope you’ll get to enjoy this little cocktail outside on the patio, with the ones you love.
There’s a #drinkthesummer virtual party happening today around the blogosphere, and you’re all invited! 53 talented bloggers are sharing their boozy and non-boozy creations, as a way to celebrate the bounty of this gorgeous season. So much inspiration you guys!!
Follow the party on Instagram with the hashtag #DRINKTHESUMMER and be sure to pop over the amazing blogs listed below to see all their delicious creations. A huge thank you to Sherrie for organizing this fabulous bash.
Notes on the recipe: Alcohol is optional here, this cocktail is absolutely delicious without. But if you feel like it, I recommend using a high-quality gin or vodka. I used Dillon’s Unfiltered Gin 22, a fabulous gin, handcrafted locally in the Niagara region.
- 1 cup pitted and sliced plums (about 1½ large plum, or 5-6 small)
- 1 cup sliced figs (about 5-6 figs)
- 3 star anise pods
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 tbsp raw, unpasteurized honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
- 4 oz. gin (or vodka) - optional
- 2 cups unflavoured kombucha
- Ice cubes
- A few slices of plums and/or figs & one star anise
- Place sliced plums and figs in a small saucepan. Add ginger and star anise pods and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 7-8 minutes, or until fruits are completely soft. Remove from heat and let cool completely (you can place it in the fridge to speed up this process).
- Remove anise pods from the cooled fruit mixture, then transfer to a blender. Add honey and puree until smooth. Place a fine mesh sieve over a small bowl and strain puree through the sieve, pressing with a spoon to extract as much puree as possible.
- Fill four 8 ounce glasses with ice cubes. Add 3 tablespoons of puree to each glass. Top with ½ cup kombucha and stir well. Garnish with a few slices of plums and/or figs and a star anise. Serve immediately.
“Summer is a state of mind.”
If you like this recipe, feel free to pin it to Pinterest. If you make it, make sure to tag your photos with #thegreenlifeblog on Instagram so I can see! And for more inspiration throughout the week, follow me on Nom.