Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberry Sharbat/Cooler (Agua Fresca)

I recently received gifts of beautiful homegrown limes and freshly picked luscious strawberries. When life brings you limes, you make limeade; but when you get both limes and strawberries, you make strawberry sharbat :D!

Every country and cuisine has its own special cooling beverages or Agua Frescas to counteract warm and sultry weather. In India, delicious and refreshing coolers called sharbats are made from various ingredients including fruits - the classic ones being Nimbu Sharbat (Limeade) and Lassi (a yogurt beverage) - pronounced Luh-ssi and not lassie.

Stevia extract is a natural sweetner made from the Stevia plant that works well with acidic ingredients; it adds sweetness without a lot of calories. It is available as liquid or fine powders; I prefer the liquid type as it has the least aftertaste according to my taste. If preferred, the sharbat can be made with regular sugar as well. Whichever way it is made, strawberry sharbat should taste limey but balanced in its taste - neither too sweet nor too tart.

4 Servings


1 cup Strawberries, fresh/frozen
1 large Tahitian Lime
Stevia Extract to taste
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 cups Sparkling water, chilled
Ice cubes, to serve
Mint sprigs, Lime slices, whole strawberries, etc for garnish


Wash the strawberries thoroughly and remove stems and sepals.

Squeeze the lime; save the rinds.

Let the rinds soak in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes up to an hour; the rinds will release flavorful lime oils into the water. Strain the water and set aside for the sharbat and discard the rind. Leaving the rinds in the water for too long will produce a bitter taste - so prompt removal is required.

Place the strawberries, lime rind water, and lime juice with the salt in a blender and pulverize into a smooth puree. Strain the puree through a five sieve to remove the seeds if you desire.

Pour the strawberry puree in a large jar and add the Stevia to taste and the sparkling water.

Mix well and pour over ice cubes.

Garnish as desired and serve. Enjoy!

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