Last weekend, my girlfriend and I went to flip for reds with friends along the banks of the Kenai River. It was a rainy, gray evening, and along the edge of the water everywhere I could spot wild raspberries peeking through the bushes.
Little spots of deep pink kept catching my eye, and as I imagined how juicy and sweet they might be, I found myself distracted from casting my line repeatedly into the water, instead imagining new ways to use Alaska's plentiful raspberries. Clearly, I make a much better food lover than I do a fisherman. I think I'll stick to my day job.
Today, I simmered down two pints of raspberries with sugar and tossed in several sprigs of fresh mint. Once cool, I pulled out the mint and stirred in lots of freshly squeezed lime juice. You can strain out the seeds and pulp from the cooked raspberries if you so desire, but I opted to leave them in. I poured the mixture over ice and topped it off with club soda.
The result was a refreshing raspberry mint limeade. If you desire, add a splash of rum and transform your limeade into a sparkling raspberry mojito.
Raspberry mint limeade
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water
7 sprigs of mint
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
Place a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the raspberries, sugar and water to the pan, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce heat and allow to cook for five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mint sprigs to the pan. Steep the mint, stirring gently, about 30 seconds. Remove the mint.
If desired, strain out the raspberry seeds with a fine mesh sieve. Allow the raspberry mint mixture to chill in the refrigerator. Once cool, stir in the lime juice. Fill a small glass with ice cubes. Pour the raspberry-mint-lime mixture over ice, filling the cup about half to two-thirds full. Top off the glass with club soda, giving the drink a quick stir. Taste for sweetness, adding more raspberry or club soda as desired. Repeat with remaining glasses. Enjoy promptly with lime wedges, fresh raspberries and/or mint on top. Recipe adapted from Delish Knowledge.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email email@example.com and your inquiry may appear in a future column.