Citrus season in the US has always seemed a little bit bizarre to me. Many of the desserts and beverages I associate most with summer are laden with the juice and zest of these winter beauties: lemon bars, key lime pie, lemonade, and margaritas, to name a few. Perhaps it’s nature’s reminder during the dreariest days of winter that the sun will once again shine bright, and warm the earth with it’s generous rays. Though it likely has more to do with the physiology of citrus plants and their fruiting cycle, ever the optimist, I tend to lean towards whimsy and romance, and therefore choose to think in terms of the former explanation.
I tend to avoid drinking juice, soda and other sweet beverages (unless there’s alcohol involved #boozehound), as I’d rather spend my discretionary calories on more satiating sweets, but I will always make an exception for a well executed lemonade or limeade*. Add in the sweet-tart punch of fresh kiwi fruit, or infuse it with ginger (if anyone has a particularly good ginger lemonade/limeade recipe, please share!) and you’ll have to tear the glass out of my vice-grip-like hands.
* Much of a high-school-era family trip to Puerto Vallarta was spent at the swim up bar, guzzling perfectly tart limeade. A certain superlative lemonade from L.A. Burdick in Harvard Square haunts my dreams to this day. The limeade, served up in generous ball jars, at Sol Food in San Rafael is exceptional as well.
Luckily for me (and you!) the kiwi season (at least in the SF Bay Area) happens to coincide with the peak of citrus season, further reinforcing my notion that they were meant to be consumed together. So I say,
even especially if the weather is a bit damp and depressing in your part of the world today, throw the two together in a blender, and never look back. Your taste buds will thank you.
Refreshingly tart, with a lovely floral note from the honey, this is a great warm-weather treat. I’d imagine it would make a great cocktail as well, just replace some of the water with vodka or tequila to taste.
5 kiwis, peeled and quartered or sliced thickly
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ½ tablespoons honey
1 ½ cups water or sparkling water
Put the kiwi fruit, lime juice, honey and water in a blender. Blend til smooth (if using sparkling water, add after initial blending). Garnish with a lime wheel or kiwi slice.
You can substitute simple syrup for the honey for a more neutral flavor (though honey pairs exceptionally well with kiwi). Simple syrup is available in the liquor section of most supermarkets, but it’s super easy and economical to make at home, so I’ve never purchased it myself. To make: heat equal volumes granulated sugar and water in a sauce pan til the sugar has dissolved completely. For the same amount of limeade substitute ½ cup cooled simple syrup for the honey. I like to keep a canning jar full of simple syrup on hand as it keeps well, and saves you an extra step when you get the hankering for a cocktail that needs a little extra sweetness (straight sugar takes a long time and a lot of stirring/shaking to dissolve in cold liquids so I don’t recommend using it).