The September Inspired Plate Challenge was “Fall Drinks”. However on this side of the globe in Perth, it is Spring so I made Spring drinks! You wouldn’t know it was Spring here though, the cold and near-constant rain has had me reaching for my thickest hiking jumper to curl up on a couch and rugged up with my favourite blanket and ipad mini. Spring makes me think of freshness, greenery and flowers so this is the inspiration I used for my drinks below.
Firstly, I made lavender syrup from scratch using dried lavender buds (using this recipe) and then added a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Lavender syrup is a wonderful deep purple colour, when diluted with water washes to a pale lilac and when lemon juice is added, it transforms into a vibrant pink drink! I did not add any food colouring to my drink below, that is really how it looked. I loved my lavender syrup + lemon juice, it was delicious – provided you like the floral flavour of lavender.
I was able to source food-grade lavender buds online from Western Australia’s own Nannup Lavender Farm. Two different types of lavender flowers were kindly given to me from Maggie’s Place in the Swan Valley for styling purposes! Maggie’s Place is the loveliest little stand with fresh fruits and vegetables near the corner of Gnangarra and West Swan Road, I would highly recommend dropping by if you’re visiting the Swan Valley, we left with bagfuls of fresh vegetables and fruits :)
Additionally, I wanted to try out making some fruit-infused water as a healthy party drink alternative to the standard non-alcoholic options: fruit juice / soft drinks. It makes me sad to attend events where there are no fancy drink options for teetotalers! People who drink alcohol get all sorts of elaborate cocktail drinks with fancy presentation and interesting flavours, – I want to see the equivalent available for non-alcoholic drinkers :)
All Citrus Water: I added small amounts of lime and lemon slices to some water and some larger amounts of orange slices and muddled them in these jars to encourage the release of some of the juices into the water, then refridgerated for 2 hours. The honest verdict on this one: Tom liked this one the best, but I didn’t care much for it!
Next up: Strawberry and Spearmint water. I muddled strawberries and spearmint together and then left them in a water-filled carafe to infuse in the refridgerator for 2 hours. The verdict on this one: I liked the refreshing effect of mint in the water and really loved the flavour combination of strawberry with spearmint, however this water did not really move me. I’d love to make some other kind of dessert with this combination of flavours!
The fresh spearmint was from Maggie’s Place – there were several different bunches of herbs available there. Thank goodness, as I had purchased a spearmint seedling plant a couple weeks ago, but it is still so little I cannot harvest much from it! I will have to blog about my little herb garden soon – I am overjoyed that it is flourishing as I have never really done any gardening before.
Another shot of the drink below, I enjoyed eating the freshly sliced strawberries on top!
Last drink for today: Watermelon and Rosemary water. I’ve seen this combination floating around online and I was so curious to try it myself. The process was quite similar to the other two drinks, chop watermelon chunks, muddle with rosemary, infuse in the fridge with water for 2 hours.
Sadly, this drink had the least flavour of all the fruit-infused waters I tried. I personally couldn’t really taste the rosemary and wouldn’t make this again. Just give me a huge hunk of watermelon and a spoon and I’ll be pretty happy :)
The final word on these drinks: I liked the diluted lavender syrup with lemon juice, but I am not sure I looked in the right place for fancy non-alcoholic drinks with the fruit-infused waters. They were edible and refreshing but rather than “it’s delicious”, I would say the response to these drinks was “it’s… interesting” followed by semi-furrowed brow. These fruit-infused waters are supposed to keep for up to 48 hours but I could not face drinking it the next day. At a party, I would prefer to either drink something with more flavour, eat fruits instead or just stick with plain water!
Don’t forget to follow our little circle around, there’ll be a drink that is Fall-related (or Autumn as we say here in Australia) at your next stop: Tammy Bilodeau, Whitecourt AB Photographer . Hopefully something nice and warm, I am FREEZING here! I hope Spring warms up in Perth soon!
I had heaps of fun styling these up and getting in with some macro photography this time :)
Did you like the photos?
P.S.: Going to watch the Breaking Bad finale now… so excited!