Around 3:30 p.m. yesterday, as seems to be the routine lately with this sweltering-not-letting-up-the-oppressive-heat-until-it’s-actually-fall (really, Miami?) afternoon, we got thirsty at The Genuine Hospitality Group office. It most certainly wasn’t cafecito time, as soda was calling, a refreshing housemade soda to be specific. The choices were endless in #genuineland, with three restaurants all offering an array of different elixirs on the menu. Harry’s Pizzeria won out with Lemon Verbena and Guava varieties. Beverage Director Ryan Goodspeed was on the same wavelength. Earlier that day he made a bee line to The Cypress Room to implement two new seasonal sodas, one featuring fresh Allspice berries from Bee Heaven Farm (I knew it!) and the other with summer stonefruit.
What do you want in a soda? Balance. Just enough sweet, just enough tart and of course that refreshing tingle. The Cypress Room’s Nectarine-Peach-Thai Basil Soda embodies this criteria and is easy enough to make at home. Lucky for us Ryan walked me through how it’s done over the phone this morning, as follows.
Nectarine-Peach-Thai Basil Syrup
Makes 2 quarts
1 quart granulated sugar
6 ripe peaches, roughly chopped
6 ripe nectarines, roughly chopped
8-10 Thai basil leaves
Make a simple syrup by bringing a quart of water to a simmer over medium-high heat and add sugar until dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Spank the Thai basil to release the essential oils and drop into the hot syrup. Allow it to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. While the Thai basil syrup cools, pass the fruit through a coarse chinois or strainer over a large bowl, discarding the pulp and skins. Add the Thai basil syrup to the extracted fruit juice, stirring for a minute and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Pass through a fine chinois and refrigerate. Keeps two weeks, sealed and refrigerated.
To serve, fill a tall glass – at the restaurant we are using our pilsner glass – with ice, adding 2.5 ounces chilled Nectarine-Peach-Thai Basil Syrup and 6 ounces soda. Garnish with Thai basil sprig and enjoy!