Every week, Tucson CSA members receive a lovely newsletter alongside their bountiful shares of local produce. While the back side of the newsletter is full of seasonal recipes, the first page of the newsletter is equally useful. Whether it contains an insightful interview with a seasoned CSA volunteer or a brief-but-thorough history of tromboncino squash, the Tucson CSA newsletter never fails to teach me something new. This week, the newsletter reminded me that most American consumers don’t know how to use large bundles of herbs, much like those that Tucson CSA members frequently receive. Here’s why: grocery stores sell herbs in small quantities (for large sums of money), and thus many recipe developers have tailored their cookbooks and blog posts to accommodate the meager packages of herbs that are so widely available. So, what’s a person to do when the life (or in this case, Tucson CSA) gives them a bundle of fresh dill the size of a small broom? Make Sparkling Dill Lemonade, of course.
The idea of putting dill in your lemonade might sound strange, but trust me–it’s surprisingly delicious and wonderfully refreshing. Here’s how it works: Dill is blended with water until it has completely broken down. Then, the mixture is strained to rid of any pulp before it gets mixed with homemade simple syrup and the perfect amount of both lemon zest and juice. Pour it over ice with some sparkling water and there you have it: Sparkling Dill Lemonade. Before you know it, you’ll be sipping your new favorite drink as you rock back and forth in a wooden rocking chair, surveying your mountainous property from your large wrap-around porch. Just kidding. But at least you’ll have a glass of Sparkling Dill Lemonade.
Making a large pitcher of Sparkling Dill Lemonade might be the best and easiest way to use up a gargantuan bundle of fresh dill. Quadruple the recipe and keep it in your fridge for when you need a bright and refreshing drink. Or, add a few glugs of vodka or gin and serve it in the punch bowl at your upcoming holiday party–it’s festive and delicious. You can even freeze the dill simple syrup in an ice cube tray so that you can make Sparkling Dill Lemonade days, weeks, or even months from now. You’re so smart! But whatever you do, try this strange-sounding, remarkably tasty Sparkling Dill Lemonade for yourself.