Oh my goodness, you guys, I have something to share with you and I'm really excited about it. This week on Pedantic Foodie, I am throwing my very own Burger Bash!!! *insert imaginary screams of delight, applause, and the sound of those weird party noise makers that your five year old brought home from school*
It's almost June and it's definitely time for us to break in our grills, and personally, I cannot think of a better way to begin the grilling season than with burgers!
So here's how this works, each day this week I'm going to post a recipe for one of the components of my super fancy, over-the-top burgers, and an incredible drink to pair with them. All you have to do is invite your friends to a backyard dinner party this weekend and do a bit of shopping, and of course, some cooking. But, I’m even making your grocery list for you so it's easy, easy, summertime fun!
Are you excited?!
For the first installment of my Burger Bash Week I wanted to give you something you could make right away. It's insanely delicious and I would highly recommend that you make yourself a big batch right now and drink it all throughout this week.
This is a Papaya Ginger Lemonade Spritzer and it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Let's take a moment to talk about papaya. The first time I tried it I wasn't a fan. It was mildly sweet and its flavor was overly floral - I wasn't into it. However, my mother quickly instructed me to squeeze some lime on the melon-like fruit (that's the way it had been served to her in Hawaii) and my palate lit up. The flavor was so unique and tantalizing. It has a deep, robust flavor, but its still elegant. It's sweet and undeniably tropical. I was hooked. And I learned that serving papaya without citrus is like cooking pasta without salt.
I've been eating sliced papaya happily for many years now but I was ready to change things up a bit. This was one of those recipes that occurred to me as I was standing in the produce section. Though I usually pair my papaya with lime, I thought lemon might be a welcome change and visions of icey-cold tropical drinks filled my head.
This drink begins with puréed papaya. Yes, you could probably juice it, but to me the blender is simpler, and as long as your papaya is ripe, the blended texture will definitely be smooth enough for this application.
Then we juice lemons. Normally I do this with a reamer, but if yours is playing hide-and-go-seek with you, like mine is, then just roll them around on the counter for a bit to get their juices flowing and give them a good squeeze.
The great thing about this drink is that it comes together in seconds and all the components can be prepared way ahead of the time that you actually want to serve it.
I made a double batch of papaya purée and kept it in my fridge, and you could certainly juice the lemons in advance, as well.
When it's time to assemble, simply fill the glasses half way with the papaya lemonade and then fill with ice. Top with your favorite ginger ale (a good spicy one please, none of that wimpy stuff) and serve.
Isn't it pretty?
It's sweet, it's tangy, it's spicy and refreshing, and it pairs so smashingly with our burgers.
I'm throwing a Burger Bash, grab yourself a drink and fire up your grills - let's go!
Papaya Ginger Lemonade Spritzer
- 2 cups papaya, cut into cubes
- 1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 12-ounce can of good quality ginger ale
- lemon slices, for garnish, optional
Remove seeds from papaya and cut into cubes. Place papaya chunks into your blender and pulse until a smooth puree forms. Set aside. Yes, it will be a bit thick, that’s okay.
In a small pitcher, combine lemon juice and sugar; whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in water and pureed papaya.
Fill each glass half way with papaya lemonade mixture. Add several ice cubes to each glass and then top with ginger ale and serve with a slice of lemon. Serve immediately. Enjoy!