21 May 2012

Indian Sweet Lime

“Sweet lime?” Recalling this line from The Darjeeling Limited, this seemingly refreshing drink, served by the lovely train attendant as passengers are settling into their berths, evokes an image of luxury train travel. Sweet Lime is indeed a refreshing drink served across India, with juice from a native citrus fruit, citrus limetta, an orange/lemon/lime hybrid. The Indian sweet lime is used for its medicinal purposes in treating nausea, flu, cold, and throat infections and is valued for its cooling effect in cases of fever and jaundice. But healing properties aside, it also makes a great cocktail, substituting limes for sweet limes.

In the spirit of the East coast of India, this recipe calls for the garnish of roasted cumin, whose aroma adds an addictive earthy contrast to the tangy lime. If you are seeking even more “restorative” benefits, try the addition of gin and basil:

Sweet Lime

1. Toast whole cumin seeds dry in a skillet for one minute, or until fragrant, then grind by hand with a mortar and pestle.

2. Fill a tall glass with ice.

3. Combine 1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice to 1 1/2 ounces simple syrup or agave nectar, add to ice.

4. Fill glass with sparkling water.

5. Garnish with a pinch of the freshly ground cumin.