If you’ve seen Botanical Beverages, my segment on Gardening Australia TV show, you would have seen that I welcomed show host Costa Georgiadis with a refreshing drink that I named The Costa Spritzer. This is how to make it.
The Costa Spritzer is a non-alcoholic cocktail that is inspired by Asian flavours growing in my garden, namely lemongrass and Thai basil. The other ingredients are coconut water, renowned for its hydrating qualities and pandan leaves which have a unique aroma and flavour often described as the “vanilla of Southeast Asia”. Pandan grows in tropical climates but you can get hold of pandan leaves in many Asian grocers.
There are two steps to making The Costa Spritzer but don’t let that put you off. It’s simple to make. In the first step, you make a simple syrup infused with lemongrass and pandan leaves. These two ingredients have complementary flavours and the syrup adds a Southeast Asian note to cocktails, mixed drinks and non-alcoholic cocktails. In the second step, you mix the cocktail.
This is a non-alcoholic cocktail but if you wanted to add a spirit, you can use gin, vodka and white rum.
Step 1 – Lemongrass and Pandan Syrup Recipe
- 1 large lemongrasss stalk, bruised and cut into small pieces
- 1 pandan leaf, cut into fine strips
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of white granulated sugar (varies, see below)
- In a small saucepan, add the water, lemongrass pieces, strips of pandan leaves and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Fine strain and measure the volume of the liquid. (The solids can be composted or discarded)
- Return the liquid to the saucepan and add an equal amount of white granulated sugar.
- Bring to the boil for one minute then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Pour into a flip top glass bottle and store in the fridge. It keeps at best for up to 2 weeks. Makes approximately 1.5 cups of syrup.
Step 2 – The Costa Spritzer
Created by Corinne Mossati for Costa Georgiadis, Host of ABC’s Gardening Australia
- 60ml coconut water (no added sugar)
- 30ml lemongrass and pandan syrup
- 10ml lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 60ml sparkling soda water
Glassware: tall glass
Garnish: Thai basil sprig
In a cocktail shaker, add coconut water, syrup and freshly squeezed lime juice over ice. Shake hard until the tin feels very cold. Strain into a tall glass with ice cubes. Top with soda and using a bar spoon, give the drink a gentle stir. Garnish with a Thai basil sprig.