In the heat of BBQ season, this digestif disguised as a dessert sweetly refreshes your post-picnic belly. First created at Civil War Cider Co., this recipe is a nice finish to a Sunday sausage lunch or a grilled chicken dinner.
Evaporating the alcohol off a dry cider leaves behind the full flavors and allows for a lovely blend with the sweet cantaloupe. The basil adds an herbal tone carried well by the cider and gently contrasts the melon.
The most flavor would be lent by a still cider, but experimenting with different ciders will make this dish new every time. Try a hopped cider for added earthiness or a whiskey barrel-aged for caramel or vanilla notes. Enjoy!
Fresh Cider and Basil Cantaloupe Dessert
- 1 cantaloupe
- 10–15 basil leaves
- 6 Tbsp sugar
- 32 oz. (or 750 ml) dry cider
- In a medium saucepan, bring cider to boil, then reduce temperature to simmer for 10–15 minutes.
- Halve the cantaloupe, discard seeds and spoon or chunk the flesh. Set aside.
- Turn off burner and dissolve sugar in the reduced cider. Allow cider syrup to cool to room temperature.
- Gently crush basil leaves to release oil and aroma.
- Combine cantaloupe, basil and cider syrup. Refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days to let ingredients marinate.
- Serve chilled with a basil garnish. Eat with a spoon.
- Photography: Julie Louise Hagenbuch