An Insanity of Color and a Summery Bugambilia Drink
by Victoria Challancin
Every March here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, when the temperature begin their startling climb, the startling dryness begins its work. Forget what it does to the skin, I say, and look what it does for flowering plants. Right now, the bugambilias (Spanish spelling), or bougainvilleas, burst into glory and the jacaranda trees shed their lavender-hued grace all over the city. Dazzling.
When I worked as Culinary Producer for Food Network's Mexican Made Easy's Season Two, Marcela Valladolid, the chef and star, wanted to make a bugumbilia limeade for a show on Baja cooking. And remembering from when my child was young how Mexican mothers taught me to make a gentle tea for coughs from the blossoms of the purple, only the purple, bugambilia plant, I thought a limeade a perfect idea.
Photo by Zachary Popovsky
We tested Marcela's Bugambilia Limeade, which I absolutely loved. Pretty and so "green" tasting. Yummy. In the end,though, she opted to showcase a Baja-Style Limeade, which reflects her origins and the wild rosemary which proliferated there.
This recipe is a non-recipe, really. Make limeade as you normally would, preferably with Mexican or Key limes (not Persians), sweeten with desired sweetener (agave nectar would be lovely), and add a cup or more of tea made from steeping purple bougainvillea blossoms in boiling water.
1 cup water
One large handful of clean, purple bougainvillea blossoms (no need to remove stamens)
8 limes (approximately) or 1 cup of fresh lime juice
3 to 4 cups water, or more as preferred
Sweetener, to taste
Bring a coup of water to a boil in a small pot. Add a large handful of purple bougainvillea blossoms, pressing to submerge. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Prepare limeade by mixing the lime juice with 3 cups of water. Sweeten to taste. Strain the bougainvillea tea into the limeade. Check and adjust. Add more water or lime juice as preferred. Serve over ice and decortate with a spare blossom or two.
I'm sendindg this post oever to Rachel at The Crispy Cook, where Rachel is hosting the Weekend Herb Blog event this week for Haalo at cookalmost anything.blogspot.com. This interesting idea was originally begun by Kalyn at kalynskitchen.com. Thank you fellow bloggers!
Flavors of the Sun Cooking School
San Miguel de Allende, México
©Victoria Challancin. All Rights Reserved.