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Louisa Shafia Chooses Saffron and Cardamom Lemonade

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Every Monday and Wednesday, we'll announce a new Wildcard winner: a recipe that may not have been entered in (or won) a contest, but a recipe that we've tested and loved.

Today: Our Guest Editor Louisa Shafia finds a drink for a summer gathering. 

Saffron and Cardamom Lemonade

All week, we've been featuring Louisa Shafia and her cookbook The New Persian Kitchen. For her Wildcard pick, though, she's borrowing from India -- and finds similarities between the beverages of the two areas. Here's what she has to say about Saee Khandekar's Saffron and Cardamom Lemonade Concentrate:

Cardamom and saffron in a beverage? I love it! This delicate drink is so simple, but it evokes the bouquet of flavors that makes food from this part of the world so intriguing. India and Iran share many common food traditions, and this lemonade fits neatly into the category of a Persian sharbat, a fresh, cold drink made from fruit and flower essences. The words “sherbet,” “sorbet,” and “syrup” all have their root in this word. For a casual Sunday gathering in my friend’s backyard, I whipped up a batch of this lemonade and served it with Persian-spiced (turmeric, sumac, lime) chicken wings. I took the author’s suggestion and added a dash of vodka, subbing sparkling water for still, and it was sublime!

Saffron and Cardamom Lemonade Concentrate by Saee Khandekar

Makes 500 ml. of concentrate

1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons green cardamom powder
7 to 8 strands of saffron 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

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Tags: Wildcard Winners, Guest Editors