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Build Up Beverages

In between rain showers, this time of year can be pretty steamy and, apart from submerging yourself in cold water, what better way to cool and clear the mind than a refreshing drink.

It’s pretty tempting to reach for a cold beer – especially around the festive season – but there are plenty of thirst quenching, healthy drinks that can be made from a few simple ingredients that you’ll find growing in your backyard or at the local market.

Taste of the Top End has teamed up with City of Darwin’s Healthy Darwin program to deliver a festive drinks workshop to finish off the year. 

“Some of my favorite drinks include lemongrass, ginger, turmeric and tamarind, Thai basil, lemon basil, mint and of course healthy dashings of local limes and other citrus. But there are also many other wonderful fruits and finds to combine,” says Taste of the Top End’s Emma Lupin.

“I’m a big fan of the rambutan, with its monstrous red rubbery skin and sweet slippery fruit within. I love that it’s ready around Christmas time – the most fittingly extravagant red bauble to brighten up those monsoon days,” she says. 

“Paired with the very easy to grow Wet season wonder, Thai basil, rambutans make a great drink.”

This hands on workshop will show you how to make iced teas, meddlies and sodas, plus tips on how to grow or find the ingredients. There’re even hot drink recipes for those monsoonal days.

Mon 11 Dec | 5.30-7.30pm | Alawa Primary School | $15 | See the event listing

Rambutan Refresher with Thai Basil & Honey by Emma Lupin

15 Rambutans
1 bunch Thai basil
1 tbsp local honey (or to taste) 
500 ml (rain) water 



De-stone the rambutans and chop roughly. Place 10 of these in a sauce-pan with the honey and a small amount of water. Warm until melted and syrupy (about 5 minutes). Cool the syrup, add the fresh water and ice with lots of torn Thai basil and the remaining 5 rambutans.

Lemongrass is a lovely addition to this drink. 

NOTE – the measurements are  flexible, add as much or as little as you like, taste as you go and adjust for your enjoyment.

Emma Lupin is a tropical plant specialist and local food enthusiast with passions for native habitat conservation and sustainable living. She is an environmental educator, community engager and encourages connection to the beautiful natural world, particularly our tropical home.

FOLLOW @tasteofthetopend

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