As the warm weather looks set to continue into September, here is a delicious and refreshing twist on a traditional Paraguayan cold-brewed tereré, served inside a red grapefruit with cucumber and mint. You can try this recipe using a large orange, but personally I find the sharper edge of grapefruit pairs better with mint. If you don’t have a ready supply of fresh mint – or just feel like skipping a stage – you could also use a yerba mate ready flavoured with mint, such as the delicious Kraus Silvestre, or the Campesino Refrescante.
You will need:
- A flask
- A sharp knife
- A teaspoon
- A bombilla – the one pictured is the stainless steel Lisa
- Fresh cold water – I like to use spring water or filtered tap water
- A high quality Paraguayan or ready flavoured yerba – my favourite is La Rubia, but any will do
- A few fine slices of cucumber
- A few fresh mint leaves
- Brown sugar (approximately 2 teaspoons) – you could also use coconut palm sugar
- Fill your flask with ice cubes and cold water.
- Make an incision in the top of the grapefruit with the knife and cut a circular section of skin out of the top to create an opening.
- Turn the grapefruit upside down and gently squeeze out some of the juice, to keep aside until later. Be careful not to squeeze too hard or you may split the grapefruit and it will leak.
- Take the teaspoon and scoop out nearly all of the fruit, leaving just a thin layer. I usually put the fruit into a bowl and press it with the spoon to create more juice.
- Place 2 -3 fine slices of cucumber across the bottom of the hollow grapefruit mate, then add the yerba until it is between one half and two thirds full.
- Tear up the mint leaves and mix them in to the yerba using the spoon. Mix in the brown sugar.
- Insert the bombilla underneath the pile of yerba, but so it is sitting on top of the cucumber slices.
- Soak the mixture with some cold water from the flask and a little juice, then wait a few minutes.
- Once the liquid is all soaked in, proceed to add both juice and ice water. You can mix the two together in your flask if you like.
- If desired, add a little extra sugar or mint for more sweetness and flavour.
- Drink and enjoy, and if in the company of others, do share it around!