Few things beat the heat like well-chilled, frosty drinks. Iced water, juice, lemonade, and iced tea are fine, but they can get a bit boring after a while. Here are some ideas for some interesting, easy-to-make drinks to quench your thirst this summer.
Melon Slushy (4 servings)
2 cups chopped watermelon
1 cup chopped cantaloupe
1 cup chopped honeydew
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup water 2 tablespoons (or to taste) sugar, honey, or other sweetener
Freeze the chopped fruit chunks on a wax paper-covered cookie sheet. When frozen, place the frozen melon chunks in a blender along with the lemon juice, water, and sugar. Blend until smooth and pourable, adding more water if necessary. Serve over crushed ice.
Tropical Variation: instead of melon, chop and freeze 2 cups fresh pineapple and 2 cups mangoes. Use orange juice instead of lemon juice, and leave out the sweetener until you’ve tasted it.
Minty Lemonade (6 servings)
2 cups sugar
6 cups water (2 cups boiling, 4 cups very cold)
2 cups lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (spearmint or peppermint)
Pour the two cups boiling water over the mint leaves; steep for 10 minutes. Strain into a saucepan, add sugar, and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes and cool. While it’s cooling, squeeze the lemons and combine the juice with 4 cups of water in a pitcher. Stir in the cooled mint syrup and serve over ice (taste as you go – you might not want all the syrup). For a decorative touch, garnish glasses with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.
Easy variation: mix commercial lemonade with lightly sweetened mint tea.
Chocolate Mint Cooler (1 serving)
You don’t have to wait for winter to enjoy chocolate drinks. Try this refreshing, fizzy drink on a hot day.
1 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoons mint syrup
6 to 8 ounces seltzer or sparkling water
Make mint syrup as described in Minty Lemonade above. Add 1 tablespoon of this syrup to a tall glass. Add the chocolate syrup and stir to combine. Pour in fizzy water, leaving room for ice, and stir briskly. Add ice cubes and stir again.
Ginger Water (3 servings)
A forerunner of ginger ale, ginger water is a traditional drink enjoyed by farmers working in the fields. It’s tart and refreshing, not unlike a sports drink.
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups cold water
Shake or stir the vinegar with the brown sugar and ginger until the ginger and sugar are dissolved. Stir in cold water and mix well. Serve over full glasses of ice.
Summer Pineapple Delight (not for children)
1 small pineapple
5 tbsp honey
1 passion fruit
1.5 fl oz dark rum
Cut the pineapple in half, cut out the core and scoop out pineapple flesh. Chop the pineapple and put into a serving bowl. Set aside the pineapple shell.
Cut the passion fruit in half and spoon out the pulp. Add to serving bowl. Pour over the dark rum and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
Put the pineapple/passion fruit mix back into the pineapple shell and enjoy.