Cool down with summer drinks
photo by sleepyneko
Ice-cold drinks are refreshing during the summer. Whether you’re lounging outside alone or serving them to friends, they’re the perfect way to cool down and quench your thirst. When serving guests, instead of using your typical plastic pitcher, spare milk jug and plastic cups, pick up a two- to five-gallon glass beverage server set. They help create a beautiful display and are practical to dispense drinks because guests can help themselves. They’re easy to refill, too. If you find them too pricey, you don’t have to sacrifice elegance. Look for secondhand vintage or collectible glass pitchers and tumbler sets. They’re frugal luxuries and green, too. Remember: When someone is always looking to save a buck, they’re simply cheap. Frugality isn’t about being the cheapest. It involves maximizing the use of your money and being less wasteful.
If you are used to sipping lemonade and iced tea, you can add homemade fruit-juice-flavored ice cubes to give it zing without diluting the flavor. Think: Frozen orange juice or pineapple cubes with lemonade or frozen lemonade or apple-juice cubes with tea. You can crush fresh basil with sugar and add it to lemonade, or add a dash of cinnamon to your iced tea, too. Or try the following drink recipes for a new spin on old-time favorites.
3 cups water, cold
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 lemons, squeezed, or 3/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups club soda, cold
lemon slices for garnish
Place water, strawberries and sugar in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and club soda. Add lemon for garnish. Serve immediately.
1/4 cup sweetened lemonade drink mix
2 cups cold water
1/3 cup cran-raspberry juice
3/4 cup lemon-lime soda
In a pitcher, combine the drink mix, water and cran-raspberry juice. Stir in soda. Serve immediately.
Mint-Chocolate Iced Tea
8 ounces water
1 peppermint tea bag
3 to 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
sugar, to taste
2 tablespoons nondairy coffee creamer
Heat water on stovetop or in microwave. Place tea bag in hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Remove tea bag. Stir in chocolate syrup, sugar and creamer. Serve over ice. Top with whipped cream.
5 cups boiling water
5 tea bags
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
In a pan, boil water. Add tea bags to pan and remove from heat. Cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Stir in limeade concentrate. Pour into pitcher. Refrigerate until chilled. Serve over ice.
2 teaspoons instant-coffee granules
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
sugar, to taste
2 teaspoons cold water
1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon chocolate syrup
Put the first four ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Add the milk and syrup and pulse blend until well blended. Serve over ice.
Optional: Use a shaker instead of a blender.