Cathie Campbell

Cool off with a summer drink

Share some refreshing mango iced tea with someone on a hot summer day.
Share some refreshing mango iced tea with someone on a hot summer day. Wikimedia Commons

I must confess I have an addiction to ice in beverages, even if I am just having water. And not just some ice, but lots of it. Fill a glass all the way to the top with ice, trickle a bit of beverage over it and I am one happy camper (even though I have not had a chance to actually go camping yet this summer). Of course, beverages can be served without ice, or so I hear. If you are looking for some recipes for nice, cold drinks to enjoy during these hot days, I’m hoping you will find something you like right here. Enjoy your summer fun and stay safe.

Mango iced tea

2 quarts water, divided

2 ripe mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 to 3 teaspoons honey or sugar

4 to 8 tea bags of your favorite black or green tea, depending on how strong you like your tea

Liquid Stevia or sugar, to taste

1. In a medium-sized pot, heat 1 quart of water and the mango to boiling. Add 1 to 3 teaspoons honey or sugar to enhance the sweetness of the fruit. Simmer for about five minutes.

2. Mash the mango in the water and add the tea bags. Allow tea to steep 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Strain tea into a  1/2 -gallon jar or pitcher; add 1 quart of water.

4. Stir in Stevia or sugar if you would like the tea sweetened. Refrigerate tea until thoroughly chilled; serve over ice. Makes 2 quarts.

Blueberry lemonade sparkle

 2/3 cup sugar (superfine is best)

 2/3 cup water

1 and  1/2 cups fresh blueberries

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 to 5 whole large lemons)

2 cups ice cubes

3 cups sparkling water or club soda

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, water, blueberries and lemon zest.

2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat and then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until the sugar is melted and blueberries are starting to burst.

3. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve. Let this blueberry syrup completely cool. Meanwhile, juice the lemons to get 1 cup lemon juice.

4. In a large blender, add the blueberry syrup, lemon juice, and ice. Blend until smooth.

5. Stir in the sparkling water or club soda. Makes 6 to 8 cups beverage.

Pineapple mojito (non-alcoholic)

4 to 5 pieces of 1 to 2-inch pineapple pieces

4 to 5 leaves fresh mint

1 tablespoon lime juice

 1/2 cup chilled grape juice (if possible freshly prepared at home. See note.)

 1/2 chilled sparkling water or soda

1 teaspoon agave (optional to adjust sweetness)

Ice cubes, for serving

Few lime slices, to garnish

1. In a small mixing bowl, add pineapple pieces and muddle them using the back of a wooden spoon until all pineapple pieces have broken into small pieces. Add mint leaves and again muddle for a few seconds to just bruise the leaves and release the essential flavors.

2. Transfer the muddled mixture into a serving glass. Add ice cubes followed by grape juice, lime juice, sparkling water or soda.

3. Adjust sweetener if necessary. Give it a gentle mix and add couple of lime slices. Makes 1 serving.

Note: To prepare fresh grape juice, blend 1 cup fresh grapes with  1/4 cup drinking water. Then using strainer strain the juice. It will give you 1 cup of fresh grape juice.

Blackberry sweet tea

3 cups fresh blackberries

1  1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Pinch baking soda

4 cups boiling water

2 family size tea bags

2  1/2 cups cold water

Fresh blackberries for garnish

1. Combine blackberries and sugar in a large container, and crush with a wooden spoon; stir in mint and baking soda.

2. Pour 4 cups boiling water over tea bags; cover and steep 5 minutes. Discard tea bags.

3 .Pour tea over blackberry mixture; let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Pour tea through a wire-mesh strainer into a large pitcher, discarding solids. Add 2  1/2 cups cold water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill 1 hour. Garnish with extra fresh berries. Makes about 7 cups.

Blue raspberry, pineapple and ginger lemonade

Allow time for the ice cubes to freeze. Will need some ice cube trays. Kids love this, but so do I.

1 cup sugar

1 envelope (0.22-oz.) unsweetened blue raspberry lemonade mix (see note)

7 cups water

1 can (6-oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 can (46-oz.) unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled

1 bottle (2 liter) ginger ale, chilled

1. In a 2-quart pitcher, stir together the sugar, raspberry lemonade mix, water and thawed lemonade concentrate. Pour evenly into ice cube trays and freeze at least 8 hours.

2. Combine pineapple juice and ginger ale; serve over raspberry ice cubes.

Note: Try this: Kool-Aid Island Twists Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix. Makes 12 servings.

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