We’re prepping for the season with a series of posts – Dreaming of a Sustainable Summer. C’mon in, the water’s fine and the living is green!
Summertime and the living is… thirsty! Picnics and cookouts and barbecues and beaches and more. Sunny days and warm nights mean outdoor parties and all that play in the hot summer sun is thirsty work! Lemonade and sangria are summer stand bys, but there are plenty of other choices out there for refreshing warm weather treats. We’ve got some ideas that will quench that thirst; they start out kid friendly and then we offer a grown-up twist. Fill up the pitcher, grab yourself a glass, pull up a chair and let’s enjoy the summer nights!
Cucumber Lime Spritz
- 24 ounces club soda
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
Combine club soda, lime juice and cucumber in a pitcher and stir well. Serve over ice and garnish with a cucumber slice. Grown-up version: add 1/2 cup of gin to the pitcher and stir well.
- 4 cups watermelon chunks (seedless, or deseeded)
- 1 1/2 cups lemonade
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Puree the watermelon and lemonade together in a blender. You can strain it for a smoother drink, or leave it pulpy. Pour into a pitcher, add mint and stir well to lightly bruise the mint. Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig. Grown-up version: add 1/2 cup of vodka or tequila to the pitcher and stir well.
Sparkling Ginger-Pineapple Ale
- 24 ounces ginger ale
- 3 cups pineapple juice
Combine ginger ale and pineapple juice in a pitcher and stir well, pour over ice and garnish with a slice of pineapple. Grown-up version: add 1/2 cup light rum to the pitcher and stir well.
Plum-Thyme Iced Tea
- 2 tea bags (black or herbal)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 plums, thinly sliced
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 cups water
In a large saucepan, bring water to boil and remove from heat. Add tea bags and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, stir in honey and allow to cool to room temperature. Pour into a pitcher and stir in plums and thyme, then refrigerate until cool. Serve over ice garnished with more thyme. Grown-up version: add 1/2 cup of bourbon to the pitcher and stir well.
Homemade Ginger Ale (non-alcoholic)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 lemon and 1 orange for slicing/garnish
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 cups sparkling water, chilled
Grate 2 tablespoons each or lemon and orange zest, squeeze 1/3 cup lemon juice from 3 of the lemons and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse ginger, honey and sugar until well combined. Add orange and lemon juice and process. Transfer to a large lidded container. Add the citrus zests and 2 cups boiling water, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate up to 5 days.
To serve, strain the base into a pitcher, add thinly sliced lemon and orange and top with sparkling water. Stir well and serve over ice, garnish with mint.
Grown-up version: add 1/2 cup light rum to the pitcher and stir well.