Summer is hot. Every year, we complain about the heat – and, don’t get me wrong, it is HOT. We’ve regularly seen triple digits in most of the United States during the past month. What’s a girl to do to stay cool? If you don’t want to live in a pool or hibernate in the refrigerated section of your grocery store, you can cool off with some delicious chilly beverages. Rather than visit your local coffee shop for a calorie laden cup, try some of these delicious alternatives.
- Iced Coffee – Mention “iced coffee” and many of us think of frozen, blended coffee treats – but traditional iced coffee is much different. Prepare a pot of coffee and refrigerate it overnight. The next day, fill a cup with ice and pour the coffee over the ice. Splash with a bit of flavored syrup (sold at grocery stores, or you can make your own simple syrup by boiling equal parts of water and sugar together until clear and chilling) and add milk if you like. It’s an easy and refreshing afternoon pick me up.
- Fruit Smoothie – One of the best ways to up your fruit and vegetable intake, a fruit smoothie can be comprised of just about any fruit combo that you enjoy. Try strawberry/banana, blueberry/raspberry/strawberry, or peach/mango. A handful of spinach gives you additional iron and vitamins without changing the taste (but, be warned, the color does change!)
- Lemonade – basil or traditional, lemonade is a fantastic thirst quencher that practically screams “summer!” If you want to reduce your sugar intake, look for versions sweetened with stevia.
- Sparkling Juice – Juice is a tasty drink, but sometimes, it isn’t as refreshing as you’d like. If you make a juice from concentrate, swap seltzer water for the regular water. Bubbles make any drink more fun!
- Iced Tea – the ubiquitous treat of the summer, it can be enjoyed sweetened or unsweetened, and both choices have their fans. If you enjoy Iced Tea – and who doesn’t? – try adding slices of fruit to your glass. Peaches or strawberries make an amazing flavor addition. Mint or basil leaves that have been shredded have a cooling effect as well.
- Water – the most basic of all drink choices, water can be thought of as boring and uninteresting. Change it up by adding in fruit or cucumber slices. Put grapes, blueberries or sliced strawberries in an ice cube tray, fill with water and freeze. When the ice melts, the fruit adds a yummy touch of flavor.
What’s your favorite summer time beverage?