Food & Drink

Ice-cold beverages come in more flavors than ever

Bottoms-up cherry limeade is a variation of an old favorite, made with lime juice, carbonated water and maraschino cherry juice.
Bottoms-up cherry limeade is a variation of an old favorite, made with lime juice, carbonated water and maraschino cherry juice.

Quenching our thirst this summer is as easy as rolling through the restaurant drive-through.

Many restaurant chains are expanding their beverage offerings to feature flavored teas and coffees, iced drinks, smoothies and ice cream-based shakes, according to Nation's Restaurant News.

Fast-food restaurants are jumping on the idea to bring in more revenue, but it's a cool idea that home cooks have used for centuries to fight the heat of summer.

People who entertain in the blazing heat find that seasonal fruits make refreshing drinks and punches. Summer drinks that aren't carbonated and fruit punches are excellent choices for a bridal shower, a birthday luncheon or an afternoon gathering of friends.

The breezy drinks that are made with watermelon, green tea, blueberries and citrus juices also are loaded with anti-oxidants.


Watermelon Malibu surf

8 cups seedless watermelon chunks

8 cups trimmed strawberries, cut in half

4 cups coconut cream

Mini watermelon wedges for garnish

2 cups sweetened whipped topping

Blend watermelon, strawberries and coconut cream just until smooth. Place in freezer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with mini watermelon wedges and whipped topping. Serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings.

from National Watermelon Promotion Board

Bottoms up cherry limeade

3/4 cup lime juice

1 cup sugar

2 liters lime carbonated water, chilled

1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice

8 maraschino cherries with stems

8 lime slices

In a large bowl, combine lime juice and sugar. Cover and refrigerate. Just before serving, stir carbonated water into lime juice mixture.

For each serving, place 1 tablespoon cherry juice in a glass. Add crushed ice and about 1 cup lime juice mixture. Garnish with maraschino cherry and lime slice.

Makes 8 servings.

from Taste of Home

Sparkling punch

3 cups water

6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate

2 cups cranberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup sugar

11/2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients; mix until sugar is dissolved. Chill 1 to 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in soda.

Makes 24 servings (3 quarts).

Blueberry-mint lemonade

7 cups blueberry juice cocktail

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, washed

12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Combine 1/2 cup blueberry juice cocktail with mint leaves in large (at least 2-quart) non-metal pitcher or container. Crush mint leaves against side and bottom of container with a wooden spoon. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in remaining juice cocktail and lemonade concentrate. Pour into glasses over ice. Garnish with extra mint leaves, if desired.

from Ocean Spray

Fruity punch

2 cups orange juice, chilled

2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled

2 cups sweetened pink grapefruit juice drink, chilled

3 12-ounce cans ginger ale, chilled

In a punch bowl or pitcher, combine the juices. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale. Serve over ice.

Makes about 2 quarts.

Gingery peach cooler

3 cups ginger ale

1/2 cup peach nectar

2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

In a pitcher, combine ginger ale, nectar, peaches and ginger. Serve over ice.

Makes 4 servings.

from Real Simple

Frozen blueberry lemonade

11/2 cups blueberries

1 cup lemonade

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

3 cups ice

In a blender, purée all ingredients until smooth. Garnish with mint sprigs.

from Real Simple

Fruit punch

1 quart white grape juice, chilled

1 quart cranberry-raspberry juice, chilled

1 liter ginger ale, chilled

In a punch bowl or large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Serve immediately.

Makes 12 servings (3 quarts).

from Taste of Home

Sparkling red and green tea

2 cups water

4 individual-size green tea bags

12-ounce can frozen juice concentrate (such as cranberry-raspberry or apple-cherry)

Sparkling water or club soda

Fresh berries and lemon wedges, for garnish

Bring 2 cups water to a boil. Steep tea bags in boiling water according to package directions. Remove and discard tea bags. Stir frozen juice concentrate into tea mixture. Cover and chill until serving time. To serve, fill a tall ice-filled glass 1/4 full with tea mixture. Top with chilled sparkling water or club soda. Garnish with fresh berries and a lemon wedge.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

from Better Homes and Gardens

Chai punch

32-ounce container chai tea concentrate (black tea)

1/2 cup sugar

8 inches stick cinnamon

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 medium lime or lemon, sliced

1 medium orange, sliced

32-ounce bottle club soda, chilled

Ice cubes

Pour tea concentrate into large container or pitcher. Stir in sugar. Add stick cinnamon, basil, lime and orange. Cover and chill 4 to 24 hours.

Strain mixture, discarding solids. Just before serving, slowly add club soda to chai mixture. Serve over ice cubes.

Makes 10 6-ounce servings.

from Better Homes and Gardens