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5 Simple Summer Drinks

The weather is heating up and you want some simple summer drinks to sip poolside. Daiquiris and smoothies are great but who wants to spend all day crushing ice? You don't need to break out the blender to feel like you're in the islands, just follow these simple drink recipes to minimize your time in the kitchen and maximize your time in the sun.

Set It and Forget It Iced Green Tea with Lemon

(Adapted from Alli Rainey's "Best Flavored Easy Lemon Iced Green Tea Recipe")

Serves 1

You will need:

  • 12 oz. water
  • 1 green tea bag
  • Ice cubes
  • 1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • Mint sprigs for garnish

First, boil water. Place the tea bag in a mug and pour boiling water over the bag. Allow the tea to steep by letting the bag sit in the water for about 3-5 minutes. This lets the flavor and catechins extract. Put the mug of tea in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Throw a lemon round in the bottom of a tall drinking glass. Fill up halfway with ice and then layer two more lemon rounds. Drop in some more ice until it is almost full and top it off with two more lemon rounds. Pour in the chilled tea and garnish with mint sprigs.

The lemon will mix with the tea and mint, giving you a refreshing, low-calorie beverage that delivers a heavy dose of antioxidants to boot. Easy, right?


The best part is, green tea aids your body in fighting off a variety of diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Cheers to that!

Holy Watermelon Bomb

(Adapted from Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig's recipe "Watermelon Bomb")

Not interested in avoiding toxins? Would you rather spend all summer partying? Then a Watermelon Bomb is just the drink for you and your 10 closest friends.

The ultimate party favor, this behemoth is fun to drink and to make. If you can carve 10 minutes out of your day then you can carve yourself a Watermelon Bomb.

Grab a seedless watermelon. Carve off the top and place it to the side. Find the longest knife in the kitchen and poke it around the inside of the watermelon. Drop in some ice to keep your little fruit fridge chilled, and pour the desired alcohol inside. Clear liquors are best; vodka can mix with most anything and rum has always been a good summer standby. Gin isn't so great because of the strong juniper flavor.

Stir the inside with a long spoon. Dig a big nail out of the toolbox and pound in some holes towards the top of the melon. Slide straws through the holes and tote your jumbo cocktail anywhere! It is portable, comes with its own replaceable top to keep the contents chilled, and you can sip on this behemoth until the sun goes down. It's the perfect summer party favor.

Lotus Blossom

(Reprinted with permission from Moonchine Asian Bistro, Miami, Florida)

Does spending all day at the beach sound too exhausting? Do you prefer to relax by shopping in air-conditioned boutiques? Try a Lotus Blossom on the sun deck when you return home and enjoy the sophisticated flavors of champagne and pomegranate.

You only need 2 ingredients for this one: champagne and pomegranate juice. Essentially, it is a tart twist on the Bellini.

  • Pour pomegranate juice into the bottom of a champagne flute, about 1.5 oz.
  • Top off with champagne

That's it. Minimal work for a tasty cocktail. Plus, who doesn't love sipping daintily out of a champagne flute. If you would like a drink with a little more punch, substitute the pomegranate juice with a pomegranate flavored liqueur, like Pama.


Purple People Eater

(Adapted from Sally Ann Berk's "The New New York Bartender's Guide.")

Summer is here, and that means lots of downtime, sleeping in, and savoring a summer cocktail while swinging lazily in the hammock, right? Not if you've got kids. Give yourself some relief from the kitchen with this easy to prepare, healthful drink. Your kids will start to ask for it by name, and not only because it's fun to say.

You will need:

  • 8 parts purple grape juice (4 oz.)
  • 1 part fresh lime juice (1/2 oz.)
  • Sparkling water

Put some ice cubes in a shaker and pour in all of the juices. Shake for a bit to fully combine and aerate the juices. Then, just pour into a cup and top off with sparkling water to give it a fun little fizz. If you want to make your little ones feel fancy, garnish with a lime slice. Voila! A perfect companion to kid party food without the stress.

Classic Margarita

Everybody should know how to make a margarita. There are many ways you can tweak the ingredients, pours, or presentation to make it uniquely yours, but here we will just give you the basics. Have fun!

You will need:

  • Tequila, 6 parts (3 oz.)
  • Triple Sec, 2 parts (1 oz.)
  • Lime juice, 4 parts (2 oz.)

Directions:

  • Rim the glass by running a lime wedge along the edge and then dipping the glass carefully into coarse salt.
  • In a shaker filled with ice, pour the tequila, triple sec and lime juice. You can use either silver or gold tequila. Always try to use freshly squeezed lime juice.
  • Shake well
  • Strain and pour into the margarita glass filled with either cubed or crushed ice.

Place a lime wedge or wheel on the edge and enjoy a summer classic.


One key piece of information to remember when making any drink is to use as good of quality ingredients as you can afford. The difference between squeezed lime juice and that from a bottle is astronomical. If you often shop the organic produce section, consider using those fruits as the base for your cocktails too.

If you purchase call or premium liquors don't sully their refined flavor with bottled sour mixes or syrupy juice substitutes. A corn syrup bottled mix cannot replace the intense flavors of freshly squeezed fruit. Try it once and you'll notice the difference.