6 Favorite Summer Drinks
In August, it gets hot. This has been true everywhere I’ve been during the month of August- the mid-west, the south, any place at all in the United States. Last summer, we were in Germany early in the month, and our German friends assured us it had been cool and rainy up until our arrival. But during our stay, it was often quite warm, or even hot.
The temperatures I associate with this time of year are important, in my mind, because normally I drink water and not much else. Now is when I begin to fantasize about margaritas and lemonade, neither of which would make the list of top “healthy” drinks. I’m still drinking plenty of water; but I also put together a special beverage treat on occasion, especially when I want to drink more than I feel like eating.
Here are a few of my seasonal favorites (mostly healthy!)
1) Iced Coffee- Here in Colorado, it can be quite cool early in the morning, which is when I usually have espresso. Afternoons are a great time to enjoy decaf iced coffee. Caffeine keeps me awake if I drink it after about 10 a.m. Decaf is fine for this drink. I like to use a great organic, Swiss water processed coffee. I make it in my little stainless steal espresso pot from IKEA. I add some kind of milk, like home made almond or coconut milk, and plenty of ice. Sometimes, I make a batch that will last several days in the fridge using half espresso and half chai. Super!
2) Sun Tea- This beverage we call “sun tea” seemed to be really popular in the 1980’s, and I haven’t heard much about it since. A gallon jar, some good water, and 4-6 herbal tea bags is all you need for this lovely summertime drink. Oh, and SUN! Set the whole thing in the sun for a half hour or so, then bring it in and place it in the fridge until it cools. Add ice & serve. You can add honey to the tea while it’s still warm if you like it sweeter.
3) Sparkly Juice- what? As you probably know if you’ve read many of my posts, I’m not a big fan of sugary drinks. Fruit juice is loaded with natural sugar. A little bit won’t hurt you, as long as you’re not struggling with blood sugar issues. But what’s even better is to mix your fruit juice with sparkling water. My favorite is to fill a cup with about 3-4 ounces of black cherry juice (Knudsen is my favorite!), add lots of ice, then top it off with sparkling water.
4) Chocolate Mint Smoothie- I’ve been drinking several of these a week lately! A friend gave me some cuttings of chocolate mint this spring, and it’s take over the end of my raised bed in my garden. I make a green smoothie using things like romaine lettuce and spinach, shredded zucchini and avocado, plum or peach, a few black cherries, a little coconut or almond milk, cocoa powder, and a bit of sweetener, such as pure maple syrup (about 1 teaspoon is all I use!) I put in a few leaves of chocolate mint. Sometimes I’ll add some nuts or seeds for protein and healthy fat. Then I blend it in my Nutri-Bullet. Yum!
5) Kombucha Tea- I’m not an expert; but the last batch I made came out pretty well. Besides, there are some fantastic ones commercially available.
6) Margaritas! Hey, they’re perfect for summer- the lime, the salt, the tequila- and besides, they’re pretty, and they taste great with tacos and fresh tomatoes. Don’t worry, I never want to fork over the cash for more that one of these babies. But when I drink one, I enjoy every drop!
What’s your favorite summer beverage?