Even though it's still in the 80's around these parts, I feel like summer is slowing slipping away. We have been back to school for 2 weeks now and the evenings are growing cooler. The thing I will miss most about summer? Cold Drinks! I have an assortment of drinks that remind me of summer or are a great cool down on a hot day. Here they are, in no particular order:
#1: Iced Tea
I'm a huge iced tea fan and I've converted my mom to be one as well. She actually gets a little sour if she comes over and the iced tea pitcher is empty. I have brewed homemade iced tea so many times, I could do it in my sleep. My simple recipe is this:
2 family size iced tea brew bags (W-M brand)
1 quart water
1 quart ice/cold water
1 c. sweetener
Put the 1 quart water over the 2 tea bags in a glass measuring cup and microwave for 5 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes more to steep (or 2 hours, if you're anything like me and forget it's in there!). Add the sweetener. I like to use 1/2 Splenda and 1/2 sugar. Not only does it cut down on the sweetness a bit, but the calories too. Stir well to dissolve. Add 1 quart of ice cubes & cold water. Stir to blend. Drink over ice!
DELICIOUS VARIATIONS: Add one regular sized flavored tea bag for super yummy flavored iced tea. I have tried (and liked) Celestial Seasonings Country Peach, peppermint (put the bag in AFTER you've microwaved it for only a few minutes), and my new FAVORITE Lipton's Island Mango & Peach White Tea. It reminds me of the iced tea served at Wolfgang Puck Express in Downtown Disney.
#2: Iced Chai
I don't make it nearly often enough, but I love a really spicy chai like the one I posted about here. You would just serve it cold. With whipped cream on top. And freshly grated nutmeg. 'Cuz that's how I roll.
#3: McDonald's Caramel Frappe
Cheaper than Starbucks, but just as tasty! Yes, there's probably like 2000 calories in there, but that's why I only get them once in a blue moon.
#4: McDonald's Pineapple Mango Smoothie
Cheaper than Jamba Juice and very refreshing!
#5: Cranberry/Pomegranate Juice & Fizzy Concoction
I must have the love-to-concoct-my-own-drink gene, well......maybe just a little. (Sidebar: My little brother was the sort that would take a little bit of soda from every single dispenser and drink that big cup of weirdness. Anybody else do that?) Anyways, back to my tasty drink. I like Aldi's Cranberry/Pomegranate Juice and even better if I can find the Fit 'n Active version. Old Orchard (national brand) also makes one called "Healthy Blend" that I believe only has 5 calories per serving. I like to mix that juice with about 1/2 of a no-calorie fizzy drink, like Aldi's key lime club soda or the Sierra Mist 0 calorie that I scored on clearance for 50cents for a 2 liter. Serve all that with lots of ice! It gives me the taste of soda without all the sugar and the tartness feels very refreshing.
#6: Panera's Lemonade
I have made my own lemonade in the past, but it just seems like such a pain. I do love homemade and there is nothing like it taste-wise. Panera's seems freshly squeezed. Too bad there's no free refills!
Got a favorite summer sip?