Summer is the best time of year to experiment with making new cool and refreshing summer drinks. If you are of legal age, nothing can beat a cool cocktail. For the rest there are plenty of amazing non-alcoholic drinks. Iced tea and lemonade are two classic favorites. Add a little pizazz to your lemonade try making some fresh strawberry lemonade.
Iced Sun Tea
This is a classic summer beverage and is a great way to cool down. You can make sun tea from any regular type of tea bags, including black tea and herbal tea. You will need to find a gallon jug, this container has to be clear. Most of these types of containers are glass, and you can even find gallon beverage containers made specifically to make iced tea.
Tie 5-7 tea bags together, using their strings. Fill the gallon container and put the tea bags in the water. Cover the container and place in direct sun to steep for several hours. Serve in a tall glass filled with ice and garnish with a lemon wedge. If you prefer sweet tea, add sugar to the gallon container or you can add sugar to each glass.
Another option, is to boil the water before putting it in the container. Putting the tea bags in hot water will speed up the steeping process and you tea will be stronger.
Classic Gin and Tonic
The Gin and Tonic is one of the most simple and most refreshing cocktails for a warm evening. When you need to whip up a drink to cool off, this is one of your best options.
For One Drink:
2 oz gin
Fill your cocktail glass with ice. Pour gin over ice and top with tonic water. Squeeze lime wedge over your drink and drop the wedge into your glass. You can use more than one lime wedge if you like a tart drink.
Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
Lemonade is one of the classic summer drinks. The juxtaposition of tart and sweet gives this simple drink wonderfully complex flavor, adding fresh strawberries adds just enough flavor to make this an amazing cool summer drink.
For 4 to 6 Glasses:
Approx. 6 lemons
4 to 6 cups cold water
2 cups fresh strawberries
Juice the lemons, you will want about 1 cup of lemon juice, you can strain the juice if you prefer a pulp-free lemonade. Reserve the lemon rind halves. Prepare simple syrup using 1-cup water and 1-cup sugar. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Combine lemon juice and simple syrup and allow the lemon and sugar combination to cool.
You can adjust the proportions of lemon juice to simple syrup to change the sweetness or tartness of the lemonade depending on what you like. Cut strawberries into quarters and divide equally between 4 to 6 tall glasses. Thoroughly crush the strawberries in the bottom of the glass. Add the lemon syrup to each glass, mix thoroughly, and add one lemon rind half to your glass. Fill each glass with crushed ice, or regular ice. Finish by topping the glass with water and stir thoroughly.
You can also dilute the lemon syrup with the 4 to 6 cups of cold water before adding to your glass. This will ensure that your lemonade won't be too sweet or too strong. Instead of adding the diluted syrup before the ice. Crush the strawberries, then add the lemon rind, next add the ice and finish by filling the glass with the diluted syrup.
This is one of my favorite summer cocktails. It is both simple to make and delightfully refreshing. Try mixing up this cocktail for you friends on one hot evening this summer.
To Make One Cocktail:
2 oz light rum
1/2 oz simple syrup (can increase if you like a sweet cocktail)
7-8 fresh mint leaves
In a tall glass muddle mint leaves and simple syrup, make sure to thoroughly crush the leaves. You can either use a muddler or you can use a long handled spoon. After you have crushed the mint leaves and mixed the simple syrup, squeeze lime juice from the lime half into your glass, then add the lime rind to your glass. Fill your glass with ice, you can also use crushed ice if you prefer. Pour the rum over the ice and top with club soda. Stir gently and enjoy.