Summer is the time for those in culinary school to show off their chops during endless barbecues, picnics, cookouts and other get-togethers. But sometimes you want to share what you’ve learned without having to cook a whole meal and miss all the fun. Below are some delicious drink recipes that prove you know how to create great flavor while still being able to spend time with friends and family.
This Food Network recipe puts a twist on the classic summer lemonade. Instead of using lemons, use limes for a refreshing citrus flavor. The addition of strawberries helps to cuts the acidity of the limes while giving the drink a beautiful pink hue. To make this crowd-pleaser, you’ll first have to make a simple syrup by dissolving 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water in a saucepan over low heat. Once the syrup has completely cooled, combine with 1 cup of fresh lime juice, 2 cups of water and frozen, chopped strawberries and serve over ice.
Watermelon Basil Lime Iced Tea
Many people love fresh watermelon in the summer, but it can be hard to finish a whole one, and storing such large leftovers can be difficult. Luckily, this recipe from Candid Appetite offers the perfect solution.
Using your favorite green or black tea, set six bags to steep in a pitcher with 6 cups of simmering water. When the tea has reached its preferred strength, remove the bags and let the tea cool for a few minutes before setting it in the fridge to chill for one hour. While the tea is chilling, cut up half of a watermelon, removing the rind. Place the pieces in a blender or food processor and blend until the fruit becomes a completely smooth juice. Strain the juice through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds or pulp.
After the juice has been strained, create a simple syrup with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Once the sugar has fully dissolved, add 1/2 cup of thinly sliced fresh basil leaves. Add 3 cups of the watermelon juice to the chilled iced tea and pour in simple syrup to taste. Give the drink a big stir to incorporate all of the flavors and enjoy watermelon in a whole new way.
Jalapeno Lime Spritzer
If you enjoy a little spice in your life, this drink from Real Simple is for you. With only five ingredients, this beverage is quick and simple to create, leaving you more time to enjoy it!
In a pitcher, combine 3 cups of club soda with 1/4 cup each of fresh lime juice and agave nectar. Add the thin slices of one whole lime, as well as a diced jalapeno. For less heat, remove the seeds from the jalapeno before cutting. Sir all of the ingredients and serve over ice for a refreshing drink with a kick!
Lavender Peach Cooler
Another Food Network creation, this drink combines floral notes with fruity sweetness for a beverage that is sure to please guests at any summer gathering.
To start, make a simple syrup with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water, as well as 1/4 cup of dried lavender. Once the syrup has cooled, puree 1/2 cup of syrup with 1.5 pounds of sliced peaches and 1 cup of water until smooth. Strain the peach puree to remove lavender pieces and fruit pulp. Add lemon juice to taste and serve over ice.
Rosemary Tangerine Cooler
This is another summer beverage that incorporate herbs for a fresh taste. The drink, crafted by the food scientists at Bon Appetit, incorporates caramelized tangerines and fresh rosemary with rum to create summer in a glass.
To make this drink at home, start by dipping tangerine slices in raw sugar. In a hot skillet, place eight sprigs of rosemary and the tangerine slices, sugar-side down. Cook until the slices begin to caramelize – about two minutes. When the tangerines are done, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool. Place the cooled fruit in a pitcher along with 2 tablespoons of raw sugar and muddle to release the fruit juices. Add rum and ice to the pitcher and stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Garnish glasses with new sprigs of rosemary and enjoy!