This article was originally published in the Summer 2016 issue of Cottage Life magazine.
With sugary sodas on the outs, it’s way too easy to get stuck drinking plain old water all day. Fortunately, you can break out of that rut just by adding a splash of juice or a mint sprig to a fresh-brewed iced tea to transform your summer drink rituals.
These seven summer sippers deliver the intrigue of a mixed drink without the boozy punch.
Indian Lime Soda
2 tbsp (30 ml) lime juice plus 1 tbsp (15 ml) simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled and cooled) in a tall glass. Just add club soda and ice.
Mix together 1 part pineapple juice and 3 parts iced tea.
Combine 1 cup (250 ml) each of sugar, raspberries, and cider vinegar in a jar; seal and refrigerate for a week. Strain out solids. Use a small splash when you want to add a little zing to plain or soda water.
Shake up 2 tbsp (30 ml) lime juice and a mint sprig over ice. Strain, pour into tall glass, fill with Jamaican ginger beer and ice. Add a fresh mint sprig.
Iced Ginger Green Tea
Steep eight green tea bags and 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) chopped ginger in 4 cups (1 L) boiling water for five minutes. Strain out solids, add 2 tbsp (30 ml) honey, and refrigerate two hours. Add 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) lemon juice just before serving.
Agua de Sandía
The most amazing thing about this “watermelon water” is that we don’t see it more often. In a blender, purée 2 cups (500 ml) cubed and seeded watermelon, 2 cups (500 ml) water, 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) lime juice, and 1 tbsp (15 ml) fine sugar. Add more lime juice and sugar as needed.
Some people freeze this espresso mixture and crush it up every half hour until it’s slushy. This is easier: crush some ice, spoon into individual glasses, then pour espresso mixture (one part lemon juice, two parts espresso, six parts water) overtop. Add lemon zest.