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Nothing says warm weather like the opportunity to switch from hot beverages to cold ones. While it used to be a luxury only the rich could afford, now ice is a basic commodity. With the invention of the freezer and ice machines, what was only accessible in the winter is now available to help make tasty treats all year round.
Ice cold beverages are served poolside, during summer barbeques, and at sporting events. Almost any drink can be turned into an iced drink, but what will make your block party stand out are the extra add ons that will take your summer drink game to the next level.
As you shed your parkas for swimsuits and your skis for a beach chair, let these ten cold beverages help you enjoy your summer and turn any event into the one to remember.
1. Fruit-Infused Iced Water
Turn up your water a notch by raiding the fruit bowl to add fresh berries, oranges, lemons, and limes. Try a pineapple for a new twist on fruit-infused water.
Cucumbers and melons help you envision a spa day while fresh herbs, such as mint or basil, can complement your chosen fruit and satisfy your need for more than just plain water.
2. Iced Tea
By doubling the bags of your chosen tea flavor and steeping for twice the amount of time, you can make any tea into this classic summer drink. Pour your hot tea over a glass full of ice and enjoy.
If you want a true southern take on iced tea, pour half a gallon of boiling water into a pitcher and add 3-4 iced tea bags. After you let it steep, add a half-gallon of cold water and sugar to your pitcher. Let it cool in the fridge.
3. Pina Colada
Typically made from blending ice cubes, coconut cream, rum, pineapple juice, and frozen pineapple, this tropical drink will have you dreaming of the islands. For a unique twist, substitute mango for the pineapple or add chocolate vodka and ice cream for a decadent drink.
For a kid-friendly version, use coconut milk in place of the rum and add some maraschino cherries as a garnish.
Even though this coffee drink is enjoyed all year round, warm weather makes it even more refreshing. Blend crushed ice, espresso, your choice of milk, and sweetener to create your base. Add in flavors such as caramel or hazelnut for your special touch.
You don’t enjoy coffee? Substitute in a creme base, like heavy whipping cream, for the espresso.
Using an ice maker at home helps warm weather drinks become easier to make. Click here to see some options.
Adult milkshakes are all the rage taking this milk and ice cream mixture to a whole other level. The base is simple enough; just add 1 1/2 cups of ice cream to 1/4 cup of your favorite milk. Almond, coconut, and flavored milk work just as well as regular.
Once you have your basic milkshake start adding your liquor. Vodka and Kahlua mix well with vanilla for a White Russian. For a salted caramel shake, add caramel sauce, pink Himalayan sea salt, and rum.
No matter what you add, make sure your ratios of ice cream and milk are pretty close, keeping it from being too thin or thick.
6. Root Beer Float
Root beer floats are created by pouring any brand of root beer over vanilla ice cream. This is a fun drink to have at a children’s birthday party or you can spice it up for some adult time.
Vodka works well with root beer to add a grown-up edge to this family drink. Whipped cream, marshmallow, vanilla, or even root beer-flavored vodka are all popular flavors.
To add even more variety, try switching up the soda or ice cream flavors to make a non-traditional float. Cream soda over orange ice cream, or cherry grenadine and lime soda over chocolate ice cream, will make this drink soar.
When life gives you lemons, make a cold, refreshing lemonade. A great source of vitamin c, lemons also mix well with many other fruits and herbs to create a variety of different drink options.
Try adding lime juice and mint leaves with blackberries for a rustic take on this drink. Ginger ale or cranberry juice adds a zing to this popular beverage. Don’t forget the ice!
There is more to making a smoothie than combining ice and fruit. Finding the right combinations and liquid ratios take a cup of mashed fruit to an energizing drink.
First, choose your fruit. Almost any fruit can be used in a smoothie, but berries and bananas tend to be used the most to form a base. Fruit high in the pulp like pineapple may be harder to blend smooth.
Second, choose your thickener. Nut butter or yogurt works well. You can omit this step if you like a thinner smoothie.
Third, add in your liquid. Common options are milk, nut milk, or juice.
Finally, add in any extras such as spinach, chia seeds, or honey and blend.
While a spritzer is normally made with chilled white wine and sparkling water, there are also non-alcoholic versions made with carbonated juice. Orange or apple juice mixed with carbonated mineral water are the most common.
To know if your wine is chilled enough for a spritzer, pour half a glass and see if your glass begins to frost. This is a tell-tale sign that it’s cold enough. For a cool taste, add lime soda or ginger ale instead of water.
10. Frozen Hot Chocolate
If you are missing a bit of the winter in the warmer months, this is your drink. Mix powdered hot cocoa with ice and put it in the freezer to set. Add whipped cream on the top with some mini chocolate chips or shavings.
For even more decadence, use white chocolate instead.
Perfect Cold Beverages for Perfect Summer Days
As the warm days turn hot and summer stretches on, choosing your favorite from among these cold beverages is going to be difficult. The best part is, you don’t have to. Try all of them so you don’t miss out and let your tastebuds thank you.
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