Easy cold drinks for record hot days

Tame summer’s heat with minimal effort

This summer has already broken records for hottest ever, but then, every year lately has been the hottest ever. Take time to make a relaxing, cooling, welcome cold drink for family and maybe a friend picnic in a shady place. The recipes here are quick and easy and there’s even a popular cold cocktail for adult time.


Easy, fresh and refreshing

5 C water

6 tea bags of your choice

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp honey plus extra to serve

lemons 1 juiced, 1 sliced

1 orange, sliced

small bunch fresh mint

ice, lots

Heat water to just simmering. In a separate pan or bowl, warm the honey in the microwave or over simmering water until it is just a bit runny. Put the tea bags, sugar, honey and water in a large jug, bottle, or pitcher. Stir gently several times while letting ingredients infuse for 15 mins, then remove and discard the tea bags.

Remove leaves from the stems of mint. Discard stems. When iced tea has infused, stir in the lemon juice and lemon slices, the orange slices, and the mint leaves. Add more ice to the pitcher and stir again. Let sit for a few minutes.

Just before serving, stir once or twice then fill tall glasses with ice and pour the tea over the ice. Serve with extra honey available to add by spoon to taste. Makes six glasses.


Freezing the fruit first keeps the drink colder, longer

10 frozen strawberries about 1 C

1 C frozen bananas, sliced, about 3 mid-sized bananas

1 3/4 C milk, divided (almond milk adds a nice flavoring)

1/2 C orange juice

1/8 tsp sugar, or stevia, if preferred

3 1/2 C ice cubes, or about 25-30 ice cubes 

If you have a high-powered blender it will make quick work of chopping the ice cubes for a smooth frozen slush. A slower blender will do the job, but take longer.

Place ice cubes in the blender and blend on low for 1 minute (or more) to break up the ice into chunks. Then raise the speed and process to create a frothy mixture. Place the frozen strawberries in the blender container with the processed ice. Add 3/4 C milk. Blend on low for 30 seconds then increase the power to high and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into 4 clear, large, glass or plastic glasses.

Rinse the blender container and add the frozen banana, 8 ice cubes and 1/2 cup milk. Blend on low for 30 seconds and then increase the speed to high. Blend until smooth, about a minute. Gently spoon the mixture over the strawberries in the glasses.

Rinse the container again, then add 1/2 cup orange juice with 1/4 cup milk and 10 ice cubes. Blend on low for 30 seconds then increase power to high and blend until smooth, about another minute. Spoon over the banana layer.

Rinse the container and add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk with the sugar or stevia and 8 ice cubes. Blend on low for 30 seconds then increase the power to high and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes or until the blend is frozen. The mix will be somewhat separated, but you can use a spoon to bring the frozen mixture on top, if necessary.

Garnish with fruit, whipped cream, or a shake of spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg. Eat straight away or pop in the freezer for later. Makes four good-sized slushies.

Note: If making ahead, blend in the last milk layer just before serving.


Impress your guests with this favorite

For each glass of the drink:

2 tsp grenadine


1/2 to 1 3/4 oz. of tequila

1 Tbsp triple sec

Juice of 1 large or 2 small oranges

 juice of ½ lemon

1 cocktail cherry

Pour the grenadine into the base of a tall glass and set aside. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the tequila, triple sec and fruit juices. Shake until the outside of the shaker feels cold.

Add a few ice cubes to the serving glass then carefully double-strain the cocktail into it, trying not to disturb the grenadine layer on the bottom too much. Add more ice if needed to fill the glass then garnish with a cherry on a stick or cocktail umbrella. Makes one glass.

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