Sweet Sips

some beach somewhere there’s a big umbrella casting shade over an empty chair, palm trees are growing, warm breeze is blowing, I picture myself right there on some beach somewhere

We all love summer but, the usual thirst quenchers we resort to (iced tea, cold soda, plain water, etc.) are generally…well, boring! To kick things up a bit I have come up with a few very tasty alternatives to the usual iced tea and plain water. The best thing about all these recipes is that they are pretty straight forward and can be altered to your tastes; plus they are made with fresh, natural ingredients which are great for a health-savvy summer sipper! So get out your mason jars and pitchers and start pourin’!

Thirst Quenching Cold Teas:

Ginger & Peach Refresher:

Mash 6 canned peach halves with 1.5 cups of their juice (alternatively: 6 fresh peach halves and 1.5 cups natural peach juice), 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon grated ginger in a pitcher. Then add 6 cups of your favorite (already brewed and cooled) black tea — I prefer to use either English Breakfast or Earl Grey — and then top it all off with plenty of ice.

Old Fashioned Cherry Tea Soda:

Puree 1/2 pound pitted cherries with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup strong brewed hibiscus tea (cooled to room temp), add 1 cup of sparkling mineral water. Serve over ice and top off with cherries.

Peach-Lavender Infusion:

Make a batch of simple syrup (dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over low heat). To that syrup add 1/4 cup dried lavender right into the hot syrup; let the syrup cool. Puree 1/2 cup of the lavender infused syrup with 1.5 pounds fresh peaches and 1 cup Earl Grey tea; strain the mixture. Stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and serve over ice with a mint garnish.

Fresh Flavored Water Infusions:

Mint & Pineapple:

Add a sprig-worth of mint leaves to a mason jar. Muddle the mint but be careful not to crush it into small bits, you just want to get it to release the minty flavor. Toss in fresh pineapple chunks, muddle the pineapple a bit with the mint to release the juices. Add ice over the mint and pineapple then pour in water. Stir, let stand to infuse flavors for a few minutes and serve!

Sage & Blackberry:

Add sage leaves to a mason jar and lightly muddle. Add your blackberries. Muddle together to release their juices. Toss ice over top and add water to fill the jar. Stir, let stand to infuse flavors for a few minutes and serve!

Raspberry & Lime:

Cut 2 limes into quarters. Squeeze the juice into a mason jar (using your hands), then toss the squeezed lime quarters in. Add fresh raspberries. Muddle together to release the juices but be gentle, don’t mash the fruit into a pulp. Fill the jar with ice, add water. Stir, let stand to infuse flavors for a few minutes and serve!

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