Fun Summer Beverages for Sipping


    Summer heat tends to set in earlier in the southern United States, but even the northern areas experience scorching temperatures. There is nothing quite as satisfying and refreshing as a cold beverage to sooth the parched mouths and cool the body’s internal temperature. While satisfying is generally sufficient, why not also add a touch of fun to your refreshment?

    Arnold Palmer with Mint

    This classic mix uses iced tea (usually unsweetened) and lemonade, mixed half and half. Crush a few mint leaves against the inside of a glass, to release some flavor. Add a bunch of ice – instead of watering down the drink, try using ice made from tea or lemonade. Add the lemonade and iced tea. Sweeten to taste, if desired, and garnish with mint leaves or lemon slices.

    Banana-Citrus Smoothie

    Put three medium ripe bananas in a blender, along with half a can of frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed), and about 3/8 cup of frozen lemonade concentrate (also thawed) and blend until smooth. Add a cup and a half of warm water and a cup of sugar (or less, to taste) and blend until smooth. Freeze in ice cube trays. Mix 1 part pineapple juice with 2 parts lemon-lime soda and blend with the premade ice cubes. Garnish with thin orange slices.

    Classic Lemonade

    Homemade iced tea and lemonade

    A few lemons, sugar to taste, and a pitcher of cold water, poured over ice is about the most thirst-quenching and satisfying summer drink. A twist of lemon on the edge of the glass, or a cute summer miniature umbrella can increase the fun of this delightful classic drink.

    Cranberry-Orange Crush

    Using 2 parts ginger ale, 4 parts cranberry juice, and 1 part orange juice, mix the juices first then add ginger ale. Top with frozen cranberries to keep the beverage cool. 

    Cran-Raspberry Frost

    This refreshing float-type drink is so simple! Pour about a quarter cup of cranberry juice into the bottom of a wide glass. Add a half-cup sized scoop of raspberry sherbet into the glass, then fill the rest of the way with cold ginger ale. The color is festive and a cute straw will add a whimsical twist to the treat.

    Fruity Fizz Float

    Drop two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass, then pour in a fruit flavored carbonated beverage. Some of the preferred flavors are strawberry, raspberry, grape, or orange. A cute straw or a garnish of the type of fruit that matches the drink is a lot of fun!

    Hurricane (Non-Alcoholic)

    This recipe needs 4 parts passionfruit juice, 2 parts pineapple juice, 2 parts orange juice, 1 part lemon juice and 4 parts carbonated water. Mix the juices together, then add carbonated water just before drinking. Pour over ice and garnish with pineapple wedges and cherries. 

    Iced Coffee

    For coffee lovers, iced coffee is one of the most refreshing summer drinks ever! Start with brewed coffee – either cooled after brewing, or cold brew. To cold brew coffee, put coffee and water in a glass container and leave it overnight, then strain the grounds out in the morning. Fill a tall glass with ice cubes (make them from leftover coffee) and pour the cold coffee over them. Stir in a bit of sweetened condensed milk for a super summer taste!

    Lemonade Frost

    Freshly squeeze lemon juice and mix with sugar to taste and water, then blend one part of this mixture with two parts ice cream to make an amazing frosty slush. A thin slice of lemon on the edge of the glass brings an upscale touch to the beverage.

    Orange Julius™ – Homemade

    This was a popular mall beverage but can be easily made at home. In your blender, add a quarter of a can of frozen juice concentrate (orange or orange-pineapple), a half cup of vanilla yogurt, about 10 ounces of milk (dairy or non-dairy), a half cup of ice cubes, and a bit of sweetener (honey is good – about two tablespoons). Blend it until it is frothy, immediately pour into a glass and enjoy!

    Pina Colada in a Pineapple Cup

    There is a lot of coconut in this fun fruity delight. Start by freezing coconut water (for non-watering ice cubes) and chunks of pineapple. When you are ready to put these together, put 3 parts frozen pineapple chunks, 2 parts coconut water ice, 1 part coconut cream, 1 part pineapple juice, and a squeeze of lime juice into the blender. Blend until it looks frosty. Pour into the prepared pineapple cup (a hollowed out pineapple) and, if desired, pour a swirl of cherry syrup on the top. Fun and delicious!

    Pineapple Mojito (Non-Alcoholic)

    This fun version of a mojito is easy to make! Mash four or five chunks of pineapple (or use about 1/8 cup of crushed pineapple) in a small mixing bowl. Add four or five leaves of your favorite mint and mash together to allow the leaves to release their flavor. Place this mixture into a glass and add ice cubes (or frozen grapes). Fill with about a half cup of cold white grape juice and about a half cup of carbonated water or lemon-lime soda and squeeze in about a tablespoon of lime juice. Sweeten to taste, and garnish with thin twists of lime. 

    Pop Ice Potion

    Combine equal parts of a lemon-lime carbonated beverage and lemonade. Add a couple teaspoons of seltzer, if you want more fizz. Drop in several strawberry slices and mango cubes, then cool with a strawberry or mango flavored single-stick ice pop. 

    Sprinkled Chocolate Milk

    Melt about a quarter cup of white chocolate chips in a small bowl (15 seconds at a time in the microwave works well, or over a double boiler). Stir until smooth. In a larger bowl, mix a quarter cup of rainbow-colored chocolate mini chips or miniature M&Ms with 2 tablespoons of rainbow sprinkles, 2 tablespoons of rainbow miniature nonpareils, and 2 tablespoons of star or other tiny shape decorations. Dip the rim of the glass into the melted white chocolate, then into the sprinkles, and refrigerate until set (about five minutes). Pour chocolate milk into the glass and enjoy a fun treat!

    This can be done with hot chocolate, too, but who wants a hot drink when it is hot outside? 

    Watermelon Cooler

    Watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit! Its refreshing and hydrating nature makes it amazing for a summer beverage. In your blender, place about two cups of seedless watermelon chunks, a quarter of a cucumber (peeled and diced), a few chopped leaves of mint, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add a pinch of salt and sweeten to taste. Strain into a bowl or pitcher to remove solids, then blend the liquid again with ice cubes to turn it into a refreshing slush. Garnish with fresh mint or a slice of watermelon and enjoy!

    Watermelon Lemonade

    Juice some watermelon and mix half-and-half with lemonade to make a refreshing summer treat. Instead of ice, cool the drink with frozen chunks of watermelon and frozen lemonade – no getting watered down, and the watermelon can be eaten when it is thawed!

    Watermelon Lime Slush

    Blend watermelon chunks with ice cubes and a squeeze of lime until it is smooth. Use more lime for a sourer taste or add a bit of sweetener if you prefer a sweeter version. Garnish with a narrow sliver of frozen watermelon or a thin twist of lime.


    There are additives in the alcohol section of many grocery stores such as pina colada mix, grenadine, and similar. These add-ins do not contain alcohol and can be added to carbonated beverages to make fun non-alcoholic flavors. Experiment – you may discover your own creation is your favorite fun summer beverage!

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