The summer is often a time when we seek to escape to exotic destinations for some well-deserved rest and relaxation. However, if you’re staying at home this summer, you can still beat the heat and give yourself a mini-vacation whenever you want.
Whether you’re traveling or not, summer is for relaxation, sunshine and finding fun ways to beat the heat. If you’d like to make your average weekend feel more like a getaway, sometimes all it takes is a bit of intentionality. Something as simple as a new summer drink recipe can reveal the potential in a summer day, adding a bit of sparkle to your ordinary routine and transporting you into your own personal vacation for a few moments.
Here are 9 recipes for cool, refreshing summer drinks, ranging from caffeinated to alcoholic to iced teas, that can help you cool down and create your own special escape even at home.
1. Homemade Cold Brew
If summer generally signals your transition to iced coffee, you’ll enjoy being able to save some cash and create your own creamy, invigorating cold brew at home with your favorite coffee grounds and a bit of patience.
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely ground coffee
- 3 cups water
In a 1 quart mason jar, steep the cold water and the coffee grounds overnight. If you prefer a stronger brew, you can steep for up to 20 hours. After steeping, use a cheesecloth or a paper coffee filter to strain out the coffee grounds as you pour the mixture into a second container. You’ll end up with around two and a half cups of cold brew concentrate; dilute it with two and a half cups of cold water and you’ve got about a week’s worth of homemade cold brew.
2. Strawberry Mint Sangria
Summer is a great time for a low-maintenance, fresh fruit sangria; this recipe adds a mint twist for an even cooler blend that you can enjoy all afternoon.
- 2 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
- 2/3 cup mint leaves
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 juiced lemon
- 2 bottles rosé
- 1/2 cup club soda
Combine the strawberries, mint, sugar and lemon juice in a large pitcher. Pour in rosé and stir the mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved. Let the sangria sit for thirty minutes and add club soda before serving.
3. Pineapple Strawberry Lemonade
A tropical version of a summertime favorite, this sweet and tart combination can make for the perfect escape.
- 2 cups strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
- 1 pineapple cut into chunks
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 cups water
Combine pineapples and strawberries in a blender for 4 seconds. Add the lemon juice and continue blending until fully combined. Add the mixture to a large pitcher and pour in the sugar and two cups of water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the water and refrigerate; serve over ice.
4. Virgin Pink Grapefruit Mojito
This sweet pink mojito can be served virgin or made alcoholic with a splash if white rum.
- 2 cups soda water
- 1 cup pink grapefruit juice
- 4 tsp raw sugar
- Large ice cubes
- Lime slices and mint leaves (for garnish)
For each serving, combine 1 tsp raw sugar, 4 mint leaves and a slice of lime in the bottom of a glass until the sugar is dissolved. Add 1/4 cup grapefruit juice and stir; top off with soda water and garnish with mint and lime slices.
5. Cherry Limeade
This fizzy sweet take on a Shirley Temple is the perfect nostalgic drink for a summer day.
- 1 cup chilled lime juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 2 liter bottle of Sprite
- 1 10 oz jar maraschino cherries
- 2 thinly sliced limes
- Crushed ice
Halfway fill a pitcher with crushed ice. In a mixing bowl, add lime juice to sugar until it dissolves and add to the pitcher. Pour Sprite, cherries (including the syrup) and lime slices and stir.
6. Frozen Lemon Granita
This granita isn’t just light, cold and refreshing; it comes with its own unique serving method for added fun.
- 6 large lemons
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp limoncello
- Sprigs of mint
Take a small slice off of the bottom of each lemon so it can sit flat without rolling. Cut off the top and pare out the center of the lemon around the pith to make your serving “glasses.” Squeeze the scooped-out lemons for their juice (ideally around 1 1/2 cups). Boil 3 cups of water with the cup of sugar until the sugar dissolves, remove from heat and stir in 1 cup lemon juice. Add more juice to taste and stir in the limoncello. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and leave it in the freezer for an hour.
After frozen, scrape the mixture into crystals with a fork and return to freezer. Continue to re-scrape every hour for the next 3 hours until the granita has a fluffy texture. When ready to serve, scoop the mixture into the lemons and garnish with mint.
7. Blackberry Mint Iced Tea
If you’re looking for a healthier, low sugar refreshment, this green tea beverage will keep you cool and hydrated all summer long.
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 6 mint leaves
- 2 bags of green tea
- 3 cups of hot water
- raw honey
Combine the blackberries, mint, and tea bags in a small pitcher. Add hot water and steep for fifteen minutes, then remove the tea bags. Put the pitcher in the fridge for 4 hours to chill and then serve when ready.
If you’ve grown tired of your daily brew, try adding a little luxury to your coffee with this sweet, Hawaiian-inspired recipe.
- 3 tbsp coconut cream
- 4 tsp simple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 shots espresso
- 1/2 cup macadamia milk
Mix the espresso into the coconut cream, simple syrup and vanilla. Pour the macadamia milk into a glass of ice and add the espresso mixture. Stir until everything combines and enjoy.
If you’ve been craving the taste of a vacation this summer, bring the flavors of Disney’s iconic Dole Whip to your own back porch with this delicious recipe.
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup lemonade
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Pineapple wedges and maraschino cherries (for garnish)
Simply combine pineapple, lemonade and coconut milk into a blender and serve in glasses garnished with pineapple wedges and cherries.