Healthy, Simple, Refreshing Summer Drinks!
Summertime heat calls for long days playing in the pool, cookouts, and refreshing summer drinks. There’s something so uplifting about sipping a sweet and tart lemonade or a glass of something fizzy.
But, so often the drinks that are offered pool-side and at cookouts are full of sugar and artificial dyes.
The good news is, there are so many ways to quench your thirst for something cool that will actually leave you feeling refreshed and renewed.
These three refreshing summer drinks are easy to make and full of healthy ingredients you can feel good about sipping all summer long.
Lime Mint Spritzer
When fresh mint hits the garden, the first thing I do is use it in drinks. Mint tea and mojitos are my favorites, but I wanted to create a refreshing drink with the flavors of a mojito, that could be enjoyed any time of day.
I love the bright tartness of limes, and this drink surely packs a punch that I find incredibly refreshing. Between the tartness of the limes and the fizz of the bubbles, it is guaranteed to perk up that afternoon slump. Plus, how can you not be happy when you are holding a fizzy drink topped with a mint sprig?
To your health
Mint and lime are known for being digestive aids, so this is the perfect drink to sip if you have a bit of tummy trouble. Plus, the lime juice gives you a Vitamin C burst to keep your immune system strong.
Be sure to use seltzer water for this drink and not club soda or tonic water. Seltzer water is simply carbonated water, while club soda has added minerals (potassium bicarbonate and potassium sulfate), and tonic water is sweetened and flavored with quinine.
Lime Mint Spritzer Recipe
- 2 limes, juiced (about ¼ cup juice)
- 4 large mint leaves
- 1 cup sparkling seltzer water, or more to taste (find sparkling seltzer water here)
- In a sturdy glass, mix the lime juice with mint leaves. Muddle with a muddler or the back of a spoon to crush the mint leaves and release the oils.
- Add ice to the muddled mixture and top the drink off with seltzer water to taste.
Due to the sparkly nature of this drink, it is best to mix individual servings.
In Mexico and Central America, agua fresca is a term for a beverage that is made by blending fruit with sugar and water. While this watermelon juice isn’t technically an agua fresca, it follows a similar concept of turning summer fruit into a refreshing drink.
Since watermelon is naturally sweet and contains mostly water, simply blending the fruit creates a fruity, sip-able beverage with a thick and almost frothy consistency. This drink is so simple to make, even kids can whip it up themselves. And if they love watermelon, they’ll love this fun new way to enjoy it!
Watermelon goes great with a number of herbs, particularly mint and basil. So if you want to mix things up a bit, or have some herbs that are running wild, experiment with throwing different herbs into the juice and blending them with the watermelon. Lavender, oregano, and cilantro are all on my list to try!
To your health
You might think of watermelon as just that fun summer fruit, but it is also quite good for you! Surprisingly, it is high in lycopene, the same heart-healthy nutrient that we get from tomatoes. It contains a high concentration of antioxidants and is a good source of Vitamin C. And as if we needed more reason to eat watermelon, it is also believed to be good for relieving muscle soreness.
Watermelon Juice Recipe
- 4 cups cubed (seeded) watermelon flesh
- 3-4 large basil or mint leaves, or a handful of your favorite fresh herb
- ice, optional
- Place the cubed and seeded watermelon flesh in your blender with the fresh herb leaves. Cover and blend until the mixture becomes very smooth.
- Pour the juice into a glass over ice (if desired).
This drink keeps well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Keep it in a quart mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake it well before pouring yourself a glass.
Homemade Naturally Sweetened Pink Lemonade
Ah, lemonade. It is such a classic summer drink. It really is hard to imagine summer without it.
In addition to knowing that most lemonade served at summer parties probably starts as a powder, the problem that I always run into with lemonade is that it’s too sweet and not lemony enough. If I’m drinking lemonade, it needs to be that perfect balance of sweet and tart.
Everyone is going to have their own idea of what balance makes up the perfect lemonade flavor. So feel free to add more sweetener or even more water to your lemonade until you reach the flavor that reminds you of summer.
Natural pink lemonade is simple to make by dyeing lemonade with a berry puree. Berries add such a nice depth of flavor to the classic lemonade, and it’s hard to pass up that color!
To your health
It’s no surprise lemons are loaded with health benefits, the top of the list being an exceptional amount of Vitamin C. In addition, lemons are good for digestion and help to detoxify your body. They are also good sources of potassium, magnesium, and copper.
Naturally Sweetened Pink Lemonade Recipe
- 2 cups warm water
- ¼ cup raw honey, maple syrup, or agave syrup (find raw honey here)
- 6 large lemons, juiced (about 1½ cups juice)
- ½ cup fresh raspberries or strawberries
- 1 pinch salt (find unrefined salt here)
- ice (to serve)
- Combine water and honey in a liquid measuring cup. Stir to dissolve. Place the sugar water in the refrigerator to chill.
- While the sugar water is chilling, place the berries in the bowl of your food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of the lemon juice and blend the berries until they become a smooth puree.
- Add the remaining lemon juice and berry puree to the chilled sugar water. Add the salt and mix well.
- Taste your lemonade and add more sweetener if desired.
- Chill for at least 1 hour to allow the berry flavor to infuse into the lemonade.
- Serve over ice. Garnish with a few extra berries, if desired.
This lemonade will keep for 2-3 days in a sealed container in your refrigerator.