Summer Sips for the Fruitful Bunch

Ready for summer? Rhetorical question. The real question is ‘how do you plan to spend your summer?’

With any summer approaching, it’s important to take advantage of the multiple opportunities to try new things and finding your inner splendor. It’s safe to say that with any hot summer, drinks will be a certainty and trying new recipes should be a heavy consideration.

Here are some super fun & picturesque beverages (Alcoholic & NON- Alcoholic) that will brighten up any sunny day this season, as well as satisfy your fruit needs. Also, consider these recipes are never set in stone; add or subtract ingredients as you please. Just be sure to call it a fun name when you share it with guests!

Alcoholic Treats –

Ginger shandy

Ginger Shandy

What you need:

3 bottles chilled Hoegaarden beer

1 bottle chilled ginger beer

1 thinly sliced lemon

mint springs for garnish

How to make it:

In a large pitcher, combine Hoegaarden with ginger beer. Stir in most lemon slices and mint sprigs. Fill 6 rocks glasses with ice. Add remaining lemon slices to glasses and pour in shandy. Garnish each drink with a mint sprig and serve


Pomegranate Daiquiri

What you need:

3 1/2 cups pomegranate juice

1 1/2 cups plain/raspberry-flavored light rum

1 cup cassis/cranberry liquor

ice cubes

pomegranate seeds, frozen green grapes, or kiwi slices, for garnish

How to make it:

Combine pomegranate juice, rum, cassis, and lime juice in a large pitcher. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 1 week ahead.

In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups juice mixture and 1 cup ice cubes. Blend until slushy. Pour into large martini or wine glasses; garnish as desired. Repeat with remaining juice.


Peach Sangria

What you need:

1 Bottle of white wine

1/2 cup Peach Schnapps

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you prefer your Sangria)

2 sliced peaches (frozen peach slices work well)

1 sliced orange

1/2 mango peeled and sliced

1/2 liter of ginger ale

How to make it:

Pour wine and Schnapps in the pitcher and add sliced peach, orange, and mango. Next add sugar and stir gently. Chill mixture for at least one hour. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving.

If you’d like to serve your Sangria right away, use chilled white wine and ginger ale and serve over lots of ice.

Addition ideas:sliced strawberries, a handful of fresh raspberries, kiwi slices, a shot or two of triple sec, a cup of citrus soda pop.


Fresh Mint Margarita

What you need:

1/2 cup chopped mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups crushed ice

1 1/2 cups good-quality tequila

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 8 limes)

1 cup Triple Sec

How to make it:

In the bottom of a large (2-quart) pitcher, crush together mint and salt, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon. Add ice. Add tequila, lime juice, and Triple Sec, stirring vigorously. Serve in short tumblers or wineglasses.


Mango Cocktail

What you need:

3/4 cups vodka (preferably Grey Goose)

1/3 cup Cointreau

2 cups mango puree

1/4 cup lime juice

fresh mango wedges, for garnish

How to make it:

In a large glass pitcher, combine all ingredients; refrigerate until cold. Serve chilled, in cocktail glasses, garnished with fresh mango wedges.

raspberry beer

Raspberry Beer Cocktail

What you need:

1 cup of fresh raspberries or frozen

4 bottles of corona (12oz) beer, chilled

1 container frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate, thawed or pink lemonade

1/2 cup good quality vodka

lemon slices, or raspberries, for garnish

How to make it:

In a large container stir together the  first 4 ingredients. Serve over ice.

Garnish with raspberries.

To make ahead, stir together lemonade concentrate and vodka in a large container.    Stir in raspberries and beer just before serving. Garnish, if desired.


Blackberry Sage Cooler

What you need:

4 sage leaves (from the back porch!)

6 blackberries (I bought mine at the grocery store (they’re from Mexico…that’s sort of local, right?), but I discovered this weekend that you can also get blackberries at the farmers’ market right now.)

0.5 oz simple syrup

0.5 oz lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best (plus squeezing lemons will make your kitchen smell awesome))

1.5 oz gin

Crushed ice

Club soda

How to make it:

Muddle the sage leaves and simple syrup together in the bottom of a mixing glass. (Muddling releases the essense of the herb into the drink.)

Add the blackberries and muddle some more, until the berries are mostly liquid.

Add 4-5 ice cubes. Add the lemon juice and gin over the ice and stir.

Strain into a collins glass. Fill the glass about halfway with crushed ice and top with a bit of club soda.

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Pink Lemonade Jello Shots

What you need:

10 lemons (makes 40)

one box jello mix (pink color!)

1 cup vodka

How to make it:

Prepare lemons by cutting them in halves and hollowing out the peel. This may sound easier than it is. The trick is to take a paring knife and score around the insides carefully to loosen the citrus. Then spoon it out saving the fruit.

Boil one cup of water and add it to jello mix in a large bowl, stirring until it dissolves.

Slowly add one cup of vodka and stir.

Pour mixture into a cup with a spout (for an even pour). I use a measuring cup. Line up limes on a cookie sheet so they are secure and upright. Pour in jello mixture. Refrigerated over night.

Carefully quarter the halves with a sharp knife.

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Champagne/Wine Fruit Pops

What you need:

As many bottles of champagne/wine you want

As many frozen fruit pops you want

How to make it:

As shown above, place pop of choice into glass, pour & enjoy

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Fresh Melon Quenchers

What you need:

1 – 1 1/2 cups cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon puree (quarter of a 4 lb. melon)

1/4 inch slice of fresh ginger (grated)

plain low-fat yogurt

1 – 2 teaspoons honey

shredded lime peel (optional)

plain/flavored sparkling water

skewers for melons

3 ice cubes

How to make it:

In blender container, combine melon puree, ice cubes, ginger, a teaspoon or two of yogurt, and honey. Blend just until mixture is frothy and smooth. Pour into serving glass. Add additional honey to adjust sweetness. Stir in lime peel to taste. Add sparkling water to fill glass. Serve with Frozen Melon Drink Skewers. Serve immediately.

To puree melon: Coarsely chop melon and transfer to blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. If needed, stop motor and press fruit down into blades with rubber spatula or spoon and continue to blend until smooth.

Non-Alcoholic Delights –


Berry Lemonade

What you need:

8 cups cold water

2 cups sugar

3 cups (from 15 to 16 medium lemons) fresh lemon juice

3 strips (3 inches by 1 inch each) lemon peel

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

Ice cubes

Seltzer or club soda

How to make it:

Prepare sugar syrup: In 4-quart saucepan, heat 4 cups water with sugar and lemon peel to boiling over high heat, stirring occasionally. Cover saucepan and boil 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

Meanwhile, in food processor, pulse berries until pureed. Pour into medium-mesh sieve set over large bowl and press berry mixture with back of spoon to remove seeds; discard seeds.

Remove peel from syrup; stir syrup into berry puree with lemon juice and remaining 4 cups water. Makes 13 cups. Pour into large pitcher with tight-fitting lid. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours or up to 2 days. Serve over ice. Add seltzer to taste; garnish with berries and lemon slices.


Iced Fruit Punch

What you need:

6 cups assorted fruit juices

3 cups ginger ale

3 cups seltzer water

How to make it:

Make the ice:
Freeze juice in ice trays. When solid, release from molds and store by flavor in sealable freezer bags for up to 1 month.

Make the punch:
Fill an 8-ounce glass to the top with about 1/2 cup assorted flavored ice cubes, add 1/4 cup ginger ale and 1/4 cup seltzer, and serve immediately.


Raspberry Spritzer

What you need:

2 cups seltzer

2/3 cup frozen raspberries

2 sprigs fresh mint

3 ounces raspberry-flavored syrup, or Chambord

Ice cubes

How to make it:

Combine seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry-flavored syrup (or Chambord) in a small pitcher. Pour over ice.


Mint Tisane

What you need:

1 bunch fresh mint

1 bunch fresh lemon verbena (optional)

3 cups (up to 6 cups) boiling water

Sugar (optional), to taste

How to make it:

Place 1 bunch mint and 1 bunch lemon verbena (including stems) in teapot. Pour in boiling water and allow to steepen for 5 minutes. Add sugar, if desired. Serve in small Moroccan or other clear tea glasses.


Pineapple Cooler

What you need:

1 large (about 4 pounds) fresh pineapple

1 1/4 cups sugar

11 sprigs fresh lavender, rosemary, or lemon verbena

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

How to make it:

Cut the peel from the pineapple, remove the core, and cut the fruit into 1-inch pieces.

Place the fruit in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until the pineapple is crushed but not pureed. Transfer to a large nonreactive pot, add the sugar, 4 cups water, and 3 herb sprigs.

Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

Gently press the solids to extract the juice. Cool and stir in the lemon juice. Serve over ice garnished with the remaining herb sprigs.


Tropical Mango Smoothie

What you need:

1/2 cup pineapple juice, chilled

1 cup diced mango

1 banana, sliced

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon grated, peeled fresh ginger

3 ice cubes

How to make it:

In blender, combine pineapple juice, mango, banana, lime juice, ginger, and ice and blend until mixture is smooth. Pour into 1 tall glass.