Summertime, A Sip At A Time

It's June, and the first day of Summer is just around the corner.  Summer livin' is everywhere, from backyard barbecues and campfires at the river, to long evenings on the patio and long weekends at the lake! Everyone is ready to enjoy Summer!  Like any other season, Summer brings with it it's own special menu, including a variety of icy summer beverages.
From left, Sweet Tea, Lemonade, and an Iced Mocha
Summer beverages are everywhere!  On television, in magazines, and on blogs, it seems that everywhere I look, there's another great recipe for a delicious frosty drink! And of course, the more I see of a food, the more I want to get into the kitchen and start creating!  I was particularly inspired after reading the most recent issue of Everyday With Rachel Ray, in which she discusses how much cheaper it is to make your own summer drinks, such as lemonade and iced tea.  Intrigued, I decided to research a few recipes and give them a try.

I've always been a big iced tea fan, and a large tin of lemon iced tea crystals is a summertime staple in my kitchen.  However, as I become more and more conscious of processed food, my powdered drink mix is becoming less and less appealing!  And so, I decided to try my hand at iced tea.  I've heard a lot about Southern style sweet tea, so I decided to give it a try since it would be something different than what we're used to; in Canada, iced tea is generally flavoured with lemon.  I found this recipe and tried it with great results, although upon closer inspection I realize that the cook is actually from Canada!  However, it is very similar to many of the recipes I looked at from the Southern US; this recipe worked well for me because Tetley is "my" brand of tea.  Many of the recipes I looked up called for "family size" tea bags, which is something I'm not familar with.  I didn't use six tea bags; I believe I only used four and I liked the flavour a lot.  It was very, very sweet tea, but I really liked it.  If you don't like sweet drinks, then you may want to pass on this drink and try a lemon tea recipe instead.

Next up, lemonade!  I've made homemade lemonade in the past, usually following the recipe on the bottle or just adding lemon and sugar to my glass until the ratio was right. A little online research revealed that the combination of 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of sugar, and 6 cups of water is quite popular.  However, I found this recipe a little sweet (I like my lemonade a bit tart) and so I reduced the sugar to 3/4 of a cup.  Perfect!  This recipe has been a hit in our house, and my husband and I are drinking quite a bit of it. No scurvy for us!!  We decided to pick up a 3.78 liter jug of lemon juice at the wholesalers this week; when I was hemming and hawing over the 10.00 price tag, my husband pointed out that we'd probably spent that on bottled beverages this week alone.  The jug went in the cart!

Another summer beverage we've been spending a bit of change (okay, bills) on is frozen coffee drinks.  As I was sipping on a less than inspired version from a fast food joint on the way home from a shopping trip to nearby Terrace, I thought, I can do better than this!  When I purchased my Magic Bullet blender, the recipe book that came with it had several recipes for frozen coffee drinks, so I decided to make these my project for this evening.  As luck would have it, my husband and our neighbor were chatting at the kitchen table while I was creating, so I had test subjects!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup!
The tastiest of all coffee drinks, I believe, are ones that are chocolaty, so I chose a recipe for Iced Mochas.  My testers and I decided that more chocolate was required, so I added an additional 2 tablespoons of syrup.  Yum!  You need quite a few ice cubes to get the really great frozen texture, and I found that the recipe pretty much filled the cup with liquid, leaving little room for ice.  I made the second batch using half the amounts listed so I could fit more ice in the cup.  However, if you want an "iced coffee" kind of drink (thinner, with the consistency of chocolate milk) use less ice.  We really enjoyed these; I even made them with soy milk and they were great!

For a special treat, I made a homemade chocolate sauce to use in the mochas. (The things I do in the name of research!)  You can find the recipe I used here; it is dairy free, which I love!

Do you have a favorite recipe for iced tea, lemonade, or iced coffee?  If so, please share in the comments!  Have a wonderful day and I'll see you on Friday!


  1. I love iced coffee! Mine favorite is vanilla though. Since having kids, my taste for chocolate has disappeared. Isn't that sad?!?!

    Hope you're having a great week!

  2. I love making iced herbal tea. It always seems to need a bit more sugar when consumed cold over hot. Iced Wildberry Zinger with a hearty dose of honey is delicious!


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