Is there anything better than sitting back on a hot afternoon and taking in the coolness of an iced drink? There might be, but this is one of life’s simple pleasures that we so often forget to relish. Not only that, these days it is hard to come by refreshing drinks that a person doesn’t feel guilty for enjoying. Why? SUGAR. What used to be our comfort food is now public enemy number one in the kitchen.
I’m not going to tell you how much sugar you should consume or argue that one type is better than the other. I’m not qualified and, to read the information I have seen, it is still up in the air. My mantra with all foods has been to adopt a less is more attitude about processing. The less processing a food has undergone, the better for us as people. As such, my two go-to sweeteners are first, honey, and, second, maple syrup. I do throw in some coconut sugar here and there for baked goods. That being said, sugar should have the same place in our diet as everything else except vegetables…all things balanced in moderation.
In honor of my attempts to find refreshing summer drinks, I have put together a few of my favorites. All four of these recipes should be sweetened to taste. I always err on the side of less is more, and drink all but the rhubarb seltzer without any sweeteners. Enjoy the quenching of your thirst!
To get the recipes, please click the link below and print your recipe cards.
Rhubarb Simple Syrup
We are Rhubarb and Rubbish and we have to have a rhubarb drink. You can use the syrup for a number of things, but one of my favorites is Rhubarb Seltzer. Sweet, tangy, and bubbly!!
Peppermint Licorice Iced Tea
If you are looking for a naturally refreshing and sweet summer drink, this is it! Peppermint brings the refreshing side and licorice brings the sweet. For those of you that have never had licorice root, it DOES NOT taste like black licorice. It is earthy and sweet. Please be aware that licorice root has been known to increase blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure you may want to consult your physician or naturopath before drinking too much of this summer quencher.
Pineapple, Mango, & Strawberry Smoothie
Who doesn’t love a smoothie! Fruit and fruit juice are naturally sweetened by a variety of naturally occuring sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and glucose. I use full-fat coconut milk in this smoothie to balance out the sugar a bit. It makes a smooth and creamy yummy treat.
Raspberry Leaf, Lemon, and Peppermint Iced Tea
Of all the quenchers, this is the least “sweet”. Raspberry leaf tea does not taste like raspberries. It is the leaves, not the fruit that are used.I would characterize it as a mix between green and black tea. The peppermint and lemon just liven it up and give it texture and depth. I don’t sweeten this one but you might need to. Please note that raspberry leaf tea has been used medicinally for a number of feminine health issues. If you are pregnant or wanting to get pregnant, please check with your doctor before consuming large amounts of this tea.
What are your favorite summer thirst quenchers? Did you give a twist to the recipes shared and how did they turn out? Please share and comment below.
Contributed by Liz