Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baby It Is Hot Outside

We have another week of very hot weather and no rain in our future.  This means we need to keep hydrated.  Thought I would share a couple of new and different homemade drinks with you.  All child friendly.  

Several weeks ago I shared something that was shared with me on FB and thought I'd share it again since I think it is such a great idea.  I don't know why I didn't think of this.  Guess it is because it is just so simple.  You can make up drinks in individual mason jars and store in the refrigerator or for a gathering.  Instead a paying for the expensive bottled drinks, you can make your own in pint size jars and label them by writing on the lid with a sharpie.  Make your favorite ice tea or sun tea, flavored waters or filtered water and lemonades.  It will be there for you cold in the refrigerator when ever you want it.  It is also green friendly, not plastic and you can wash the jars and reuse them over and over again.  In fact they make great everyday glasses.

Won't your guest be impressed and you don't have to serve them.

Watermelon Raspberry Lemonade

6 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
1/4 cup raspberries
1/3 cup sugar (Can use a sugar substitute)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup club soda

Place the watermelon and raspberries in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. Strain through fine mesh strainer into pitcher. Stir together the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves; add to strained liquid; refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. When ready to serve, add the club soda and pour over ice cubes.

Basil Lemonade

12  cups cold water
2  12-oz. cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed 
1/3  cup sugar
1/4  cup fresh lime juice
1/2  cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves, torn (one .75-oz. pkg.)
Lemon slices and fresh basil (optional)

In extra-large bowl or pitcher combine water, lemonade concentrate, sugar, and lime juice. Stir well to combine. Stir in torn basil leaves. Cover; refrigerate 8 hours.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into serving container; discard basil leaves. Chill up to 3 days.

Serve over ice with lemon slices and fresh basil. Makes 12 servings.

Ice Coffee 

Don't toss that left over coffee in the coffee pot.  Make ice coffee with it and store it for later or make ice cubes out of them for iced coffee.

Iced Coffee Tips 

Type Of Coffee. Try to choose a dark roast for your iced coffee like French Roast and brew your coffee on the strong side. The coldness dulls the taste a bit, and if you add ice, the flavor will dilute.  Freeze coffee into coffee ice cubes and keep them fresh and convenient in a baggie once you have made them. You can always cut the coffee with milk or water if the taste is too strong.

Sweetener. If you always use sugar, consider presweetening your iced coffee by adding the sugar when the coffee is still hot. Regular granulated sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold drinks. Superfine sugar is a better choice.  You can also make a simple syrup by bringing equal parts of sugar and water to a simmer over medium heat (stir for 10 minutes or until dissolved).

Flavored Syrups.   There are a vast number of flavors you can add to a simple syrup. You can add Amaretto, Hazelnut, chocolate or white chocolate, mint, vanilla or cinnamon.  You may also make a simple syrup with Slenda rather than sugar.

Sweetened Condensed Milk. If you like both milk and lots of sugar, consider sweetening your iced coffee with sweetened, condensed milk. It brings you into Frappuccino territory—a sweet, dessert like treat rather than a calorie free beverage.  You can also flavor the condensed milk. 

Icy Mocha Shake 

1 cup strongly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon chopped chocolate of your choice 
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate ice cream
4 ice cubes

Stir the chocolate syrup into the hot coffee until melted. In a blender, combine the coffee with the ice cream and the ice cubes. Blend at high speed for 2 to 3 minutes. Top with whipped cream.  Serve immediately in a tall, cold glass on a warm day.

Sun Tea

This is one time you can use the hot sun's heat and benefit.  Use a large gallon jar and fill with water.  I use my "Wal-Mart special" with the spigot on it and the plastic pouring lid.  Take you favorite tea bags and drop into the water with the tags on the outside of the jar.  Screw on the lid and put in the sun.  I use 6 tea bags.  You may wish to use more.  Let it sit in the hot sun for 1 hour and test for color and taste to test for strength.  Do not let it set in the sun or it will become bitter.  

Put it in the refrigerator when it has reached your required strength.  When serving, it is the time to use your flavored ice cubes or get out your flavored syrups or honey to sweeten.  

With the 4th of July coming tomorrow, make red and blue ice cubes by freezing raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries in ice trays and serve your drinks with a patriotic theme.

Hope you have a safe and enjoyable 4th. Try to stay cool and be happy.  May God bless you and yours.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post Elaine! This idea is also great for travel. I'm thinking of making some cool drinks to throw in the cooler - that will help us cut down on costs on the road. Thanks!