Fun Non-Alcoholic Drinks to Beat the Heat!
Summer lasts but a few short months in our beautiful region, so it’s no surprise that so many of us are outside soaking up as much of the sunshine as possible! Whether enjoying some hiking, biking, a beach trip or simply laying by the pool, that classic New England heat and humidity can quickly become exhausting and dehydrating. It’s easy enough to pack a jug or cooler with quick and easy-to-make teas, lemonades and seltzer waters—and while there’s plenty to love about the classics, why not up the fun factor to enjoy them even more? Here you’ll find our top 10 favorite twists on summer refreshments that are sure to do just that while helping you cool down, relax and enjoy the season. That’s what summer is all about, isn’t it? To that we say… bring the heat!
Clean Cucumber Collins
Image: Always Use Butter
Do you enjoy a light cocktail, but would prefer to avoid the next day’s headache? Don’t miss this sugar-free, non-alcoholic spin on a classic Tom Collins cocktail! This virgin cocktail is healthier than its boozier counterpart thanks to plentiful additions of cucumbers and freshly squeezed lemons. It also contains no added sugars or synthetic flavors, making it 100% natural… and 100% delicious!
Try this cocktail at your next garden party. It's perfect for entertaining on a hot summer day!
- 1 medium-sized, peeled cucumber
- 2 medium-sized lemons (juice of)
- 12 oz soda water
- Ice cubes
- Cucumber slices and toothpicks for decorating (optional)
- Peel and puree a regular cucumber using an immersion blender or food processor. Make sure there are no whole or excessively large pieces of cucumber left.
- Pour the cucumber puree into a shaker and add lemon juice. Close and shake well until mixed thoroughly.
- Place ice cubes in glasses and pour over the Tom Collins mixture.
- Top the drinks with soda water and decorate or garnish as desired.
- Serve immediately for freshness!
Freshly Squeezed Raspberry Mint Lemonade
Image: Frugal Family Home
Lemonade is definitely a “go-to” summer drink for many of us, especially with its countless creative variations from whipped to fruit-infused flavors. In consideration of this, we think “Summer in a Glass” might be the more fitting name for this delightful Raspberry Mint Lemonade! The recipe uses pureed raspberries infused with mint and steeped with freshly squeezed lemonade to create a thirst quencher that’s sure to invigorate and recharge on even the hottest days!
Local berries are my favorites! Try swapping out the raspberries for other flavors, like blackberries or blueberries.
- 1 cup water
- 4 springs of mint
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 to 3 lemons)
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 3 cups additional water
- Mint spring to garnish (optional)
- Lemon slices to garnish (optional)
- Raspberries to garnish (optional)
- Add water, mint sprigs, lemon zest and sugar to a small saucepan and stir. Place over medium heat and let simmer.
- Remove the mixture from heat and let it steep 15-20 minutes.
- Remove the lemon zest and mint from the sugar mixture and set aside.
- Using a pitcher, add the raspberries and crush slightly with a spoon.
- Add the lemon juice to the pitcher.
- Add the cooled sugar mixture and the remaining three cups of water, then stir to mix.
- Refrigerate the mocktail until ready to serve.
- Serve over ice with additional raspberries, a mint sprig, and a lemon slice if desired!
Ojoche Oat Milk Latte
Image: Healing from Foods
We love ojoche at the co-op! Ojoche (OH-HO-CHay) is a caffeine-free superfood that not only tastes like coffee but also has a wealth of health benefits. It contains complete, high-quality proteins, has no known allergens and is high in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Ojoche is ideal for immune system support and digestive health, is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and can even be enjoyed by young ones (with a little syrup, of course)!
It's true what they say—big tastes come in small packages! Ojoche is one coffee alternative that isn't just beneficial in the morning, but also even late in the day thanks to being stimulant and caffeine-free. Oh, and make sure to take a look at our Healing from Foods vendor profile to learn even more about this amazing seed!
Ojoche Cold Brew:
- 5 tbsp. ojoche
- 32 oz. cold water
Ojoche Oat Milk Latte:
- 10 oz. ojoche cold brew
- 6 oz. oat milk (or another dairy-free alternative)
- Maple syrup to taste
- To prepare the cold brew, combine 5 tbsp. ojoche and 32 oz. cold water in a jug.
- Shake or stir the ingredients to blend them together and then place the mixture in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
- Once ready, shake or stir the combination again and then strain the liquid.
- Finally, mix the cold brew with the oat milk (adding some maple syrup if you want a sweeter taste) and pour over ice.
- Don’t forget to save the grounds to add to smoothies, ojoche pancakes, brownies, or other baked goods!
Dairy-Free Orange Glorious (Julius)
Image: Sun Kissed Kitchen
Feeling nostalgic for the sweet treats of your youth? Try giving this creamy, guilt-free shake a try! Based on a classic orange creamsicle, the orange glorious is a thick citrusy and frosty drink that tastes like a lovely dessert but with no dairy or added sugars—a true summer shake you can feel good about! In contrast, a traditional orange glorious has around 60 carbs and 54 grams of sugar in just a small serving size. With this variation you get the same tangy and sweet tasting flavors, but with plenty of vitamins, minerals and fiber, too. Treats with benefits never tasted so good!
Nostalgia without the calories! These yummy treats are especially nice for unwinding after a long afternoon working in the yard or garden.
- 3 large ice cubes
- 1 medium mandarin orange (about 1/4 cup wedges)
- 1 tbsp. monkfruit granules (to taste)
- 2 tbsp. coconut cream *
- 1/3 cup water (or coconut water left over from the can)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Pinch of turmeric (optional for color)
- 1 to 2 drops of orange essential oil (optional for stronger orange flavor)
- For a thicker mixture, be sure your banana is completely frozen prior to making the smoothie.
- Use 1/4 cup of liquid to keep things on the thicker side. Add peeled oranges, frozen banana, ice cubes, your choice of milk (can sub orange juice for a sweeter smoothie), optional protein powder, and vanilla to a blender.
- This works best in a high-speed blender but can also be made in a good quality standard blender. Blend until the oranges are completely smoothie and the smoothie is thick and creamy.
- Top with a dollop of yogurt or coconut cream, if desired.
* For coconut cream — Place a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight so the cream rises to the top. Once it’s been chilled, scoop out only the solid cream. The leftover water at the bottom can be added to the blended Julius later if you enjoy a more pronounced coconut taste. Alternatively, you can add 1 ½ tbsp. of natural almond or cashew butter or about 2 tbsp. of heavy whipping cream if you eat dairy!
Rainbow Coconut Water Spritzer
Image: How Sweet Eats
When it comes to finding that perfect drink to hydrate and refresh, this blend of coconut water and summer berries is a no-brainer! Coconut water has several health benefits—it’s a great source of nutrients, it can have antioxidant properties, benefits against diabetes, prevent kidney stones, supports the heart, and helps to reduce blood pressure. This festive drink freshens up the usual formula by adding a rainbow of fruit and nonalcoholic sangria. It’s also the perfect refreshment for those hot summer days out in the sun. Make a jug and pack it for your next picnic or beach trip and you’ll see what we mean!
You can think of coconut water (especially combined with sweet and tart berries) as nature's very own sports drink! It's perfect for rehydrating the body, replenishing electrolytes and boosting energy after a tough workout!
- 16 oz. coconut water
- 8 oz. flavored seltzer water (vanilla works great)
- Handfuls of fresh, in-season berries and other fruits (raspberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries and more)
- First, fill each glass with a bit of crushed ice, then add your chosen selection of fresh fruits and berries. For added fun, try using the “Roy G. Biv” mnemonic when adding each fruit to recreate the colors of the rainbow!
- Next, add a bit more ice and fill each glass with about 4 oz. of coconut water.
- Top off each beverage with some flavored seltzer, garnish with fresh mint… then serve and enjoy!
Image: Cooking Curries
Have you ever tried a lassi? This jaw-dropping summery drink hails from Dahi, India and contains a blend of creamy yogurt, water, spices and in our case, fruit. In addition to a surprising extra punch of rose flavor, this satisfying variation on a traditional lassi contains a mixture of fresh, in-season berries that will make your summer day feel a bit more extravagant!
Lassis are popular throughout India for their digestive benefits and are best enjoyed following meals or prior to spending time outside. They are well-known for keeping us cool and hydrated for longer hours, potentially even warding off heatstroke!
- 1 ½ cup organic strawberries
- ½ cup organic blackberries
- ½ cup organic raspberries
- 1 cup organic whole milk yogurt
- 1 tsp. rose water
- To get started, wash your blackberries, raspberries and rinse and hull your strawberries.
- Add all the fresh ingredients to a processor and blend the combination together.
- Next, add the yogurt and rose water and blend everything until the mixture is smooth in appearance.
- Once this is done, the lassi is ready to be poured into glasses and served cold… trust us, this one is not to be missed!
Image: A Spicy Perspective
Loosely translated, the name “agua fresca” simply means fresh or cool water. In reality however, this popular Mexican summer drink offers so much more and can be made on the fly! The great thing about agua fresca is you can easily blend a combination of your own chosen ingredients to taste. Try using a blend of fresh, local fruits and/or vegetables with a little sweetener and you’ll be sure to satisfy family and friends of any age! Some traditional recipes also include grains and/or nuts, so feel free to add those to taste as well.
Agua fresca is easy to make in large batches, so it's sure to be a hit at any outdoor pool party or family gathering! If you're taking a road trip this summer, try packing a jug to keep the family refreshed and ready-to-go for the long haul.
- 2 large English cucumbers (cut into chunks)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 8 to 10 limes)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 10 to 15 fresh mint leaves
- 1 piece of fresh ginger (1” to 2” in length)
- 4 cups of water (divided)
- Gather all the ingredients and place them together in a blender jar.
- Add two cups of water, cover and blend until the mixture is fine and smooth.
- Then, place a sieve over a pitcher and pour the agua fresca through the strainer to remove the excess pulp.
- Add the two remaining cups of water, then cover and chill until it’s time to serve!
Watermelon and Berry Fizz
Image: The Pretty Bee
For a light summer drink that can be made with just a few ingredients, this watermelon-berry refresher is sure to help you overcome thirst on a hot day. Watermelon is a quintessential summer food and a perfect way to stay hydrated. It provides us with a great source of vitamins A and C, for starters. It also contains the antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene, which may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Since it contains lots of water and a little fiber, watermelon is also helpful for good digestion!
Figuring out the best way to get that extra serving of fruits and vegetables in your daily meals? Try mixing up this natural fruit smoothie by swapping out the berries (I will happily take them off your hands)... then simply add other fresh produce!
- 16 cups seedless watermelon
- 16 oz. sparkling strawberry mineral water
- ¾ cup organic blueberries
- 1 lime
- Slice the watermelon into bite-sized chunks and puree in batches using a blender.
- When finished, drain the watermelon with a fine mesh strainer. Make sure to apply pressure on the pulp using the back of a spoon to capture every bit of juicy, sweet flavor.
- Once the juice is fully extracted, you can discard the pulp.
- Using a pitcher, pour the watermelon juice over strawberry mineral water.
- Next, add the juice of one freshly squeezed lime for a slightly sour and tangy bite.
- Finally, pour over ice and serve chilled with a few blueberries added to each glass!
Iced Tea Granita
Image: Food 52
A granita is an iced tea that is fragrant and refreshing and deserves to be served in small glasses alongside a spoon, as shown above! This “drink” is more reminiscent of Italian Ice, made evident not only through its amber colored crystals but also because it hails from Sicily. Although it’s commonly available throughout Italy in varying forms—with Sicilian versions having a coarse and more crystalline texture—its rarity in the local area meant we simply couldn’t resist the opportunity to introduce it to our community!
Granita sure does taste like a sweet vacation! If you start feeling homesick, try adding a freshly picked fruit or vegetable from the garden for a granita that's uniquely yours!
- 250 ml. (or roughly 1 cup) freshly brewed tea, cooled
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 ½ oz. caster sugar
- To begin, dissolve the sugar with the lemon juice over low heat and then combine it with the tea.
- Strain the mixture into a plastic container with a lid.
- Freeze for 3 hours and then mix well, breaking up the crystals around the edge of the container and mixing them into the slushy center.
- Next, place the tea in the freezer for two hours, then remove it and mix again.
- When ready to serve, dig up the icy granita chunks with a fork and serve in small glasses.*
* If you made the granita a few days in advance and it’s frozen solid, place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. This should soften it enough so that you can easily scoop the ice out when serving.
Fruit-infused Detox Water
Image: Modern Honey
Enhance your at-home spa sessions with fruit and herb-infused cleansing waters. Spa waters are usually packed to the brim with nutritional benefits—and yes, they sing to our hearts with something a little extra at every sip! When it comes to purifying, replenishing and hydrating our bodies, nothing beats water. It aids all functions of our bodies and helps us to flush out toxins. Adding fresh fruits and herbs enhances mineral and vitamin content, increasing the health benefits for us! It also makes it taste refreshing, slightly sweet, and delicious… no complaints here!
Practicing self-care? These fruit-infused spa waters are a great way to enhance your daily yoga and exercise routines!
- Sliced Cucumber
- Mint Leaves
- Diced Watermelon
- Mint Leaves
- Peeled Orange Slices
- Organic Blueberries
- Organic Peaches
- Organic Raspberries
- Sliced Cucumber
Virgin Fruit Sangria
- Mint Leaves
- Lemon and Lime
- Before preparing any of the above fruit infusions, start by filling a large pitcher with ice water.
- Next, add the fresh fruits and herbs of your choice and let them settle. As a general rule, herbs have a very strong flavor—a little goes a long way, so use them sparingly!
- Next, place the pitcher in the refrigerator and wait 30 minutes to let the fruit chill and infuse in the water.
- The water will last for around two to three days.*
* Keep in mind that lemons, oranges, limes and cucumbers will last longer, whereas berries will begin to disintegrate after one or two days.