One of the many reasons why I love spring is berry season. Berry waffles at the local berry patch, picking berries from the plants around my house, and berry baking: we go on a bit of a berry tangent around here.

But one area I’ve never really branched out into as far as berries are concerned are berry drinks, and I think I’ve really been missing out. Blueberries and strawberries are in season in June, so they’re the perfect beverage to serve at spring and summer patio parties.

I’ve got a lot of great berry drink recipes to share this week on Shelly’s Friday Favourites, but before you can make them, you might need a few of these kitchen appliances and gadgets.

A powerful blender

The more powerful blender, the better the frozen drink. Go for a Vitamix or a Blendtek blender and you’ll never have to worry about your ice not crushing.

A cocktail shaker

Some drinks require a little bit of a shake before serving, so having a cocktail shaker on your patio table is a nice way to branch out your mixology skills.

A pitcher

A durable glass or plastic pitcher holds all of your favourite blended beverages. Or even better, a pitch that holds three of your favourite beverages.

Cocktail glassware

There’s nothing like a great set of glasses to serve your cocktails in.

Now that you’re all set up for drink-creating accessories, here are 5 amazing berry drink recipes you can create and enjoy under the sun this weekend.

Blueberry Mojitos

I have fresh mint and blueberries growing in my yard, so I’m definitely going to go and pick them when they are in season and create a few blueberry mojitos for friends. This recipe can also be made blended if you have a Blendtek or Vitamix. Instead of pouring over the ice, crush it all together in the blender.  Photo and recipe from bakingbeauty.net

Ingredients:

1 Cup Fresh Blueberries, (Set aside a few for garnish if desired)

4 Ounces Rum

10 Fresh Mint Leaves

2 Teaspoons White Sugar

Juice of 2 Limes

6 Ounces Club Soda

Ice Cubes

 

Directions

Blend or muddle blueberries until smooth. Set aside.

Use a muddler or wooden spoon to blend in mint leaves and sugar.

Stir in rum, lime juice, and blueberry mixture.

Pour over club soda & ice. Gently stir.

Garnish with extra blueberries, lime, and mint if desired.

Frozen Blackberry Coolers

This blended beverage has coconut milk, so if you have lactose issues, you’ll love this drink. If you’re not a fan of rum, you can eliminate and serve it as a virgin drink. Photo and recipe from pizzazzerie.com

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen blackberries

1 cup ice

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup simple syrup

6 ounces rum

 

Directions

Blend together frozen blackberries, ice, coconut milk, lime juice, simple syrup, and rum until pureed and smooth. If using thawed blackberries, add more ice until consistency is frozen. Add more simple syrup for more sweetness. Garnish with blackberries and a sprig of mint!

Frozen Watermelon Daiquiri

Daiquiris are best served in big batches, and these watermelon daiquiris are an amazing patio drink. You can usually get 8 cups of watermelon from one large watermelon. Photo and recipe by sweetansavorybyshinee.com.

Ingredients:

8 cups watermelon chunks, frozen

¾ cup light rum

6 tablespoons lime juice (from about 2-3 limes)

6 teaspoons sugar

 

Directions

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

My kids like to sit out on the patio in the sun too, so every year in the spring I love making a big batch of strawberry lemonade to serve in a pitcher. Photo and recipe from deliciouslysprinkled.com

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (about 6 medium lemons)

6 cups cold water ice

1 cup strawberries, chopped for topping

lemon slice, for garnish

 

Directions

In a small sauce pan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

Place strawberries into a food processor or blender and process/blend until smooth.

Pour pureed strawberries into the sugar water. Add lemon juice. Stir well.

Pour strawberry lemon mixture and cold water into a large pitcher. Stir well and add ice. Pour into glasses and top with chopped strawberries and a lemon slice.

Strawberry Lime Slushes

If squeezing lemons for strawberry lemonade is too time consuming and you want a quick ice-cold beverage for the kids, try Strawberry Lime slushes. They’re made from lime concentrate you can buy in any store, and all you have to do is blend with strawberries and ice. Photo and recipe from gatherforbread.com.

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh strawberries

½ cup lime frozen concentrate

2 cups of ice

 

Directions

Crush ice in a blender. Place in freezer. Meanwhile, rinse and hull strawberries. Cut in half. Place in a food processor or blender. Pulse or blend until berries are finely crushed. Add lime concentrate. Pulse a few more times. Add crushed ice and pulse several times. Add more ice if necessary for desired texture.

Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy immediately.


Cucumber Sangria

This one isn’t berry related, but June is also when cucumbers start bursting from the garden. Instead of overwhelming my neighbours with baskets of them, why not use them in a drink? Photo and recipe from BHG.com.

Ingredients:

Small honeydew melon

1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced

1 lime, thinly sliced

12 fresh mint leaves

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup honey

1 750 milliliter bottle Sauvignon blanc or other semi-dry white wine, chilled

1 liter bottle carbonated water, chilled

 

Directions

Cut the melon in half; remove and discard seeds and rind. Cut melon into thin slices. In a large pitcher* combine melon, cucumber, lime slices, and the 12 mint leaves. In a small bowl stir together lime juice and honey until combined; pour over melon mixture. Add wine, stirring gently. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

To serve, stir in carbonated water. Ladle or pour into glasses. If desired, garnish with additional mint.


Heat your patio season up with a patio fireplace

Every patio needs a grill
Try a few of these BBQ sides