Summer time is a great time to sit out on the deck or in the backyard and watch the sun go down. When you have a nice, ice-cold drink in hand, it’s that much better isn’t it?

Summer drinks don’t have to be infused with alcohol for you to enjoy them, although there are a few great drink recipes that have a shot or two of the hard stuff. These types of drinks are perfect for summer BBQs, long weekends, or just an evening at home with friends when you have no plans on driving.

This past weekend we threw a huge luau themed party in our yard for friends, and behind the grass roof of our DIY Tiki Bar we served a bunch of different drink recipes. The key to the perfect summer drink? Cold, clear ice and lots of it, so be sure to have that on hand before you get started.

Check out a few of the drink recipes I’ve conjured up in my kitchen over the past few weeks. I guarantee there will be one or two that makes your BBQ or summer party menu this year.

Old Fashioned Lemonade

I’m proud to say I was a Southern girl for a few years, and during my time in Georgia I really perfected my lemonade game. This Old Fashioned Lemonade recipe, garnished with a lemon wedge, is how we’d drink it on hot, summer days.

Ingredients:

5 lemons
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 quarts water

Directions

Peel the rinds from the 5 lemons and cut them into 1/2 inch slices. Set the lemons aside.

Place the rinds in a bowl and sprinkle the sugar over them. Let this stand for about one hour, so that the sugar begins to soak up the oils from the lemons.

Bring water to a boil in a covered saucepan and then pour the hot water over the sugared lemon rinds. Allow this mixture to cool for 20 minutes and then remove the rinds.

Squeeze the lemons into another bowl. Pour the juice through a strainer into the sugar mixture. Stir well, pour into pitcher and pop it in the fridge! Serve with ice cubes.

 

Sangria

Sangria isn’t an easy drink to perfect. I’ve tried dozens of different recipes, and this is the best one I’ve found so far.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 cup orange juice
1 (750 millilitre) bottle dry red wine
1/2 cup triple sec
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
8 maraschino cherries
2 cups carbonated water (optional)

Directions

In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.

 

 

 

 

Key Lime Pina Colada

There’s something about Pina Coladas that just scream summer. This Key Lime Pina Colada is made using the Margaritaville Frozen Drink Maker, and for a non-alcoholic version you can subsitute the key lime rum for a key lime drink mix.

Ingredients:

2 parts Key Lime Pie Rum
1 part Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1 part Pina Colada Mix

Directions

Combine ingredients in Margaritaville blending jar.
Blend and pour into a 12 oz. glass.
Top with whipped cream. garnish with a lime wedge

 

 

Homemade Frappuccino

Hot coffee turns into a cold, cool drink in the summer, and it’s one of the things I look most forward to when the summer heat hits. You don’t have to go out to your local coffee shop for a icy coffee, because you can recreate any flavour of frappuccino right at home.

Ingredients:

3/4 C. hot espresso
3 Tbs. sugar
1 C. low-fat (1% or 2%) milk
1 tsp. pectin
1 C. ice cubes

Directions

Place the espresso in a pitcher and stir in the sugar; allow the mixture to cool at room temperature. When cool, stir the milk and pectin (for thickening) into the espresso mixture until the pectin is dissolved. Place the mixture in a blender and add the ice cubes. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds or to the desired consistency.

Add a shot of vanilla, mocha, or caramel to flavour if desired and garnish with whip cream.

The weekend is here, so if you’re ready to kick back and relax try out one of these great drink recipes. Here’s a few small appliances you can use to create them, and don’t forget to check out all of the small kitchen appliances on Bestbuy.ca right now.