Cool Down with these Easy Summer Drinks

On hot summer days, keep cool from the inside out with refreshing homemade drinks.  The following concoctions are healthy, non-alcoholic beverages that range from easy to exotic.

All-purpose punch

For a lively punch that satisfies and is easily made in large quantities, mix together apple juice and ginger ale. Chill with ice.

Custom lemonade

Booths offering fresh-squeezed lemonade are among the most popular at summer fairs.  This simple recipe makes a pitcher of lemonade that’s good enough to sell.

Cut in half three lemons. Squeeze the juice into the bowl. Get rid of the seeds, and save the peels. Pour the juice into a pitcher, add a cup of sugar, and fill the pitcher three-quarters full with water. Stir thoroughly to dissolve all of the sugar. Throw in the lemon peels for added flavor, and add ice.

Mango madness

Blend a cup of plain yogurt, a half-cup of mango pulp, a cup of crushed ice and three tablespoons of sugar. Chill thoroughly. Serves four.

Going green

Green tea is a benefit to health and weight loss, hot or cold. Go green this summer with peachy green tea.

Boil six cups of water and two sliced peaches in a pot. Pour the boiling water and peaches over six green tea bags. Steep for six minutes. Sweeten with maple syrup or honey. Once the mixture has cooled, refrigerate it. Serve it chilled in glasses with peach slices at the bottom and a spoon alongside.

Watermelon smoothie

Watermelon is a summer favorite. It also makes a healthy, refreshing drink.

In a blender, purée two cups of watermelon without seeds, one tablespoon of honey and mint leaves to taste. Add a cup of lemon yogurt and a dash of cinnamon, and blend only until smooth. Chill. Serves two.

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