When it starts to warm up, I love to curl up on a picnic blanket under the shade with an ice-cold glass of something sweet. I love all the classics, but lately I've been trying to switch up some of my favorite staples using seasonal fruits and some unique "extras" from my pantry. I crafted a quick list of some of my recent favorites to help inspire your next sunny summer afternoon.
Orange Seltzer Sparklers
This recipe couldn't be more simple. All you need is seltzer, Italian soda and orange slices. Regular or blood oranges work. For the Italian soda, I used a grocery-store brand, but this one by San Pellegrino works well too. Mix together the seltzer and soda using a 50/50 ratio in glasses. Squeeze some juice from one of the blood oranges and stir it all together. Garnish with extra orange slices.
Orange Blossom Honey Iced Tea
I got this idea from a recent trip to Orlando at the cafe, Se7en Bites. They serve orange blossom iced tea (sweet and non-sweet), and I became addicted to it during my stay. I like a tea that's a little (but not too) sweet. I'm sure they use a different recipe, but here's what I've crafted as a substitute. Select a black tea that has citrusy notes. I like this one from Tea Forte because 1 packet is perfect for 1 quart of iced-tea. In a heat-safe pitcher, pour heated water over the tea, cover and infuse to taste. I typically infuse iced tea for 5 minutes. If you like your tea a little sweet, add in a little honey while the tea is hot so it will dissolve and mix in with a wooden spoon. For the honey, I like using this one from Wegmans because it has a nice orange blossom flavor. Remove the teabag from the tea, and place the pitcher in the fridge to chill. Serve over ice with orange wedges. If I make this in the morning, it's ready by the afternoon.
Lavender Lemonade Spritz
This is my lighter take on a lemonade because I add lemon flavored seltzer to give it a little fizz and also take away some of the sugar. Add ice to a glass and pour in seltzer. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon and add some additional lemon slices to the drink. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lavender syrup (add more if you like it extra sweet). It will look like the purple version of a pink lemonade and smells as good as it tastes.
Strawberry Mint Iced Tea
June is my favorite time of year when strawberries are fresh and in season. Garnish your iced tea with berries and fresh mint. I share the step-by-step instructions in this blog post from last year.
What are your favorite go-to summer drinks? I'd love to hear what you are sipping on this season @picnicperfecto