Hot, humid weather is upon us. Why not cool off with some wonderful cocktails and iced teas? I would like to share a few of my favorite recipes (alcoholic / non-alcoholic) that do not require more than five ingredients. Enjoy 🙂
One of the most wondrous drinks I found recently was from the Verdi Sparkletini Collection, available online or at local stores like World Market or Walmart. These drinks are quite cheap as drinks go, only $6-$7 and they have different flavors – Strawberry, Peach, Green Apple etc. You can have them plain, straight from the bottle or mix with other drinks. My first two recipes involve two of the Sparkletinis.
- Verdi Peach Sparkletini (chilled)
- Brut Champagne (chilled; a small bottle was enough for 8-10 mimosas)
- Sliced peaches and mint for garnish
I used a 0.5:1 ratio of the champagne and sparkletini but you can always add more champagne to give it a kick. Pour 1 cup of the sparkletini into your flute and measure out 0.5 cup of champagne to pour on top. You can add peach extract, if you so wish, but the sparkletini has a great flavor on it’s own. Finally garnish with a peach slice and some mint.
Apple Ginger Martini:
- Green Apple Sparkletini (chilled)
- Your choice of Vodka
- 1.5 inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1-2 tbsp Honey
- Crushed Ice
Use a ratio of 1:2 for vodka: sparkletini. Add the vodka and sparkletini into a cocktail shaker with a little bit of the grated ginger (5-6 slivers/glass) and honey and shake vigorously for a few mins. Use a strainer to pour the mixture into a pre-chilled glass containing some crushed ice. Add a slice or two of green apple and serve.
You can always add more ginger to give your drink an extra kick.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the final drink. Just drank it as soon as it was done 😛
Kiwi Berry Mojito:
- Kiwis (sliced) and Blueberries
- Slightly sweet rum
- Club soda
- Sliced limes and mint
- Crushed ice
Add a few slices of kiwi, 7-8 blueberries and some mint leaves with some crushed ice at the bottom of your glass. Use a spatula to crush the ingredients together until the kiwi slices and blueberries are broken into smaller pieces. Add 1.5:1 ratio of rum to club soda and mix well with a stirrer. Garnish with lime.
Now, a few non-alcoholic drinks for the teetotalers out there.
- 1 seedless watermelon (ripe)
- Lime juice – 3/4 cup, chilled
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Mint – 1/2 cup, (half finely chopped and half as leaves)
- Club Soda – 1/2 cup
Got this wonderful recipe from a restaurant… They were so sweet to share it 🙂
In a large pitcher, add 1/2 cup chilled lime juice, sugar and mint leaves. Use a spoon to crush the sugar crystals against the sides of the pitcher. Cut the watermelon into small pieces and blend with the remaining lime juice to get a smooth puree. Add this to the pitcher and mix well together. Finally, add the club soda, mix well and place in the fridge for 30-40 mins. Serve chilled over ice with a few mint leaves.
Lavender Green Iced Tea:
I came across a random, hole-in-the-wall cafe a few months ago that offered this tea, but hot. It tasted amazing and I wondered if this could be had cold as well. The experiment was a success..Yay.
The only difficult part is finding fresh lavender blossoms (mostly found in Farmers markets or natural grocery stores). You can also use dried lavender by getting it online.
- 2 tsp fresh lavender or 1/2 tsp dried lavender
- 4-5 green tea bags (depending on how strong you want it)
- Honey or Agave
In a large pan, bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add honey, lavender and tea bags. Steep for 5-10 mins. Strain into a glass pitcher and let it cool. Pour in a glass with some ice and enjoy (Optional Step: Add some sprigs of lavender to garnish). You can also have the tea hot if you prefer.
Cherry – Coconut Water Cooler:
- 15-20 cherries (pits removed)
- 1 cup coconut water
- 5-6 drops of lemon juice
- Honey / Agave to sweeten (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender until you get a smooth mixture (optional step: add crushed ice prior to blending). Leave it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before drinking 🙂
Optional step: Add some pieces of cherry after blending.