Fun and Flavorful Frosty Thirst Quenchers

I live in the South, and when the temps soar, we head indoors, crank the A/C and begin our futile attempts to keep cool by drinking gallons of sweet iced tea. It’s actually not the heat that bothers me—it’s the humidity that comes with it. That humidity can wreak havoc on a gal’s hair! Seriously! The longer you stay outside, the bigger your hair gets. A mere walk to the mailbox at the end of the driveway could result in triple volume. It’s most unattractive. While I can’t offer much advice for wild hair (other than to use lots of conditioner and keep it under a hat), I can help you keep cool from the inside out with delicious, refreshing summertime drink recipes. They are so good that you will be tempted to gulp them down—but please promise not to gulp too quickly. Brain freeze and a frizzy head of hair at the same time is just plain cruel.

Food expert LeAnn Rice has some summertime beverages that will help you keep cool! Peach Melba Iced Tea

Ingredients: 48 ounces cold water 9 bags cold-brew raspberry tea bags 1/3 cup honey 1 cup fresh raspberries 3 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

Directions: Place water and tea bags in a two-quart pitcher, and let steep for 15–20 minutes. Remove tea bags, and discard. Stir in honey until blended. Taste, and add more sweetener, if desired. Add fruit, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

m2Bt96RrFHK8-yIcZKTV7I9l2NCuvK0sxUt8eXEBl1EIced Coffee

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups ground coffee (flavor of choice) 8 cups room-temperature water

Directions: Combine coffee and water in a two-quart pitcher. Cover, and let sit for 12 hours. Line a fine mesh strainer with four layers of cheese cloth. Set over another pitcher. Pour the pitcher with the coffee grounds through the strainer into the second pitcher. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pour iced coffee over ice and flavor as desired.

Flavor ideas: You can serve with your favorite flavored creamer. (I make vanilla-flavored coffee and flavor with French vanilla creamer.)

Add a sweetener of choice and milk for a basic iced coffee.

If you like it richer and sweeter, stir in your desired amount of sweetened condensed milk.

For a mocha, stir in chocolate syrup and milk or cream.

You can make a frozen mocha by freezing coffee in ice cube trays. To make, place two cups of frozen coffee cubes in a blender. Add one cup of cold coffee, one cup 2% milk, 1/3 cup chocolate syrup and one tablespoon sugar. Blend until smooth. Add 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, and blend just for a few seconds or until the chips are shaved. Pour into a tall cup, and top with whipped cream (if desired). Drink with a straw.

Sunrise Cooler

Ingredients: 1 cup cranberry juice 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice 3 tablespoons grenadine 8 cups ginger ale 1 pint orange sherbet Orange slices for garnish

Directions: Combine cranberry juice, orange juice and grenadine in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Pour in the ginger ale, and gently stir. Add sherbet, and allow to start melting. (You don’t want it to melt completely, but just until it softens.) To serve, pour flavored ginger ale and some of the softened sherbet into glasses. Garnish with an orange slice.

Quick and Easy “Company Tea” Slice or chop a variety of colorful fruits and berries. Arrange on a lined baking sheet, and freeze. Once frozen, place in plastic bags, seal and store in freezer.

To use, place a few ice cubes and frozen fruits into a tall glass. Pour iced tea or a lemon-lime soda over the ice and fruit. Garnish with a mint leaf or slice of fresh fruit, and serve with a straw.

LeAnn Rice is a food blogger and the author of The Loving Kitchen, a cookbook filled with yummy recipes, as well as ideas for gathering with those you love and reaching out to those in need.

Photo Credits: fotolia