In summer, a pitcher of iced tea beckoning from the fridge can salvage the sweatiest day. When I need some sanity after a long summer commute, I try not to forget how cold drinks, from flavored teas to fruity cocktails, can help reduce the effect of the humid weather, sticky subway, and growling but necessary window air conditioner unit.
This summer, I’ll be mixing up new cocktails and downing no-recipe-needed cold beer. For this first heat wave, I rounded up my favorite drinks from summers past. What will you be sipping?
**6 Cool Summer Drinks**
1. Iced Strawberry Green Tea. A twist on iced green tea that makes the most of in-season strawberries, using them to create a syrup, which then sweetens the tea.
2. Chai Tea Latte. The milky, sweet, spiced tea qualifies as both a drink and an afternoon snack. Change up the formula as you see fit, adding more honey for your sweet tooth or extra cardamom for extra earthiness.
3. Sun Tea. Last season, I got obsessed with keeping a jar of sun tea in my fridge at all times. As hydrating as water, the tea kept me cool and quenched, especially the non-caffeinated versions. With sun tea, the tea steeps in the cold fridge, so you never even have to bother with boiling water.
4. Easy Peach Limeade. In this no-cook drink, peaches marinade in lime juice and sugar to create a nectar as beautiful in color as it is delectable in taste. Serve with crackly plum cake for a summer version of afternoon tea.
5. Homemade Lemonade. Squeezing lemons and dissolving sugar into hot water are all it takes to create the hot-weather drink essential: lemonade. I’m unable to resist the combination of puckery and sweet and find it unbelievably cooling, too. Try adding vodka after 5pm!
6. Homemade Ginger Ale. The spiciness of fresh ginger root takes this thyme-spiked version of Schweppes to the next level. This is an impressive elixir, especially if you pour in a glug of gin to craft your own Gin & Gingers.
7. Teenage Dream, a Pineapple Cocktail. I’m ending with a Saturday-night favorite gone fresh. Blended fresh pineapple mixed with mint and vodka is cooling, and it’s impossible not to relax with one of these in your hand. Find a porch somewhere–these are meant for outdoor sipping.