July is here and that means family gatherings at the annual Fourth of July Barbecue. With the heat of our lovely southern state of Louisiana I like to focus on the drinks while my husband focuses on the grill. Here are a few favorites that I serve that everyone can enjoy. The first four recipes will be tea variations with a special twist and the other four are for those who want a cool drink without the caffeine.
One little trick I learned is to use a simple syrup in place of granulated sugar. You can use simple syrup in any of these tea variations or just stick to your granulated sugar it’s up to you. Many use the simple syrup since it blends easier especially in iced drinks but it’s a personal preference. You can find my Simple Syrup recipe here: https://www.yopistudio.com/single-post/2019/06/10/SNOWBALL-A-New-Orleans-Treat
If your children are like ours you can easily pour these beverages into a mold and freeze them for a unique popsicle.
Enjoy any or all of these recipes for a cool and refreshing Fourth of July or any hot and humid outing this summer.
Lemonade Iced Tea w/ Twist
Similar to an Arnold Palmer, this refreshing drink combines two summer favorites—lemonade and iced tea. You can easily turn this into a cocktail by adding bourbon or spiced dark rum.
3 cups water
2 family-size tea bags
1 (1-oz.) package fresh mint leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups cold water
1 (6-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
Garnish: fresh citrus slices
Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and stir in fresh mint. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Remove and discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar until dissolved.
Pour tea into a 3-qt. container and stir in 4 cups cold water and lemonade concentrate. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.
Bourbon-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed and stir in 1 cup bourbon. Makes 9 cups.
Spiced Dark Rum-Lemonade Iced Tea: Prepare recipe as directed and stir in 1 cup spiced dark rum. Makes 9 cups.
Note: As always if you drink any type of alcohol, save a life- please don’t drink and drive.
Governor’s Mansion Peach Tea Punch
This refreshing and summery peach tea punch is perfect for bridal or baby showers, garden parties, and elegant teas.
3 family-size tea bags
2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar
1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1/2 cup Simple Sugar Syrup
1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled
Garnish: fresh peach wedges
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda just before serving. Garnish, if desired.
Strawberry Lemonade Punch
My favorite choice is always any drink that has strawberries. Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is the official party punch in our home. It's both tangy and sweet, made with frozen strawberries and lemonade concentrate. Swirl in large glasses for an inviting and cool pool-side treat.
1 can lemonade concentrate
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup ice
1 ¼ cup club soda
divided Fresh strawberries, for topping Lemon slices, for garnish.
In a small bowl, combine frozen strawberries with sugar and let sit for at least 10 minutes.
In a blender, combine frozen lemonade, ice, lemon zest, and ½ cup club soda. Pour into separate pitcher.
In the clean blender, combine strawberries and ¾ cup club soda. Layer strawberries and lemon slush in cups. Stir to gently combine. Garnish cups with a lemon slice.
Note: Prefer to leave the lemon out? Go ahead, it's just as good.
Hibiscus Sweet Tea
Offer beautiful, ruby red Iced Hibiscus Sweet Tea as a refreshing alternative to regular iced tea.
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Cover and steep 10 minutes. Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar until dissolved; add orange and lime slices. Cover and chill 2 to 6 hours. Stir in ginger ale and serve over ice.
Note: Try with Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger Herbal Tea.
Red, White, & Blue Berry Splash
Mix up a colorful drink for the whole family with (red) cherry drink mix and (white) cranberry juice , and (blueberries). If your family likes a sweeter drink, stir in a little more sugar or simple syrup to your desired taste.
1 (0.13-oz.) package unsweetened cherry drink mix
6 cups white cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs or strawberry leaves
Stir together first 3 ingredients and 2 cups water in a large pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Add blueberries for a colorful touch. Cover and chill. Garnish, if desired.
Note: You can use with Kool-Aid Cherry Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix.
Create Raspberry-lemonade ice cubes made from blue raspberry lemonade mix and frozen lemonade concentrate, add extra flavor to the pineapple juice and ginger ale mixture.
1 cup sugar
1 (0.22-ounce) envelope unsweetened blue raspberry lemonade mix
7 cups water
1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 (46-ounce) can unsweetened pineapple juice, chilled
1 (2-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled
Stir together first 4 ingredients in a 2-quart pitcher; pour evenly into 5 ice cube tray and freeze at least 8 hours.
Combine pineapple juice and ginger ale; serve over raspberry ice cubes.
Note: Try with Kool-Aid Island Twists Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade Unsweetened Soft Drink Mix.
Sparkling Cherry Limeade
*Add a little tequila and a splash of orange liqueur for a margarita-inspired sparkling cocktail.
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
Margarita salt (optional)
1 (12-oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
3 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup liquid from jarred red maraschino cherries
2 cups sparkling water
Garnishes: lime slices, maraschino cherries
Rub rims of 8 chilled glasses with lime wedges and dip rims into salt to coat, if desired.
Stir together limeade concentrate and 3 1/2 cups cold water; add liquid from maraschino cherries.
Fill prepared glasses with ice. Pour limeade mixture into glasses, filling each two-thirds full; add sparkling water to fill.
DIY Orange Soda
Pump up the flavor of lemon-lime soda with thawed orange juice concentrate. Serve over ice for a fizzy beverage packed with citrus tang. Stir occasionally to keep the ingredients mixed well.
1 (12-ounce) can frozen, pulp-free orange juice concentrate, thawed and undiluted
2 (2-liter) bottles lemon-lime soft drink, chilled
1 to 2 oranges, thinly sliced
Stir together orange juice concentrate and lemon-lime soft drink when ready to serve. Serve over ice in individual glasses with an orange slice.
From all of us at YOPI Studio, we wish everyone a blessed 4th of July. Stay safe and please don't drink and drive.