How to Make 13 Amazing Summer Drinks To Beat The Heat


What comes to mind when looking for something refreshing to drink in the summer? All time popular summer drinks without whom day cannot properly begin nor end and which you can make at home: Iced Tea, Iced Coffee, and Lemonades!

Energizing Iced Tea and Coffee

It is very hard to begin a day without coffee, tea or latte. Start a sunny day with a homemade chilled drink of tea.  Also known as sun tea, this chilled beverage offers relaxation and a nice change throughout the lazy and hot summer days.

Famous worldwide, tea leaves like greens, chai, latte, jasmine tea, other herbal teas or even coffee and ice are the common ingredients of this chilled brews, with the added flavors of lemon, lavender, rosemary, thyme, mint and sweetened by honey, agave syrup or seasonal fruits like peaches, mango, oranges, blueberries, strawberries and cherries.

It is hard to allure a frosty glass of iced tea to start a day or to cool down yourself or guests.

There are many ways to prepare this refreshing beverage.

Mint Iced Green Tea:

This tea not only prepares you for a long day but also helps with weightless and strengthens immune system. Mint makes the tea rich in antioxidant and cool. Substitute black tea bags with green tea bag.

Serve: 4 glasses

  • 4 cups chilled water
  • 3 green tea bags
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • Honey to taste
  • 1 lemon wedge

In a pitcher, place 2 cups of water, stir in mint and place in freezer until tea is prepare.

If mint is unavailable, replace with ¼ cup of rosemary leaves or 2 thyme sprigs.

Place a saucepan over medium flame, fill with remaining water and bring to boil. Then switch off the flame, add tea bags and let immerse for 5-8 minutes until mixture become strong tea.

Remove tea bags, remove pitcher from the freezer, add tea mixture into pitcher and stir in honey until mix. Return pitcher into freezer for 10 minutes or until cooled.

Fill glass with ice cubes, pour in chilled iced tea, adjust sweetness and serve with a lemon wedge.

Enhance the flavor of this summer drink with the lavender sprigs.

Another variety of mint-iced tea is addition of fruits or fruit juice. The fruit used in the following recipe is diced ripe peaches, however use blueberries, raspberries, diced pineapples, diced strawberries, diced apple, diced mango, individually or together.

Fruity Iced tea:

Serve: 4 glasses

  • 4 cups chilled water
  • 3 green tea bags
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • Honey to taste
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 ripe peaches, diced
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 lemon wedge

In a pitcher, place 2 cups of water, stir in mint, lemon juice and diced peaches, and place in freezer until tea is prepare. If peaches are not available, use any other fruit.

Place a saucepan over medium flame, fill with remaining water and bring to boil. Then switch off the flame, add tea bags and let immerse for 5-8 minutes until mixture become strong tea.

Remove tea bags, remove pitcher from the freezer, add tea mixture into the pitcher and stir in honey if needed until mix. Return pitcher into freezer for 10 minutes or until cooled.

Fill 3 glasses with ice cubes, strain chilled iced tea into glasses, adjust sweetness and serve with a lemon wedge.

Try serving this drink with a cucumber ribbon.

Another version of fruity iced tea is cooking fruit(s) in the lemon juice until tender and then pass the mixture through a strain to take out the juice by using the back of spoon into the bowl, then add and stir mixture into chilled water of pitcher before addition of tea mixture.

Vanilla Iced tea:

Serve: 3 glasses

  • 3 cups chilled water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • Honey to taste
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream

Place a saucepan over medium flame, fill with 2 cups water and bring to boil. Then switch off the flame, add tea bags and let immerse for 5-8 minutes until mixture become strong tea.

Remove tea bags and transfer into a pitcher. Add ice cubes and remaining water and then stir in vanilla until just mixed.

Place a scoop of ice cream in each serving glass and then pour prepared tea mixture over ice cream. Serve immediately.

A very popular, delicious and sweet summer drink is bubble tea or coffee. They are easy and fun to make at home. The black tapioca balls are easy to find of Asian shops or Amazon store. The pre-soaked and cooked tapioca balls or pearls are mixed with milk, brewed tea or fruit juice until frothy.

Every bubble tea or coffee start with the cooking of tapioca balls. Firstly, immerse balls in enough water to soak until tender. This will take few hours. Next is filling a medium saucepan with water, in the ratio of 1 part of balls to 7 parts of water. Bring the water to boil, add soaked balls, stir gently, cover saucepan and let cook for 30 minutes, stir every 10 minutes. Then switch off the flame and let tapioca balls sit in water for another 30 minutes before rinsing under running water in a strainer. Now, tapioca balls are ready to use for iced tea or coffee.

Try another tasty bubble tea.

Thai Iced Bubble Tea:

Thai tea is a black tea with the added flavors of star anise. The combination of star anise and black tea is awesome.

Serve: 3 glasses

  • 1/3 cups black tapioca balls, cooked
  • 4 cups chilled water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 3 star anise
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • Condensed milk (optional)

Place a medium saucepan over medium flame, fill with 2 cups water and bring to boil. Then switch off the flame, add tea bags, star anise and let immerse for 5-8 minutes until water turns into strong tea mixture.

Remove tea bags and transfer into pitcher, don’t discard star anise. Add remaining chilled water, stir in sugar until dissolved. Place pitcher into freezer for 20-30 minutes until chilled.

Into 3 serving glasses, divide cooked tapioca balls and then divide ice cubes. Strain chilled tea into serving glasses, top with a heaping spoon of condensed milk, give a gentle stir and serve.

Bubble Iced Coffee:

Serve: 3 glasses

  • 1/3 cup black tapioca balls, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup chilled espresso
  • ¼ cup chilled water
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • ¼ cup condensed milk, sweetened

Rinse tapioca balls under running water and divide in two serving glasses.

In a pitcher, place coffee, water and condensed milk, and stir until blended. If condense milk is unavailable, use half and half, soy milk or coconut milk.

Divide ice cubes into serving glasses and pour in coffee mixture. Stir and serve immediately.

Dalgona Coffee:

This South Korean whipped coffee recipe also known as the Dalgona coffee is all the rage now. We’ve heard stories about people risking getting sick during the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak just to get the ingredients for this delish coffee. And we can’t blame them.

The recipe calls for just four basic ingredients but the result is absolutely spectacular.

Serve: 1

  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee/ instant espresso
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup cow’s milk (or soy milk or oat milk or whatever)
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar (you could use brown or coconut sugar as well but the coffee will not become as foamy as it does with white sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp hot water
  • Ice cubes (optional, but we would make them mandatory on a hot summer day)

Mix well the coffee and sugar in a mixing bowl. You can whisk them together by hand or your can use a stand mixer for it (it is faster). It is critical to mix the instant coffee and sugar first.

Add the hot water and whisk everything together until frothy and fluffed up. With a mixer you should be turning the ingredients into a delicious coffee cream in less than 3 minutes. By hand it could take up to 5 -6 minutes, depending on how committed you are to whipping it up into the airiest state.

Scoop the coffee cream over a glass of cold milk, add a couple of ice cubes, and enjoy!

Tips for Making the Perfect Dalgona Coffee:

  • Use only instant coffee or instant espresso as ground coffee doesn’t work in this recipe. The secret to the amazing frothiness .lies with an ingredient only found in instant coffee: soy lecithin or a similar type of emulsifier.
  • Make sure that the water is very hot, freshly from the stove. You need the water extra hot to help dissolve the sugar and instant coffee lightning quick.
  • It is best to use white sugar in this recipe; brown sugar or coconut sugar lead to a delicious result as well but the Dalgona coffee will not be as frothy.
  • If you whip the coffee by hand, do it as vigorously and fast as you can; otherwise, the coffee cream might not thicken.
  • You can make it with warm milk too.

Fresh Lemonades

Lemon flavored sweetened beverage is Lemonade. Lemonade is a most refreshing beverage in the world. Zingy lemonades are simple, carbonated soft drink or of fruity flavors. Not only for cooling down and killing the thirst, lemonades are use to treat congestion, sore throats and for weight loss.

Lemonades are iconic soft drinks, for not only summertime celebrations but are also perfect accompaniment with barbecues and for Independence Day celebrations.

Enjoy a warm and sunny afternoon with a big glass of soda lemonade.

Soda Lemonade:

Serve: 1 glass

  • ½ cups chilled water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons berry sugar
  • 1 cup soda water
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs
  • ½ cup ice cubes

Pour water in a pitcher and stir in sugar and lemon juice until sugar dissolves. Add mint sprigs in the pitcher. If mint leaves are unavailable, use lavender flowers or a thyme sprigs as an alternative. Place pitcher into a freezer for 15-20 minutes until chilled.

To serve the lemonade, stir in soda water into the pitcher. Divide ice between two serving glasses and pour lemonade over. Serve with lemon wedges.

Quench your thirst with the following quick to fix lemonade.

Refreshing Lemonade:

Serve: 1 glass

  • 1 cup chilled water
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

Roughly, chop lemon, don’t remove the peel, and add to a blender, along with caster sugar and ½ cup of chilled water. Pulse until lemon is finely chop and strain the mixture into a pitcher.

Stir in remaining water and serve immediately.

For more cooling effect, pulse in mint sprigs or dried lavender flower.

Throw in chopped kiwi, peaches, raspberries or even ginger before blending the mixture, to make this drink exotic and nutritious.

Ginger ale and lemon juice makes a wonderful combination for a drink to chill out in a hot summer day. Made ahead a jar of raspberry lemonade concentrate and enjoy anytime of the day.

Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate:

Servings: 3 pint jars

  • 14 cups fresh raspberries
  • 6 cups caster sugar
  • 4 cups lemon juice
  • Ginger ale, chilled
  • Ice cubes, as needed

Wash raspberries, place in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain raspberries mixture in a saucepan and discard solids. Add sugar and lemon juice, and bring to simmer over medium high flame.

Then switch off the flame, skim off foam, transfer mixture into five 1 pint jars, leaving the space of ¼ inches and seal tightly with rims. Carefully place jars into a large saucepan, add enough water to immerse the jars and bring to boil over medium flame. Let jars stay in the boiling water for 10 minutes and switch off the flame.

Carefully remove jars from the saucepan and let cool.

For serving, place 2 cups chilled water into a pitcher and stir in 1 pint of cooled concentrate until mix. Fill serving glasses with ice, pour the mixture over ice and serve immediately.

Impress guest at special occasion with a pitcher of grilled lemon and thyme lemonade.

Grilled Lemon Lemonade:

Serve: 9 glasses

  • 15 thyme sprigs
  • 8 cups chilled water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 9 lemons, halved
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract

Place 1 cup water in a bowl, add thyme sprigs and let soak for 5 minutes,

In the meantime, in a shallow dish spread ¼ cup sugar and cover lemons cut sides in sugar.

Set the grill on medium high heat and set cooking grate in place. Cover the grill and preheat for 5 minutes. Oil the grilling rack with oil several times until glossy. Place lemons, cut side down, and grill 2-3 minutes until nicely golden brown. Transfer grilled lemons to a plate and let cool.

While the lemons are cooling, drain thyme and place on the grilling rack to grill for 2-3 minutes until nicely light brown, turn once.

Now, place a small saucepan over medium flame, pour in 1 cup water, along with honey and remaining sugar and bring to boil, stir frequently. Remove syrup from the heat, add grilled thyme sprigs, stir in almond extract and let stand for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, squeeze grilled lemons to get at least 1 ½ cups lemon juice and strain in a large pitcher. Discard thyme sprigs from the syrup and add in the pitcher, stir until mix. Serve lemonade over ice.

Serve Thai-lychee chili lemonade at special occasions. Everyone will love it.

Thai-lychee Chili Lemonade:

Serve: 6 glasses

  • 63 ounces lychees
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Half of small red Thai chili
  • 4 cups chilled water
  • 3 cups ice cubes

Peel lychees, discard seeds and chop roughly. Add 1 cup chopped lychees in a blender and reserve remaining fruit for later use. Add lemon juice, red chili, salt and sugar in the blender and pulse until smooth.

Strain the mixture in a pitcher, add reserve lychee fruit and ice and stir until mix. Serve immediately.

Another lemonade variation is cucumber basil lemonade. This goes as breakfast lemonade less smoothie.

Cucumber Basil Lemonade:

Serve: 5 glasses

  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 2 lemon grass
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chilled water
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Peel cucumber, chop roughly and add into the blender, along with lemon juice, basil, sugar, lemon grass and salt. Pulse until smooth and then strain into a pitcher.

Pour in chilled water, add ice and stir until mix.

Serve with cucumber slices. Try this recipe by substituting cucumber with black berries and serve the drinks with crushed sage leaves.

Last but not the least, the pink lemonade is another wonderful lemonade variation with a balance sweetness and tartness from orange and raspberries. Make ahead and serve with soda water, or mix in chilled water.

Pink Lemonade:

Serve: 1 jar

  • 1 ¼ cups caster sugar
  • 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 ½ cups water

Slice lemon, orange and raspberries, and place in a large saucepan. Pour in water and bring to boil, stir frequently. Remove saucepan from the heat and let cool.

Pass cooled fruity mixture through a fine sieve, placed over a bowl and extract syrup as much as possible using the back of spoon.

Store syrup in a sterilized jar, seal tightly and keep in fridge. The prepared syrup is up for use for 1 week. Pour in a serving glass, top with soda water or chilled water, ice and mint. Stir gently and serve immediately.

Tips for Making Perfect Homemade Lemonade:

  • Adjust the amount of sugar or sweetener in each lemonade recipe based on how sour the lemons are; as a rule of thumb, in early season, lemons are more sour than they are in late season.
  • To prevent the sugar from sinking to the bottom of the container when making lemonade, first stir 1 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water on medium heat until completely dissolved to make a sugar syrup; add the syrup to 1 cup of lemon juice to make concentrated lemonade.
  • The ideal proportions when making simple lemonade are 1 cup of water, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1 cup of sugar; dilute the resulting concentrated lemonade with water to attain a lemonade on your liking; you can use less sugar if your taste buds tells you that teh lemonade is too sweet.
  • Use only fresh lemons if you want to enjoy the real taste of homemade lemonade (the one our grandmas use to make).

Recommended Read: A Guide to Sugar Substitutes That Can Help You Ace Your Weight Loss Game

Juwairiah Zia

Juwairiah is a breath of fresh air on our team and has been around since the very beginning. She’s very proud of her family’s culinary tradition but she doesn't shy away from experimenting with other cuisines in her microscopic New York City home kitchen either. So, if you’re into Middle Eastern cuisine but would like a quick refresher on The Big Apple’s latest food fads too, Juwairiah can illuminate you on both topics.

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