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Cooling (and Alcohol-Free) Summer Drinks for the Hottest Days

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What do you reach for to keep hydrated on the hottest days? These drinks keep things interesting while bringing down the heat: fruit- and herb-infused waters, juices from verdant summer greens, even a savory yogurt drink.

  • Recipe

    Strawberry, Lemon, and Rosewater Slushie

    Strawberries are part of the rose family, so just a hint of rosewater is a natural addition to this bright, refreshing slushie.

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  • Recipe

    Summer Peach Cooler

    These nonalcoholic cocktails of seltzer and peach purée are a perfect use for great in-season peaches, with their syrupy juice and jasmine-like aroma.

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  • Recipe

    Mint and Cumin Chaas

    This refreshing sipper is similar to the Indian yogurt drink, lassi, but slightly looser in texture, thanks to the water and ice. This version, which is seasoned with cumin and mint, is tangy, herbaceous, and complex. It comes together fast and is a nice, savory change from all those sweet warm-weather drinks.

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  • Recipe

    Agua de Jamaica

    The floral and earthy flavor of dried hibiscus flowers may be familiar to you as one of the ingredients in Red Zinger tea. Here the cooler is only lightly sweetened. Add more sugar if you like.

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  • Recipe

    Blackberry-Sage Water

    The idea here is a DIY flavored water: healthier and less expensive than those enhanced waters you see at the supermarket. In this version, sage adds complexity to deep, dark blackberry purée

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  • Recipe

    Chocolate Egg Cream

    Lighter than an ice cream soda, but just as frothy and indulgent. This simple old-fashioned drink consists of chocolate syrup (we make our own here), milk, and seltzer water....no egg. A pretzel rod for stirring is the classic accompaniment.

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  • Recipe

    Honeydew-Cucumber Shake with Cucumber Granita

    So pale is this shake’s green shade that you could almost call it silver. A cap of luminous, icy, cucumber-flavored granita, even paler green if that’s possible, completes a look that is about as debonair as a milkshake can be. The high water content of honeydew gives this shake a slightly thinner, sippable consistency than most shakes.

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  • Recipe

    Watermelon Agua Fresca

    A refreshing agua fresca is a popular drink in Mexico and all over Latin America. Agua frescas are basically fresh ripe fruit juices, sweetened and served over or blended with ice. An interesting variation is to freeze a fruity white wine and then crush it and substitute it for the crushed ice. Make two batches of this recipe to serve six people.

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  • Recipe

    Thai Basil and Cumin Lemonade

    If my son ever decides to have a lemonade stand, I’d like to think I’d have some influence over his product. If so, this would be my suggestion for our collaborative effort: a refreshing, fragrant beverage suitable for all ages. Seriously, I’m pretty sure this is a get-rich-quick idea for a small business, so if you want to steal it and start a Thai Basil and Cumin Lemonade stand, by all means, go for it. 

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  • Recipe

    Sparkling Lemon Balm-Infused Chamomile Tea

    Herbal iced tea infused with more herbs and topped with a splash of sparkling water makes this drink perfect for celebrations.

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  • Recipe

    Spring Tonic

    Watercress’s bracing vibrancy makes it an invigorating addition to green juice, especially when paired with a tart apple. A sweeter apple will make a more mellow juice. If you don’t have a juicer, you can make this in a blender and strain it.

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