Drinks to keep you cool on 100-degree summer days

Special to Lowcountry LifeJuly 11, 2012 

One thing's for sure, summer is the season when shady oaks are appreciated. Everyone is just trying to stay cool. Step outside early in the day, and you'll see the horizon filled with runners and walkers trying to beat the sunrise and its oppressive heat.

Southerners know that a refreshing drink is one good way to combat the weather. Now is the time when I get up early and make a chilled beverage to have for the rest of the day.

Minted Lemonade

Makes: About 3 quarts

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup fresh mint leaves

Juice of 2 oranges

Juice of 6 lemons

Grated rind of 1 orange

Orange or lemon slices

Sprigs of mint

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Put mint leaves in a small bowl; add sugar syrup, orange juice, lemon juice and grated orange steep one hour. Strain into a 1-quart glass container. Cover and refrigerate.

To serve, mix 1 part mint-citrus mixture with 2 parts water. Serve over ice. Garnish with orange slices and mint sprigs.

Citrus Mint Iced Tea

3 cups boiling water

4 tea bags

12 fresh mint sprigs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 cup orange juice

5 cups water

Pour boiling water over tea bags and 12 mint sprigs; cover and steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint, squeezing gently. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, orange juice and water. Serve over ice.

Tropical Cooler

1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice

1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade

1 quart apple juice

2 quarts ginger ale, chilled

Makes: About 3 quarts

Combine orange juice, lemonade and apple juice.

Mix well. Just before serving, stir in ginger ale. Serve over crushed ice.

Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition. Email her at features@beaufortgazette.com.

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