Making Cool Summer Drinks

Everyone always drinks a lot more in the summer. The heat, the humidity, the activity, all conspire to make us thirsty. Even swimming in the ocean, with all that salt, brings people out to grab a soda pop. So when everyone is around the pool, enjoying the sun and the beautiful blue sky, why not make some cool drinks they will enjoy? How about making some of them from herbs and natural ingredients? How about making some of them alcoholic so people can relax and get into a groove? And how about making some blender drinks or a punch that even the kids can slurp down? I have recipes for all of these so there is no excuse for sitting around the pool or on the beach with a cooler full of boring canned drinks. You can make these up and serve them out of the blender, pitchersor a thermos . If you put your drinks in Stainless steel reusable cooler cans then you are also helping the environment, protecting your children from dangerous plastics and keeping your drinks cool for the long haul! But if you do not have these stainless steel containers then there is nothing wrong with sterilizing some old drink bottles in boiling water and filling them up with one of these potions for the trip to the beach or the park.

For making the blender drinks you will need a blender. Any blender will do; although bartenders use special ones, you can use just about any blender you can find. The thift stores have used ones for really cheap. But if you do not have a blender and do not want to keep one, then you can use a cake mixer

Blender Drinks

When making blender drinks, always blend for a few seconds and check it first. Only blend until it reaches the right texture, which is easiest in short blasts with checking the thickness in between. If you just let it rip you can end up with soup.

With Alcohol:

Banana Boat

1 /12 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Banana Liqueur
1 oz Lime juice

In a blender, combine the ingredients with 2 oz cracked ice.  Blend on medium speed for about 15 seconds, or until smooth.  Pour into a sour glass and serve.

Banana Mama

1 1/2 oz Rum
1 1/2 oz dark Rum
1 oz Banana Liqueur
1 oz Creme of Coconut
1 oz fresh Strawberries
2 oz Pineapple juice

In a blender combine the ingredients with 3 oz crushed ice. Blend until smooth. Pour into a goblet and serve.

Banana Tree

1 oz Banana Liqueur
1/2 oz white Creme de Cacao
1/2 oz Galliano
1/2 fresh Banana, peeled and sliced
5 oz Vanilla Ice Cream
4 drops Vanilla extract

Fill a blender with all the ingredients except the fresh Banana. If you prefer a thick shake, add 1/4 cup of crushed ice, otherwise, do not add ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a large goblet or wineglass. Garnish with Banana slices.

Cocoa Colada

1 1/2 oz Myers Dark Rum
1 oz Kahlua
2 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz Coconut Cream

In a blender, combine all the ingredients along with one scoop of ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a 16 oz soda glass. Garnish with a slice of Orange.

Frozen Bikini

2 oz Vodka
1 oz Peach Schnapps
3 oz Peach Nectar
2 oz Orange Juice
splash fresh Lemon juice
1 oz chilled Champagne

Put all the ingredients except the Champagne into a blender with 4 oz crushed ice. Blend until thick and smooth. Pour into a 12 – 16 oz goblet and top off with the Champagne.

Frozen Mint Daquiri

2 1/2 oz light Rum
2 Tsp Lime juice
1 Tsp Sugar
6 Mint leaves

Fill a blender with about 6 oz of ice. Add the ingredients and blend at medium speed for about 15 seconds. Check to see if it is smooth. If not, blend in spurts until it is creamy and smooth. Pour into a goblet or large wineglass and serve.

Non Alcoholic:

Banana Milkshake

1 medium sized ripe Banana, peeled
1/2 pt cold Milk
1 tsp Honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a rocks glass and add ice if you like.

Strawberry Milkshake

4 oz fresh Strawberries, stems and crowns removed
8 oz cold Milk
1 Tbsp Honey

Fill a blender with several ice cubes and then add the ingredients. Blend until smooth and serve in Champagne glasses.

Pineapple Milkshake

3 oz Pineapple juice
3 or 4 fresh cubes of Pineapple
4 oz cold Milk
1 Tbsp Honey

Fill blender with several ice cubes and add the ingredients. Blend until smooth and serve in large goblets.

Summer Punches

Summer punches are a great idea when you have a big crowd. Make them up in advance because they are better when chilled. Just put them in a container in the fridge and then transfer it to a punch bowl before serving. They are a great idea with tiny cups people can just dip. Here are some great natural recipes for summer punches.

With Alcohol:

Barbados Bowl

8 fresh ripe Bananas
8 oz Lime juice
1 cup Sugar
12 oz light Rum
12 oz dark Rum
1 qt 12 oz Pineapple juice
12 oz Mango Nectar
2 fresh Limes, sliced

Chill all of the ingredients except the Bananas. While the ingredients are chilling, slice 6 of the Bananas into thin slices. When the Lime juice is chilled, place it in the blender with the sliced Bananas and the Sugar. Blend for a few seconds, until smooth.

Place a block of ice in a large Punch Bowl. Pour the mix over the block of ice. Pour over with both light and dark Rum, the Pineapple juice and the Mango Nectar. Refrigerate again, for at least one hour. While this is cooling, cut the remaining 2 Bananas into thin slices. Cut the fresh Limes into thin slices, too. Just before serving, after the Punch is cool, float the Banana and Lime slices on top just before serving.

  Champagne Sherbert Punch

2 bottles of dry Champagne
1 bottle chilled White Wine
1 qt Orange or Raspberry Sherbert

In a large Punch Bowl, combine the Champagne and White Wine. Add a block of ice and scoops of the Sherbert just before serving to be sure none of it melts.

Florida Punch

1 1/2 oz Myers Dark Rum
1/2 oz Brandy
1 oz Grapefruit juice
1 oz Orange juice

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all the ingredients. Shake firmly and strain into a highball glass full of ice. Garnish with Orange slices before serving.

  Polynesian Punch

12 oz light Rum
12 oz dark Rum
6 oz Creme of Coconut
8 oz Sloe Gin
4 oz Peppermint Schnapps
1/2 oz Grenadine
1 qt and 1 pt Unsweetened Pineapple juice
8 oz Lemon juice
8 oz chilled Club Soda

Add a block of ice to a large Punch Bowl and pour all of the ingredients except the Club Soda into the bowl. Garnish with thin slices of fresh Pineapple and Oranges. Refrigerate for one hour. When ready to serve, pour over with the Club Soda and stir.

Sharky Punch

1 1/2 oz Apple Brandy
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
1 Tsp Sugar Syrup
Club Soda

Fill a mixing glass with ice and add all the ingredients except the Club Soda. Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top off with Club Soda before serving.

Non Alcoholic:

Rainbow Sherbert Punch

8 oz Orange juice
8 oz Pineapple juice
8 oz Hawaiian Punch
1 qt Rainbow Sherbert
1 bottle Club Soda
1 bottle Ginger Ale

Fill a Punch Bowl half way with cubed ice. Add the OJ and Pineapple juice and Hawaiian Punch. Just before serving, add the Ginger Ale, Club Soda and scoops of the Sherbert. Serve quickly.

Tropical Fruit Punch

4 – 46oz cans of Pineapple juice
2 – 6oz cans of Orange juice concentrate
2 – 6oz cans of Lemon juice concentrate
8 oz fresh Lime juice
8 oz Grenadine

Place a block of ice in a large Punch Bowl and pour over with all the ingredients. Stir gently and garnish with slices of Lime and sprigs of Mint before serving.

Raspberry Cranberry Punch

12 oz can of Raspberry Cranberry juice cocktail CONCENTRATE
36 oz water
1 bottle (33.8 oz) of 7-Up
Rasberry Sherbert

Combine all the liquid ingredients in a large Punch Bowl and add ice. Serve in rocks glasses or punch glasses and top off with scoops of Raspberry Sherbert.


Coolers are popular drinks in many bars and nightclubs in the south. Most of the time they are an unimaginative mix of wine and soda pop. But there are so many ways you can mix beverages, both alcoholic and non alcoholic, that the cooler is an unlimited concept. And there is nothing easier to gulp down on a hot summer day. Here are some great recipes for coolers of all kinds.

With Alcohol

Cooler by the Lake

3 oz White Wine
2 oz Cranberry juice cocktail
1/4 oz Peach Schnapps
1/4 oz sugar syrup
1/4 oz sour mix
Club Soda

Fill a 10 oz glass with ice. Add all the ingredients except the Club Soda. Stir well and just before serving, pour over with the Club Soda.

Country Club Cooler

4 oz Lillet Blanc
1 Tsp Grenadine
Club Soda

Pour Lillet and Grenadine into a collins glass. Add several ice cubes. Stir. Top off with Club Soda and garnish with a Lemon twist. Do not stir again.

Jamaica Cooler

2 1/4 oz dark Rum
1 tsp superfine granulated Sugar
1/2 oz fresh Lemon juice
2 dashes Orange bitters

In a goblet or large wineglass, add the dark Rum and then dissolve the sugar in it. Once dissolved, pour in the Lemon juice and the Bitters. Add 4 or 5 ice cubes. Fill with 7-Up and stir before serving.

Mint Cooler

2 oz Scotch
3 dashes white Creme de Menthe
Club Soda

Fill a collins glass with ice. Add the Scotch and Creme de Menthe and stir. Top off with Club Soda and stir gently before serving.

Non Alchoholic

  Fruit Juice Cooler

1 1/2 oz Pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz Orange juice
1 1/2 oz Grapefruit juice
1 1/2 oz Cranberry juice
2 oz Club Soda or Ginger Ale

Combine all the juices in a highball glass. Stir well and top off with the Club Soda or Ginger Ale before serving.

  Lime Cooler

1 Tbsp Lime juice
Tonic Water

Fill a collins glass with crushed ice. Add the Lime juice. Fill with the Tonic Water and garnish with a slice of Lime.

Summer Cooler

1/4 lb fresh Strawberries, stems and crowns removed
1/4 pt plain cold ogurt
1/2 pt cold Milk
Sugar or Honey, to taste.

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for a few seconds, until creamy and smooth. Fill rocks glasses with ice cubes and pour the mixture over the ice. Garnish with fresh Strawberry slices.

Herbal Drinks

The famous Mint Julep is the most well known herbal drink of all. Made with just liquor, mint and sugar, it is about as pure as you can get! But there are all kinds of herbal drinks that people have never heard of and I have a lot of recipes for drinks made with fresh herbs. Here are a few for you to try this summer:

With Alcohol

Strawberry and Mint Champagne

1 lb Strawberries
6-8 fresh Mint leaves plus a few extra
1 bottle of Champagne or Sparkling White Wine
–makes 4-6 servings–

1. Puree the Strawberries and 6 Mint leaves in a food processor or blender
2. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl
3. Half fill Margarita glasses with the mixture and top with Champagne
4. Decorate each glass with a sprig of Mint

Hock Cup

1 Bottle Hock (German dry White Wine)
6 cups of Club Soda
2 oz Brandy
1 shot Curacao or Benedictine
Finely grated rind of 1 Lemon & 1 Orange
12 young Salad Burnet leaves
Sprinkling of Calendula petals
–serves 8–

1. Chill the Hock and the Club Soda for 1 hour
2. After chilling, put all of the ingredients in a pitcher or jug
3. Sprinkle the Calendula leaves on the surface
4. Serve immediately while still cold

Melon, Ginger and Borage Cup

1/2 large Honeydew Melon
1 quart Ginger Beer
1 tsp powdered Ginger
Borage sprigs with flowers
–serves 8–

1. Discard the seeds from the Melon
2. Scoop the flesh into a blender & blend to a thin puree’
3. Pour the puree into a large jug and top with Ginger Beer
4. Add powdered Ginger to taste
5. Pour into highball glasses and decorate with Borage sprigs and flowers


1 bottle of Dry White Wine
5 thin Orange slices or 5 Strawberries
12 sprigs of Woodruff
1 Tsp white Sugar
–serves 4–

1. Put all the ingredients in a jug and leave for 1 hour
2. Strain & serve chilled- keep cool by submerging the jug in crushed ice
3. Serve in 4oz Wine glasses with an Orange slice or a Strawberry

Non Alcoholic:

Raspberry and Mint Yogurt Drink

1 Cup Plain Yogurt
1/2 Cup Mineral Water
3oz Raspberries -or-
1 tbsp Rasberry Syrup
1 tsp Mint Syrup
2 springs of Fresh Mint
— serves 2 —

1. Puree all the ingredients in a blender.
2. Pour the drink into two glasses & decorate with Mint sprigs

Lemon Verbena and Lime Cordial

10 Lemon Verbena Leaves, (fresh)
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 Cup of Lime Juice
1 oz Sugar
2 cups Water
–Serves 4–

1. Either chop the Lemon Verbena Leaves -or-
pound with a pestle and mortar
2. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat until the sugar
is dissolved, stirring frequently.
3. Leave to cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or overnight.
4. Strain the drink and pour in glasses with ice cubes
5. Decorate each drink with Lemon Verbena Leaves and Lemon
and Lime slices.

Elderflower Sparkler

3 1/2 cups of Superfine Sugar
2 cups of Hot Water
4 large fresh Elderflower Heads
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
Juice and pared rind of 1 Lemon
8 1/2 pints of Water

1. Heat the 8 1/2 pints of water almost to boiling
2. Mix the sugar with the hot water
3. Add all the remaining ingredients except the Lemon rind
4. Pour the mixture into a large glass or plastic container
5. Stir well, cover and leave for 5 days
6. Strain the liquid into screw-top plastic or glass bottles
7. Leave for another 5-7 days
8. Chill until very cold before serving
9. Pour into Champagne Flutes and serve with slivers of the Lemon rind.

Mint Cup

4 Sprigs of fresh Mint
1/2 Tsp Sugar
Crushed Ice
1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Grapefruit Juice
1/2 cup chilled Tonic Water
Lemon Slices, for decorations
–makes 1 serving-

1. Crush 2 Mint sprigs into the Sugar with the back of a spoon
2. Pour the Sugar and Mint into a glass
3. Fill the glass with crushed ice
4. Add the Lemon & Grapefruit juices
5. Pour the Tonic Water into the glass
6. Stir gently until well mixed
7. Decorate with Mint sprigs and slices of Lemon