Feeling pressure to make this the best summer ever? Chill out! Road trips and parties are fun, but fundamentally, summertime is for easy living. The following drinks will help you chill out while you enjoy our continuous stream of relaxing classical music.
These three drinks are all three things: cool (no hot drinks found here), green (a calming and refreshing color), and stress-free (minimal preparation required).
Infused Cucumber Water
Roald Dahl's title character in The BFG subsisted on "snozzcumbers" (giant cucumbers)—and while this was one of my favorite stories as a child, the vegetable is described as tasting like frogskin, rotten fish, cockroaches and "slime wanglers." I couldn't disagree more. My version of a cucumber is crisp and refreshing, and its scent, while subtle, is captivating. Grab these ingredients fresh from your garden or a farmers' market if you can: you'll taste and smell the difference.
- 1 cucumber
- pitcher water
- optional: feel free to get creative by combining one or more fresh ingredients, like lemon, basil, mint, rosemary, strawberries, raspberries&8212;whatever suits your fancy.
Slice one cucumber and add to a pitcher of water. Let steep for one hour. Serve over ice.
21+ suggestion: Combine Prairie Cucumber-Flavored Organic Vodka with club soda or tonic water.
Jasmine green sun tea
I could go on and on about the benefits of green tea, but I'm sure you've heard it all before (if not, then let me Google that for you). I became obsessed with jasmine green tea a few years ago—not being one who's big on floral scents, jasmine doesn't overpower and the aftertaste is smoother than regular green tea. Sun tea doesn't require the use of your stovetop: let the sun slowly steep your tea while you enjoy the shade.
- 4 bags jasmine green tea (I use Bigelow)
- 2 quarts water
Steep tea bags in water in a clear pitcher (ideally one with a lid) outside in the sunlight for up to four hours. Refrigerate and serve over ice.
Optional: add sweetener and/or garnish with a lemon slice.
Moscow mule mocktail
I made Moscow mules for the first time recently. Not being a vodka enthusiast, I was pleasantly surprised at how refreshingly well the ginger and lime power couple dominated my taste buds. So leave the vodka out (if you want to)—you won't miss it. Fun fact: nonalcoholic ginger beer is not the same as ginger ale. Ingredients
- ginger beer
- lime juice
Mix together one can of ginger beer and juice from one lime (or the equivalent of one). Serve over ice.
Optional: garnish with a lime slice and serve in the traditional copper mug.
21+ suggestion: Add a shot or two of vodka to the mix—and/or substitute ginger beer containing alcohol for the NA version above.
Morgan Halaska is the assistant editor of Minnesota Meetings + Events magazine.