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Summer drinks: Three ways to chill

Photo courtesy of Driscolls BerriesIn the scorching days of summer, cool drinks are essential. Try the three ideas below to add good flavor and keep your drinks chilled in the healthiest ways. 

Photo courtesy NestleHealth enhancer: Frozen fruit makes a great drink chiller.  For a party punch or pitcher drinks, Nestle suggests placing cut fruit and berries in ice trays with apple or white grape Juicy Juice. These juice cubes won’t dilute your drink, they'll actually enhance its taste as they melt. The drink shown has grapes and small mint leaves frozen in juice cubes with frozen orange slices for a chilly garnish. Frozen grapes and berries will typically sink to bottom of the glass, so if you want them to appear suspended, freeze some in ice cubes instead.

Berry ice: This is to remind you how pretty berries look frozen in ice. Don’t let a party be the only reason to make them. Keep some in the freezer to enjoy with seltzer. When all is melted, enjoy the fruit. See for a recipe to make fresh strawberry lemonade, shown at the top of this post.

To make Nestle's kid-friendly sparkling sangria, shown left, wash and orange and cut it into thin slices, removing any seeds. Place the orange slices on a baking sheet and freeze 30 minutes. Cut enough grapes in half to fill 2/3 cup, and tear off enough fresh mint leaves to fill 1/3 cup. Divide grape halves and mint leaves between two ice trays and fill the trays with juic (or water). Pour 3 cups of apple or white grape juice into a pitcher, add frozen orange slices, fruit cubes and 4 to 5 cups of plain seltzer (or try using a complementary unsweetened flavored seltzer).Photo courtesy National Watermelon Association

The fruity freeze: Add color and flavor to a drink with ice cubes made of pureed fruit, such as the seedless watermelon pulp ice cubes shown. If you make smoothies or other blender drinks, consider these cubes a time saver. Drop them in the blender to help thicken, flavor and add nutrients to the drink. Pureed fruit ice cubes are also a good way to preserve fruit before it has a chance to spoil.

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