The hottest trend I’ve noticed this summer is flavored drinks (both with and without alcohol) using fresh ingredients in creative ways. It can be something as simple as lemonade with tea or a take on punch. These are cocktails with a surprising addition or two.
I can only look at so many refreshing drinks without developing a thirst to quench. I picked one of the many drinks I’ve seen, but have my eye on more to make throughout the warm months, especially as I get summer produce.
The drink that caught my eye the most features cucumber, a chile and pineapple. It seemed like an interesting combination of flavors and very refreshing. It’s from the Vegetarian Times article “Mix and Mingle” in the July/August 2011 issue. I couldn’t find the recipes online, but if you see the magazine at your newsstand or library, it’s worth picking it up for the drinks.
Spicy pineapple and cucumber agua fresca
- 1 small English cucumber
- 1/2 Serrano chile, seeds and veins removed
- 2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
- 7 tablespoons light agave nectar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup (8 ounces) vodka or tequilla
- Frozen pineapple, cut (optional, but I recommend; they will be like ice cubes and fill with liquor for a treat at the end)
- Puree cucumber and chile in blender until smooth. Pour the mixture through a strainer, pressing on solids to extract all the liquid. You should have about 1 cup juice.
- Pour the cucumber juice into a large pitcher and stir in pineapple juice, agave nectar, lime juice and cayenne pepper.
- Pour 2 ounces vodka or tequila over ice or the frozen pineapple cubes in a glass. Top with 1 cup pineapple mixture. Stir and serve.
Summer cocktail recipe resources
- Healthy Summer Drinks
- Refreshing Summer Drinks (Directions to make them alcoholic or non-alcoholic. I want to try the first one, the papaya sunrise!)
- Four lemonade variations
- Five Summery Sangrias and White Sangria (I plan to make one of these soon!)
- Simple Summer Cocktails (most with three ingredients or less)
- Watermelon cucumber refresher (Sounds refreshing, indeed!)
- Five-star cocktails
What have you been drinking this summer?