Hot weather drinks that make you happy - non-alcoholic
June 27, 2020 11:36 AM   Subscribe

There were a ton of great answers for my food that makes you happy question. This is the drinks version. Say you're sitting on a covered patio outside of your cabin in the woods, watching a stream flow by, it's 95°, and all is right with the world. What are you drinking to stay cool?
posted by ChodenKal to Food & Drink (72 answers total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
Iced tea. Not the Southern kind. Just make my favorite tea (usually fruity), add the normal amount of sugar for a cup of hot tea, pour it over ice.
posted by brook horse at 11:37 AM on June 27, 2020

Orange Julius.
posted by FencingGal at 11:39 AM on June 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

I did this recently and the answer is seltzer (La Croix usually).
posted by rabbitbookworm at 11:42 AM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Blended watermelon and lime juice (or, for extra sweetness, limeade concentrate) with optionally a bit of basil.
posted by Earthtopus at 11:44 AM on June 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Cold-brewed genmaicha tea
Iced soy latte
Elderflower cordial with sparkling water, ice & mint.
posted by Balthamos at 11:47 AM on June 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

If you're inclined to do a bit of prep, the shrub is my go-to. Sweet, tart, served over crushed ice. I spend most summers messing with combinations of fruits, vinegars, and herbs.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:47 AM on June 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

I used to get this grapefruit/strawberry juice that just tasted like summer. They don't sell it any more but I imagine it wouldn't be terribly hard to juice some grapefruits and strawberries.
posted by Weeping_angel at 11:50 AM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Root beer, or a root beer float. The good kind, either IBC or Virgil’s, maybe A&W. Never Barq’s.
posted by castlebravo at 11:50 AM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Agua fresca.
posted by gaspode at 11:53 AM on June 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

I make cold iced tea from herbal tea - sour cherry is my favourite right now.
posted by warriorqueen at 11:55 AM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Arnold Palmers
posted by rustcellar at 11:55 AM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Apfelschorle - apple juice and sparkling water. Heaven in a glass on a hot day.
posted by I claim sanctuary at 11:57 AM on June 27, 2020 [9 favorites]

Arnold Palmer - half ice tea, half lemonade. If you can get your hands on or make carbonated lemonade (or just put lemonade mix into the tea and then top off with carbonated water), even better. If you happen to be supplying yourself from the gas-station/bait shop nearest your retreat, you can also grab a few cans of Fanta - whatever flavor they've got, or strawberry soda or peach Nehi, or manzana or tamarindo soda - and mix that with tea.

Tamarind or Jamaica (hibiscus) agua fresca is also good, with our without tea. I'm happy to make it from mix, but there are instructions online for doing it from scratch.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:58 AM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Ginger switchel
posted by chromium at 12:01 PM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Depending on the time of day:

A splash of grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry juice cocktail, mixed with sparkling water. Actually, pretty much any juice is good mixed with sparkling water.

Cold brew iced coffee. Mix with sweetened, condensed milk if I'm in the mood.

Limeade made with ginger simple syrup.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

Tomato juice + dill pickle juice on the rocks
Kimchi juice on the rocks
posted by ottereroticist at 12:02 PM on June 27, 2020

Cold Brew Coffee is suprisingly easy to make.
posted by pyro979 at 12:03 PM on June 27, 2020

Iced Mugicha (barley tea)
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 12:06 PM on June 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

A good ginger beer, the kind with some bite to it, and pineapple juice.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:07 PM on June 27, 2020 [7 favorites]

Cucumber water. Just thin sliced cucumbers left in water for a few hours, over ice.

I also like making lemonade with tonic water instead of still water.
posted by the primroses were over at 12:21 PM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Endless cups of cold barley tea.
posted by pie_seven at 12:21 PM on June 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

Seltzer with drinking vinegar/shrub. Cold brew with cherry syrup. Iced coffee or matcha with tonic.
posted by ferret branca at 12:24 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Iced mint tea.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 12:27 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Raspberry lime rickey - 8 oz. club soda, juice of 1 lime (more or less depending on your taste for lime juice), and raspberry syrup (such as Torani). Mix together, throw the squeezed limes into the cup, add ice. V. refreshing.
posted by briank at 12:41 PM on June 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

I came in to mention Sitchel/Switchel, but saw that was covered. Might I suggest Sumac Lemonade?
posted by Tchad at 12:47 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

A bartender friend of mine who worked in a margarita bar used to make me 2/3 tonic water with 1/3 fresh lime juice. It was wonderful.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:50 PM on June 27, 2020

Fresh lemonade made with a jalapeño simple.
posted by General Malaise at 12:52 PM on June 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

Horchata! I haven't made it in a while, but this is basically the recipe I used.
posted by darksong at 12:55 PM on June 27, 2020 [4 favorites]

Most of my favorites are listed but---darn it, darksong! okay, strawberry horchata, then
posted by notquitemaryann at 12:57 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

1 oz tart Montmorency cherry concentrate mixed with orange Perrier.
posted by hilaryjade at 1:09 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lemon Spindrift.
posted by pinochiette at 1:12 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Kombucha always feels like such a treat to me.
posted by DingoMutt at 1:15 PM on June 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


But for reasons, the only one for me is: Orangina. From the little glass bottle
posted by scruss at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lemonade, that cool, refreshing drink.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:23 PM on June 27, 2020 [5 favorites]

Horchata reminds of orzata: Almond syrup in seltzer, a few drops of rosewater if you have it.
Egg cream: a couple of tablespoons of chocolate syrup (Fox's Ubet preferred but not necessary), an equal amount of milk, fill glass with seltzer, stir well.
posted by Botanizer at 1:26 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Concentrated pomegranate juice with a splash of club soda.

If I'm too lazy for that, Costco lemonade has just the right proportion of tart/sweet. Never change, Costco lemonade!
posted by basalganglia at 1:27 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Non-alcoholic would definitely be half tea half lemonade.

Non-alcoholic non-caffeinated would be freshly-squeezed OJ cut with seltzer water or ginger ale.
posted by lampoil at 1:30 PM on June 27, 2020

Shikanji, especially if you like salty flavors.
posted by sallybrown at 1:31 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I forgot sima which takes a few days. This looks like the recipe I got from an old Time-Life Scandinavian cook book. It's a lemon drink that is fermented only enough to carbonate it. Maximum alcohol content is about 1/2 %. I buy organic lemons for this as it uses the zest.
posted by Botanizer at 1:31 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cold brew iced coffee (with or without milk, depending on my mood).
posted by mekily at 1:44 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Try iced earl gray tea with floating orange slices and a dash of cherry bitters. Revelatory in how summery and refreshing it is.
posted by shadygrove at 2:04 PM on June 27, 2020 [3 favorites]

nthing the Arnold Palmer.

Also strawberry lemonade.
posted by tzikeh at 2:15 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cucumber lemonade
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:19 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Fruity iced tea! Either China Mist Passionfruit black iced tea or iced tea made from Celestial Seasonings fruit teas (especially the raspberry one).
posted by belau at 2:24 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bubly (not a typo) seltzers. I was introduced to them a couple of months ago and so far have loved every flavor I've tried. The apple in particular--which honestly I expected to dislike--is super refreshing. It tastes like drinking a fizzy Granny Smith apple.
posted by current resident at 3:36 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Polar seltzer—any flavor
posted by tenderman kingsaver at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

One fresh squeezed lime + lime seltzer + fresh mint
posted by gollie at 3:59 PM on June 27, 2020

Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade flavor, with lots of ice.

A glass of really good unsweetened iced tea. It's hard to find a good one. McDonald's is terrible. Portillos is really good but who wants to sit in that drive-through line for a drink? My grandma's tea was amazing and I thought I remembered how she did it but mine never tastes the same.

A huge glass of water with a hint of lime juice, just packed with ice so it's super cold.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:13 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

If you have cheap pineapples where you are, tepache is extremely easy and extremely delicious. You can also make a fantastic virgin michelada from it by adding clamato, ice, a splash of hot sauce, and seltzer and giving your glass a chili-salt rim.
posted by LeeLanded at 4:17 PM on June 27, 2020

Meyer lemonade, or limeade--in either case, with sparkling water instead of plain. Makes it much more refreshing and light (not light as in calories, light as in feeling).

Add ginger to either of the above, but especially the limeade.

Fresh tomato juice (maybe more accurately called tomato water?) with a little salt over a lot of ice.

Coffee soda made with cold brew, cherry syrup, a squeeze of lemon, and sparkling water.

The Snowy Plover from a local coffee shop, which is espresso, brown sugar syrup, sparkling water, and whipped cream. Also works with Aeropress coffee or coldbrew, if you don't have the means of making espresso.

Commercial soda (Coke, Dr Pepper, Sprite, ginger ale, etc.) of your choice + a complementary flavor of cocktail bitters (these are generally either nonalcoholic of very very low alcohol, and you only use a couple dashes).
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:17 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

A splash of grapefruit juice and a splash of cranberry juice cocktail, mixed with sparkling water. Actually, pretty much any juice is good mixed with sparkling water.

This is mine. It really depends how fancy I am getting. In Massachusetts there are always a lot of great flavored (and unsweet) seltzers that make great mixers. So like Cranberry Lime Seltzer with a splash of actual grapefruit juice or maybe blueberry seltzer with a splash of real lemonade. I have a person around here who makes spruce tip syrup and it's SO GOOD with just regular seltzer. Insulated cup the keep the ice cold.
posted by jessamyn at 4:39 PM on June 27, 2020

extremely strong ginger ale (the red cap stuff. it'll melt your esophagus. it's great.)
posted by dmd at 5:11 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Lemon Barley Water with lots of ice.
posted by wwax at 5:39 PM on June 27, 2020

Cranberry juice with lime squeeze.
posted by Rumi'sLeftSock at 6:16 PM on June 27, 2020

Thai iced tea or iced coffee

Limeade made with apple cider vinegar

Blackcurrant iced tea
posted by erattacorrige at 6:34 PM on June 27, 2020

I love iced tea! We always have a pitcher in the fridge in the summer. If I'm not using "iced tea" sized bags, I do about 3 bags per quart. Fill pitcher with cold water and stick in the fridge for 6 hours. I don't even add sweetener, although if I was going to I'd make some simple syrup\.

Some of my favorite flavors are:
- Republic of Tea Chardonnay
- Republic of Tea Rose
- Republic of Tea Ginger Peach
- Republic of Tea Blueberry Lavender
- Republic of Tea Watermelon Mint
- Bigelow Mint Medley (Trader Joe's has a house brand that's similar too)
- Tazo Passion (this is pretty tart, it could use sweetener)
- 1/2 Peppermint and 1/2 Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime

(I may have just bought 6 cans of tea from Republic of Tea's website when they were having a sale...)
posted by radioamy at 6:38 PM on June 27, 2020 [2 favorites]

Lemonade with unflavored selzer - fizzy, fresh, not too sweet. Maybe add a spring of mint if it happens to grow in its charming out-of-control fashion anywhere close by.
posted by dreamphone at 7:07 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Surprised nobody else has gone for this: kefir. Not one of the heavily-sweetened kinds, if possible, and ice cold.

If none is available, a surprisingly good substitute is regular cultured buttermilk, with a dab of sugar mixed in, over ice. Add some cinnamon and you have a lassi of a sort.
posted by sesquipedalia at 7:57 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

I recently discovered that apple juice with a splash of tart cherry juice mixed in is quite delightful
posted by space snail at 9:10 PM on June 27, 2020

I'm like 80% Diet Coke.
posted by ktkt at 10:30 PM on June 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

Cold bottled water out of the swinger/ice chest.
Watered-down Sprite, just enough for the taste, with crushed ice.
Ditto watered-down cream soda.
Sweet southern tea, usually Luzianne from the Mr. Coffee iced tea maker. I store the tea in another pitcher to keep the original one in good condition.
posted by TrishaU at 1:06 AM on June 28, 2020

1. Equal parts pomegranate juice, lemon juice, rosewater, and sugar. Then add water until its the level of diluted you prefer.

2. Follow a diluted lemonade recipe, then dunk a bunch of red fruity flavored tea bags in it. Berry flavors are a good default if you need something to start with. Or, for something different, go for mint.
posted by Cozybee at 6:39 AM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

An in-general tip for hot-weather drinks is to make simple syrup. Simple syrup is really extremely simple to make: you just combine sugar and water (you can do either equal parts sugar and water or two parts sugar for one part water) and heat it on the stove, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Then stick it in a jar in your fridge. If you put normal sugar into drinks, it sinks to the bottom, but simple syrup distributes evenly throughout the drink. Simple syrup is the secret to making single servings of lemonade or limeade: just squeeze a lemon or lime into flat or fizzy water, sweeten with some simple syrup, and add ice.

You can also make all sorts of fancy flavored simple syrups, but the plain stuff is versatile.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:14 AM on June 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

Green tea. Hot or iced.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:57 AM on June 28, 2020

posted by aniola at 11:10 AM on June 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

Three favorites:

Agua de pepino (cucumber water! We’ve gotten it from a local Mexican restaurant and it’s incredible. Easy to make at home too)

Agua de jamaica (Hibiscus water— also easy to make at home!)

Iced Moroccan mint tea or a variation— I mix fresh garden mint with jasmine pearls green tea
posted by sucre at 12:25 PM on June 28, 2020

I made a virgin Dark & Stormy for a pregnant friend once, and it was so good I make them all the time now. Basically a good spicy ginger ale (like Reed's or Bundaberg), the juice of about half a lime, fresh grated ginger, and a dash of bitters, on ice.
posted by Nibbly Fang at 7:43 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ginger beer.
Seltzer with fresh lemon or lime squeezed in.
posted by emelenjr at 8:00 AM on June 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

After reading this thread yesterday, I spent three hours making horchata and then about five minutes realizing I didn't really like horchata after all
posted by scruss at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

* Iced peppermint tea, made by taking peppermint tea bags and sticking them in a jar full of water and leaving that in the fridge. Make sure that the tea bags are nothing but peppermint.

* Homemade lemonade using a funky sugar syrup. I've made simple syrups infused with lavender, rosemary, ginger, thyme, or other herbs, and those sugar syrups get used in my lemonade (1/4 of juice, a shot of syrup, a cup of water, serve over ice) to fine effect.

* French cafes have a couple drinks using different flavoring syrups; the two most popular syrups are grenadine, and this mint syrup that is eye-bleedingly green. Either one makes a fine drink on its own mixed with seltzer (one shot of syrup to one cup or so of sparkling water), or you can mix them into lemon soda instead.

* There are a couple of French milk-based drinks as well (called "frappes"): for one, you'll need espresso, milk, and sugar, and for the other you'll need, cocoa powder, milk, and sugar. Or more accurately, here are the quantities:

- 3-4 ounces of espresso, at room temperature (I go with a tablespoon of instant espresso in 1/4 cup water, and let it sit)
- 1/4 water
-1/4 milk
- 1 T sugar
-3 or 4 ice cubes


-1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 or 4 ice cubes

In either case, dump all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake the hell out of it for 45 seconds. Then pour the whole thing into a glass.

The chocolate one is amaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:48 AM on June 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh! You can also make fruit-based simple syrups. Actually, let me back up a step and make sure you know this - all you need to do to make sugar syrup (or "simple syrup") is to combine equal amounts of sugar and water in a pot and heat it gently until the sugar is totally dissolved. Use that in place of sugar when you're making cold drinks so you're not stirring the damn thing forever waiting for crystalized sugar to dissolve.

But that also lets you play around with flavors, by steeping little bit of an herb or other flavoring in there for a while. Or swapping out some of the water with a fruit juice. (I made some watermelon-mint simple syrup that way recently.)

Simple syrups keep a good while, and they can be used in sparkling water or in lemonade or limeade or in iced tea (or iced coffee if you really want to get interesting). They're a great thing to play with.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on June 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Mint lemonade!
posted by RandyWalker at 2:43 AM on July 13, 2020

« Older Help us find a less popular ski and snowboard...   |   Do different kinds of olives come from different... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.