There’s nothing like a cold drink on a hot summer day.

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Now that it is officially summer, and finally warm in most places in the US (even here!), I feel like we need to talk about cool drinks. Not drinks with alcohol, nope, not today (but umm, you can for sure add some if you’re feeling it), today is all about super refreshing, healthy, ice-cold summer drinks.

But with a little fizz, cause all drink benefit from some sparkles. Duh.

Within the last month, I have been to California three different times. And if there’s one thing I noticed, it’s that in California, it’s all about what you are drinking. Well, not really, but kind of. People seem to have one of four drinks in their hand at all times… coffee of some sort (iced, frappe, bulletproof, etc.), tea (iced and or hot), kombucha or juice (green, fruity or smoothie based). Californians are truly all about their drinks and I can’t blame them. A good drink in hand makes the day so much better. A lot times I’ll reach for a kombucha around four of five for a little energy boost and it totally does the trick. So it was only a matter of time before I made some summer inspired drink recipes!

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

SOO. Let’s jump right into talking about these recipes today since we have not one, not two, but THREE to chat about.

I know, I could have just shared one drink, but me being me, I absolutely could not decide on just one, so three it is. This picking one flavor thing is just not for me…if you follow me on snapchat (follow hbharvest) or Instagram then you already know this. Hello toast madness from Saturday and oatmeal galore from Sunday…I have issues. Making decisions is honestly my least favorite task ever. I am HORRIBLE at it!

Anyway, back to these Summer Sodas 3 Ways – or whatever you’d like to call them. I wasn’t really sure what to title these three drink recipes, since none have alcohol, and none are really sodas either. I did finally decide on soda though (again, issues) because drinks sounded more like cocktails.

I dunno, what would you guys classify them as?

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Hmm, where to start. I guess, first I should say that all three are pretty different, but all are really good…

…first up: Cucumber Melon Refresher. Just like the title states, this drink is super refreshing thanks to the cucumber, honeydew and mint. It’s super simple, basic, not too sweet and most definitely needs to be ICE cold to drink. If you’re into minty drinks, this one is for you! It’s also a great one for using up all that summer melon! I’m sure it would be really great with cantaloupe too. Maybe a little sweeter though? That would be good too! 🙂

…second up: Mongo Lemonade. SO GOOD, but then how could anything mango and lemon not be good? It’s super sweet, yet tangy from all the lemon. This would be so fun to drink while sitting in the sun, or by the pool, or on a boat, or simply to sit and sip throughout a picnic… Ahhh!

…third up: Hibiscus Agua Fresca. This one is possibly my favorite. Well, OK, I can’t choose a favorite (that’s why there are 3!), but this one is just really, really good (actually, my dad did declare this one as his personal favorite!). I love anything hibiscus, and this agua fresco is full of lime, a little ginger and sweetened with honey. Such a great refreshing drink to sip on after coming in from the heat.

For all three recipes, each should be topped with a little sparkling water, or in my case kombucha, because I am obsessed, and at this point there’s no turning back. My wallet is hurting for sure, but it’s worth it, they are just too good. They also make for a great topper to each of these recipes. Obviously if you aren’t into the whole kombucha thing (you should be though!), you can top each with sparkling water. The added fizz is so nice and really great for these hotter summer days! Okok, plus I literally grew up drinking sparkling water, so anything with a little sparkle is always good in my mind.

You can thank my mom for my addiction to super cold, super carbonated water. 🙂

Alternately, if you don’t have any sparkling water on hand, you can simply top each drink with ice-cold water. These drinks need to have some kind of water added to them though or they’ll be a little on the thick side, especially the cucumber refresher and the mango lemonade. Just add water to your liking, but I highly recommend something bubbly. 🙂

And DONE.

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Drinks three ways!

That was fun, huh? Cool. Now, let’s all go get started making each of these. Trust me, they’re going to be your summer GO-TO. No more boring lemonade. ?

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

 

Print

Summer Sodas 3 ways.

*Inspired by Bon Appetit June 2016 Issue.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Cucumber Melon Refresher

  • 6 cups cubed honeydew
  • 2 Persian cucumbers or 1 english cucumber skin removed + chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • pinch of Kosher salt
  • 2-6 tablespoons honey or agave depending on your taste
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • chilled original kombucha or sparkling water, for topping

Mango Lemonade

  • 2 cups very ripe mangos peeled + diced (about 3-4 )
  • 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • chilled original kombucha or sparkling water, for topping

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

  • 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger peeled + roughly chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice + lime wedges for serving
  • chilled original kombucha or sparkling water, for topping
  • fresh basil or mint I used basil

Instructions

Cucumber Melon Refresher

  1. In a blender, combine the melon, cucumbers, mint and salt. Blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer, being careful to not push too much of the pulp through the strainer. Discard the pulp. Stir in the the lime juice + honey. Chill the puree until ready to serve.
  2. To serve pour a little melon puree into a glass filled with ice. Top with chilled kombucha or sparkling water.

Mango Lemonade

  1. In a blender, combine the mango, honey and lemon juice. Blend until completely smooth. Pour mixture into a jar and chill until ready to serve.
  2. To serve, pour the mango mixture over a glass filled with ice and top with chilled kombucha or sparkling water.

Hibiscus Agua Fresca

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the dried hibiscus, ginger, water and honey. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for another 10-15 minutes. Strain the mix through a fine mesh strainer, discard the hibiscus flowers and ginger. Stir in the lime juice and then chill the mixture until ready to serve.
  2. To serve, pour the hibiscus mix over a glass filled with ice and top with chilled kombucha or sparkling water.

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Cheers to Tuesday! 🙂

Summer Sodas 3 Ways | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

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