6 Sizzling Summer Drinks

With summer in full swing, it's always such a great idea to have delicious chilled beverages on hand especially for those extra hot days. Everyone likes the sound of an ice-cold beer or nice glass of white wine, but something to sip on that won't make you feel like you need a nap is always a thumbs up.

courtesy of gautsch.net photostream

I found some great recipes in two of my favourite magazines: Clean Eating & Oxygen. Both of which are published by Robert Kennedy and are fabulous reads especially if you're trying to eat clean and stay healthy.

Here are some delicious, healthy, summer-worthy bevies that will leave your taste buds smiling and your body feeling refreshed:

Lavender-Lemon Green Tea

-4   1/2 cups of water
-8 green tea bags
-1 tbsp dried culinary lavender buds*
-Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus 4 wedges for garnish
-Sweetener of your choice (optional)

1) In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil

2) Turn off heat and add tea and lavender. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour           tea through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher.

3) Stir in lemon juice and sweetener, if using, serve immediately over ice. Garnish each glass with a lemon wedge.

*Lavender buds can be found at your local spice store. Alternatively you can use two slices of freshly peeled ginger instead.

Pineapple-Mint White Tea

-4   1/2 cups of water
-9 white tea bags
-1/2 cup of loosely packed fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
-1   1/2 cups of pineapple chunks
-sweetener of your choice (optional)

1) In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add tea and mint. Steep for 2 to 3 minutes.

2) Add pineapple to a pitcher and pour in tea through a fine-mesh strainer. Stir in sweetener, if using. Chill for 2 hours up to 1 day. Serve over ice and garnish with mint.

Homemade Orange-Ginger Soda

Start with sparkling water and add your own fresh juices, herbs or extracts (vanilla and almond are great choices) and finish with a bit of honey.

-2 oranges cut into halves

-1   2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 4 lengths (about 1/2 an inch each)
-2 tsp raw honey

-32 oz plain sparkling water

-Ice cubes, optional

1) Working 1 glass at a time, squeeze juice from 1 orange half into glass.

2) Pass 1 piece of ginger though a garlic press and add ginger juice to the glass, discarding remaining fibres.

3) Add 1/2 tsp of honey and 8oz of sparkling water to each glass. Stir or whisk thoroughly to combine. Serve with ice cubes if desired.

Virgin Raspberry Bellini

1) Add washed green and red seedless grapes to a blender, puree and pass through a fine-mesh strainer.

2) Reserve 6oz of fresh grape juice.

3) Follow procedure with raspberries to obtain 2oz puree, which should be poured into a champagne flute.

4) Top puree with 6oz of grape juice, 1 to 2oz of soda water and a few frozen grapes (in lieu of ice cubes) for a flavourful chill.

courtesy of davidgiesberg photostream

Strawberry Peach Rooibos tea

-4   1/2 cups of water
-8 Rooibos tea bags
-1 large ripe peach, sliced (about a cup)
-1 cup sliced strawberries plus 4 berries for garnish

1) In a medium sauce pan bring water to a boil.
2) Turn off heat and tea bags and steep for 5 minutes.
3) Add peach and strawberries to pitcher. Discard tea bags and add tea.
4) Chill for 2 hours or up to a day. Serve over ice and garnish with a strawberry.

Chia Fizz

-12 fresh mint leaves
-1/2 lime, left unpeeled and cut into thirds, divided
-1 tsp light agave syrup
-1 tbsp chia seeds
-8 oz natural sparkling water

1) In a large glass, muddle mint leaves and 2 lime wedges with a muddler or back of a spoon

2) Add agave, seeds and seltzer
3) Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to gel

4) Garnish with remaining lime wedge, stir and serve.

If you're on the go with no time for blenders and muddlers, try adding cucumber or fresh mint to your water bottle. My favourite if mint leaves with orange slices. Soooo good!

Enjoy everyone and stay hydrated out there!