Summer drinks

I am trying a few ideas for summer drinks now. I am hoping to stumble onto a few refreshing, flavorful combos that I’d like to make all summer. On that note, I’d like to hear from others on their successful (or still experimental) recipes for summer drinks. Here are my last two attempts (non-alcoholic versions)

This is lemon, honey and rosemary. First two are from a friend’s backyard. Quite refreshing on a hot day. I think mint would have been better than rosemary here.

This is lemon verbena, lavender and frozen raspberries. Really nice fruity flavor and aroma. I’ll definitely try this one again


That looks awesome! I have some lemon verbena and have never done anything with it. Tomorrow I will!

I am making elderflower syrup to put in fizzy water. Will update when it’s ready. Elderberry bushes are in bloom all over the place here.

I had made red currant juice in the steam juicer but my kid knocked all of it over… bummer.


I have a few summer drinks that I make for myself and kids

  1. We call it a sunrise. Carbonated water (even better with squirt) Cranberry juice cocktail and grapefruit juice
  2. NA Mint Julep. Lime juice, carbonated water, sugar and mint
  3. Kedem kosher grape juice mixed 50/50 with water and lots of ice.

We love making special drinks here.


@Katie_didnt_Z4b nice. Lot of people make teas and use them in cooking. I haven’t tried anything until now. Really nice, mild flavor. I hear a lot about elderflower and its use in drinks/syrups. I guess I don’t have enough chill to grow them :slightly_frowning_face: Really unfortunate on your red currant juice. Hope you make more later in the season. Post some pics when you have ‘em, I’m curious!

@ribs1 I should def try some of your recipes. Fizzy water makes everything better!

You know what works well strangely enough is basil in lemonade


That’s exactly the kind of ideas I wanted to hear. Will try that soon

I always like to have chocolate mint sun tea in the summer, very refreshing and cool feeling. Have not tried red currant tea yet but did made black currants tea which has very nice aroma

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I am trying elderberries in zone 9a. My plants are still small, but they have flowered and set fruit, just haven’t held it yet. D

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I’d be a bit careful with elderberries given that the flower stalks being poisonous and all. I have a couple of tangled monsters that produced well, but never became a fan of these. I’d eat the fruit, the flowers don’t taste like much. Overall, for the amount of space and sun they occupy, not sure they would be worth it if it weren’t for them acting as a privacy fence.

They grow wild here, I see them by the trails. Along with fennel a good mid ride nibble.

Those look great! I was messing around with my cherries this year and ended up with an incredibly good cherry drink using Mont.morrency cherries- and it doesn’t take many. I take the stems and the pits out and put about 1/2 cup of cherries into a sauce pan with about 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil for just a few minutes and stir while boiling. This really breaks the cherries down and lets the juice out of the fruit and into the water. I then let it cool a bit, and pour it through a small kitchen strainer. This separates the pulp, skin, etc that remains of the fruit and lets the extracted juice through. Its important to also push the pulp down against the strainer to get all the remaining juices out. You are left with about 2.5 cups of water infused with cherry juice. At this point I must confess that I add a good amount of sugar (probably 4 teaspoons but it isn’t done yet). Healthy people can use no sugar or artificial sugar. I then take this sweet concentrate and pour it into a glass filled with ice. Mine is usually still a little warm so a lot of the ice gets melted. I end up with about 4 cups of drink from my 1/2 cup of cherries. OMG IT IS SOOOOOO good.

This may sound like a lot of work but it isn’t: Just throw some pitted cherries into a pot, boil them a few minutes, strain and mash the liquid out, sweeten (optional), and poor over ice. I make a glass at a time but you could make a pitcher. You can also play with the amount of cherries and make anything from cherry-flavored water using very few cherries, to real “cherry juice” using a lot. Unfortunately Montmorency’s don’t have much color in the juice so the end product isn’t a nice red or pink. If it were for guests I suppose you could color it a bit with something.

I hope someone tries this. Obviously it wasn’t a rocket-science invention here, but I hadn’t seen it before and am thrilled with how it tastes.


Good to know. I see fennels everywhere here (literally, I haven’t seen a trail without it), but I don’t know enough info to spot elderberries. I was reading about it more and it seems that Sambucus Nigra is not poisonous.

Here’s a couple of elderberry pictures. They are non decrepit looking trees. The berries are hard to spot as they are green and when ripe tend to dry out fast. The white blooms are also not very striking and easy to miss.


Today, I tried a simple mix of orange and lemon. Last season, I tried the same with some Thai basil which added a nice licorice flavor. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow any this year


I boil water, add lemon balm, lemon verbena & a dash of honey. Stir, cool off, then add ice. Yum. Its actually good hot too.
Also added different types of mint into my club soda and had minty sparkling water.
Sometimes just add some fresh fruits (squeezed a bit to release the juices) into my glass of club soda.
Had guava juice with Smirnoff last night and that was pretty tasty, but not usually much of an alcohol drinker (empty calories).


Not summer anymore, but we had >90F days two weeks back. Thankfully passion fruits kept us cool :slight_smile:


Nice looking drinks
Off the top of my memory now , and not the right time

I like early Spring tea made with early Japenese maple leaves
I made that up after giving a taste nice sour flavor , but really soon they lose the flavor like it is early, and have more of a leafy flavor.

Gingko Tea This helps blood flow to the brain
Older leaves have a potent effect , but middle of summer has a nice flavor with honeyish flavor (sugar added)
(I do not mind the later fall flavor, but think some would be turned off by it)
I use a 3 gallon pot, and make a gallon
It’s good for you, but makes you feel euphoric (also the next day as well)

I like bitter flavors so drink a lot of black tea
even on a bicycle trip made tea out of a mango seed
yes used my mouth as a Blender hahah
(I have a mess kit for a pot in the middle of no where ,
but gas stations have red water spouts on the coffee makers)
(I use a vegetable oil candle and a commercial pickle jar lid not masson jar lid for holding the oil (lamp )

I also like Curly dock (rumex crispus) seeds, but not often or much just if I was desparate for bitter tea
Curly dock can accumulate Iron so just in a situation with out Black tea (bitter)

Not remembering everything at this moment, but Catnip (mint) that picked wild is good tea
I like hot soaking tea of that kind even cooled after , but also like cold soaking for a day as well.

I know persimmon leaves are supposed to make good tea, but have not tried
I do have some (mexican) Avocado leaves from store I plan to try soon
(but do not use other species as they can be toxic)

In the Laurel family is also spice bush so want to try that in tea blends as well
I know you said summer drinks but I am refering to cooling these tea’s down (except bitter types)
I cannot taste bitter very hot or to cold I like it warm (a goldielocks kind of thing)

Of coarse bitter beer hop tea is good as well worm wood , but not for everyone.

That Hibiscus tea (it’s cheap) from the mexican store is good as well (cooled)
Taste like cranberry (some people call it Florida Cranberry
(or Jamaica pronounced HiH - MAKE -Ah) – In Mexican stores

They also sell A Squash that looks like a Water melon

I like to bake that in the oven (people boil it)
then make a drink from it and refridgerate
(got to add a Number of Ingriedients , but not going to write all those right now
I skip on some sometimes as well if I do not have them, and it’s still pretty good
Kind of like a Pumpkin smell but in a drink.
I prefer Mine with little amounts of Pineapple not large just for a subtle flavor
not over powering the squashes flavor .

Found that out, when I barely had any pineapple when I first made it
(Or maybe that was their recipe I read)
but I know I like it better that way,.

I also like a Rhubarb drink
I know it has oxalic acid , but do not over do it all the time
you’d need a lot
(I have been sick from drinking to much in 9% wine over 4 to 6 pounds at a time in a gallon)

want to start making horchata (rice water) as well

Somethings on my mind but cannot remember, but I also like taking those supper sour grapes wild (river bank grape vitis riparia) ones I can dillute 10 pounds with like over 2 gallons of water (or is it 2 gallons total plus grapes or 3 gallons total )
Usually this is done in a bucket so the only way for me to know is to weigh in a bucket , but never really care to (A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds)

That is pretty good juice , you’d need to add a lot of sugar though.

I have been making a lot of candied Ginger so have plenty of left over syrup (after boiling for over 5 hours in it.)
That is pretty good to add to drinks (better drizzled on pop corn)

I will be honest have not been making as much this year though
as far as drinks , but have recently bought ever clear Soaked some spices in it
Like anise seed for flavorings

I read a book a long while back called the drunken botanist
lots of different herbs used for Liquors for flavoring I’d like to experiment with
not big on sweets (some times) but a lot of herbs/bitters to balance the alcohol flavor , and many medicinal.

I think for a sweeter summer drink some of those (made into extracts ) would go good with fruit based drinks.
like wormwood or angelica root etc.

Oops I meant wormwood angelica is medicinal not mixed into fruit summer drinks but you neve know
, but anise seed liquorish flavor might be good or some of the other plants in the drunken botanist book.

Have been making a lot of Bloody mary’s even Virgin ones just love the peppery flavor
even if made bad without much spice still like it, and it helps when having a problem with your lungs.

Try mexican Elderberry (spelling ) Sambuscus mexicana
these can be agressive

Pretty sure the west coast has the red elder berry
that one needs to be cooked.
you mentioned the stem
If you freeze the berries, and take a comb you can knock them off the stem.

Keep in mind people make wine, and having those branch in the Wine vat can leave a very sticky residue if people want to try wine keep that in mind as it is a pain I hear to clean.

(guess I cannot make 3 posts in a row,)Edit

Oh what I forgot actually why i started the post —> Sumac lemonade
I like Stag horn sumac (Rhus genus ) Soak the(hard) berries in water
Even made wine with it .(even dry has a sweetness to it –
(a example Liquorish also has a sweetness! , but not like it just Non fermentable sugars)

if it has rained the hairs with the flavor could be washed away
I do not advise you to eat white berries of sumac that is poison