A great start to outdoor entertaining as warmer weather returns is a cool refreshing drink. Since many summer parties include both children and adults, I thought I share some family friendly non-alcoholic ideas that everyone can enjoy. All three of these drinks use lots of fresh fruit and two start off with a batch of homemade infused simple syrups. They’re all easy to prepare and will be a welcome refresher this summer season.
The NBC5 Smoothie
1 cu Coconut Milk
2 Naval Oranges
1 cu Water
3 cu Ice
Fill a blender with 3 cups of ice. Slice the nectarines and discard the seeds. Add the slices to the blender. Peel and slice the bananas and add to the blender. Slice the top and bottom off of one of the oranges. Set the orange upright and slice the sides off the orange. Cut the oranges segments away from the pith and add to blender. Add coconut milk and water. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses. Slice second orange and garnish glasses.
Ginger Strawberry Splash
1 1/2 cu Ginger Simple Syrup (1 1/2 cu water, 1 1/2 cu sugar, 2 tbl fresh ginger, peeled and chopped)
1 1/2 cu Strawberries, chopped
4 cu Orange Juice
2 cu Limeade
24oz Ginger Beer
Additional Strawberries for garnish
To make the simple syrup, place water, sugar and ginger in a pot. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Once water reaches a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until cold. Strain ginger from simple syrup before using.
Place 1 1/2 cups of chilled simple syrup and strawberries in a blender and blend thoroughly. Strain and pour liquid into a pitcher. Add orange juice and limeade. Refrigerate for at least an hour. To serve, pour mixture over ice in a tall glass, top with about 2 ounces of ginger beer and stir. Garnish with a strawberry wedged onto the rim of the glass.
Non Alcoholic White Sangria
2 cu Light Lemon Simple Syrup (1 1/2 cu water, 1 cu sugar, juice and zest of one lemon)
4 cu White Grape Juice
2 cu Apple Juice
1 lg Naval Orange, thinly sliced
1 lg Lemon, thinly sliced
2 lg Limes, thinly sliced
1 Pear, chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, chopped
1 cu Green Grapes, sliced
8-12 Pitted Cherries with stems
12-18oz Chilled Diet Ginger Ale
To make the simple syrup, place water, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a pot. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Once water reaches a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until cold. Strain zest from simple syrup before using.
Pour 2 cups of chilled simple syrup, grape juice and apple juice into a large pitcher. Set aside 4 orange, 4 lemon and 4 lime slices. Add remaining slices to thie pitcher. Add pear, apple and half of the grapes. Stir and refrigerate for at least an hour. Slice remaining orange, lemon and lime slices in half for garnish. To serve, place one of each half slice, a few grapes and cherry into individual glasses with ice. Add ginger ale to pitcher. Stir and pour over glasses.