HIBISCUS PEACH ICED TEA
(Try it with shot of bourbon or gin.)
64 ounces plus 1/2 cup water, divided
12 hibiscus tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
2 large peaches, cut in 1-inch chunks
Additional peach slices and mint leaves for garnish, if desired
1. Fill a pitcher with 64 ounces water; add the tea bags, cover and allow to sit out (in the sun or on the counter) for 4 hours. Remove the tea bags.
2. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, reduce the heat, and add the peach chunks. Simmer 10 minutes.
3. Combine the peaches with the tea and allow to steep at least 10 minutes. (The mixture may be made up to three days ahead and kept refrigerated.) Serve over plenty of ice. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 66 calories, 0 protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 fat, 0 saturated fat, 0 sodium
(Use Cava in place of the seltzer or add a shot of vodka.)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup water
12 ounces blackberries
1/3 cup basil leaves, cut in strips
3 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups seltzer
Additional lime wedges, basil leaves and blackberries for garnish, if desired.
1. Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute; stir in the blackberries and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Let the mixture cool in the pan 15 minutes.
2. Transfer to a blender and puree. Strain through a sieve to remove the solids; stir in the lime juice. (May be made up to three days in advance.)
3. For each serving, fill a glass with ice; add 1/4 cup of the syrup and 1/2 cup seltzer, and stir. Garnish the glasses with a lime wedge, basil leaf and fresh blackberry, if desired. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 150 calories, 1 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium
(Rum adds warm depth to this slightly creamy drink.)
2 large mangos, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup water
2 cups ice
Lime wedges (optional, for garnish)
1. Combine the mango, lime juice, sugar, orange juice, coconut milk, water and ice in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 240 calories, 2 g protein, 58 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 16 mg sodium
TIP: Any of these can be made into equally refreshing summer cocktails with the addition of a a shot of liquor.