Summer is truly just around the corner! While some of us are wondering where spring went so quickly, others are gearing up for “fun in the sun” and all the great things there are to do in Napa Valley during the summer months.
And summer is also a great time for trying new drinks and homemade beverage concoctions to take the edge off the inevitable warmth.
Smoothies Are Great, But There’s so Much More!
As we’ve noted here previously, smoothies can be not only delicious and filling but quite healthy. In addition, we share with you how smoothies are also an easy “do-it-yourself” beverage treat that can be easily made at home.
But we wouldn’t want you to be left thinking that the only summer drink options for an icy cold smoothie are iced tea or lemonade. Not that there’s anything wrong with these well-loved classic summer drinks…
However, there is a wide variety of interesting and refreshing beverage choices that you can also make at home this summer that are not quite as well known, perhaps, but every bit as refreshing and delicious as even the most indulgent smoothie!
From Flavorful Waters to Herbal Coolers: Refreshing and Healthy Summer Beverage Ideas
Okay, so maybe you can simply go to the market and pick up a jug of this or a bottle of that and have your summer beverage alternative.
But for something truly unique, healthy, and made to order – by YOU! – you’ll need to go a step further.
When the scorching heat of summer arrives, it’s essential to keep yourself refreshed and hydrated. And, while there are times when nothing will do the trick like a cold, clean cup or bottle of water, having something with some zing, some punch, and some flavor can be even more satisfying.
And even though smoothies are a popular choice, there are numerous other homemade beverage options that can help you beat the heat and stay cool. Here are some delightful alternatives:
- Infused Water: Add a burst of flavor to plain water by infusing it with fruits, herbs, or even vegetables. Try combinations like cucumber and mint, lemon and ginger, or watermelon and basil. Let the ingredients infuse overnight for a refreshing and hydrating treat.
- Iced Tea: Brew a refreshing pitcher of iced tea using your favorite tea leaves or herbal blends. Opt for classics like black or green tea or explore unique flavors like hibiscus or peach. Add a few slices of lemon, a sprig of mint, or a touch of honey for added zest.
- Lemonade Variations: Lemonade is a timeless summer favorite, but you can jazz it up with various twists. Experiment with flavors like strawberry, raspberry, lavender, or even thyme. Adjust the sweetness to your liking and serve it over ice for a tangy and revitalizing drink.
- Fruit Punch: Create a vibrant and colorful fruit punch by combining different fruit juices, such as orange, pineapple, cranberry, or mango. Add a splash of sparkling water for a fizzy touch, and garnish with fresh fruit slices for a delightful presentation.
- Cold Brew Coffee: For coffee enthusiasts, cold brew coffee is a fantastic choice. Simply steep ground coffee beans in cold water overnight, strain, and serve over ice. Customize it with milk, sweeteners, or flavored syrups for a delicious and chilled coffee experience.
- Agua Fresca: Originating from Latin America, agua fresca is a refreshing and fruit-infused beverage. Blend fresh fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, or mango with water, strain, and sweeten if desired. Serve over ice for a revitalizing and tropical treat.
- Herbal Coolers: Experiment with herbal concoctions by brewing and chilling teas made from herbs like mint, chamomile, rosemary, or lemongrass. These herbal coolers offer soothing properties and are perfect for a hot summer day.
- Watermelon Cucumber Cooler: This refreshing drink is made with watermelon and cucumber. You can add some mint leaves and lime juice to make it even more refreshing1
With these delightful homemade beverage options, you can enjoy a variety of cooling drinks beyond smoothies during the sweltering summer months. So, as the temperatures begin to go up, make it your plan to stay hydrated, experiment with flavors, and savor the refreshing goodness they bring to your table.
3 Refreshing Homemade Beverage Recipes for Your Napa Valley Summer Fun
There are many homemade beverages that can help you keep cool in the summer months. Here are three great ideas:
Strawberry Limeade: This is a sweet and tangy drink made with fresh strawberries and lime juice. You can add some sparkling water to make it fizzy.
Watermelon Basil Cooler This amazing watermelon cooler is the perfect drink to enjoy in the summer season.
This third option is not one that all of us may be familiar with. Aam Panna is a traditional Indian drink made with raw mangoes, sugar, and spices. It’s sweet, tangy, and very refreshing and the recipe is easy to carry out:
▪ Total Cook Time: 40 mins
▪ Prep Time: 5 mins
▪ Cook Time: 35 mins
▪ Recipe Servings: 2
Ingredients of Aam Panna
- 2 Green raw mangoes
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 2 tbsp black salt
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp mint leaves
How to Make Aam Panna
1. Place the mangoes and water in a saucepan and boil them. Simmer for 10 minutes until it gets soft from the inside.
2. Let the mangoes cool and then peel them off with the help of a spoon.
3. Grind the pulp with an appropriate amount of water to make a thick paste of it.
4. Now put the paste in a pan and add brown sugar. Let it cook on the flame till the sugar dissolves completely.
5. Keep stirring it continuously or else it will burn.
6. After the sugar has dissolved completely, remove the pan from the fire to add cumin powder, black salt, and salt to the mixture.
7. To make the drink: Add 1-2 tbsp of the mango mixture to a tall glass of chilled water. Mix well.
8. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
Add more sugar for a pronounced sweet taste in the Aam Panna. You can also steam the mangoes or cook them in a pan according to your desire. But they should become soft so that the peel and the pulp come out easily.
Cal Mart Is Your Premier Source for Great Foods and the Perfect Recipe Ingredients
When it comes to organic produce, quality foods, and the best ingredients, Cal Mart has been Calistoga’s and Napa Valley’s go-to source for generations.
For more than 50 years, Cal Mart has remained a locally owned and family-operated independent grocery store and has consistently provided a unique and enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. This is why we’ve been the preferred shopping destination for Napa Valley residents for over five decades.
Cal Mart’s team of long-time employees is proud to offer a healthy variety as well as a wide selection in our grocery store and specialty departments. And they work hard to help make Cal Mart the premier destination for fine Napa Valley wines, meats, cheeses, and fresh produce in Calistoga, as well.
All of which is why we’ve become known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”
So, if you’re looking to make healthy, organic beverages this summer – along with good-for-you dishes and meals this year – then you should also know that we offer the best that Napa Valley has to offer. In addition to all that you’ll find in our grocery, you’ll also find great offerings in our meat and seafood section, and in our gourmet cheese department, as well as all that we proudly offer in the way of quality wines and craft beers.
Oh! And don’t forget to shop our unique and hard-to-find specialty foods department, too!
And summer is also a great time of year to treat yourself or someone you care about to one of our beautiful gift baskets.
So, let us help you create healthy, delicious summertime beverages along with other great treats while you explore all that we have here at Cal Mart.
And while you’re shopping with us, please feel free to talk with our friendly and expert staff and then treat yourself to a smoothie or even a cup of coffee or tea from our Coffee Bar.
Remember that at Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!