It is so incredibly hot outside. I love Florida and I love summer but it has been a little stifling lately so I though I’d share a few ideas. I hope these will bring some refreshment to your summer.
Don’t Underestimate Water
We sometimes forget to drink enough water as we rush through our days. Of course this is one of the most beneficial beverages we can consume. To my surprise there are people that complain about the flavor or lack thereof. If you are bored with water or you want to create something a little more special for a guest or occasion, consider these options:
Minted water – add a few sprigs of fresh mint to ice water and allow it to sit for a few minutes before drinking. For even more mint flavor add a drop of mint extract over ice. This is incredibly refreshing and far less expensive than some of the specialty waters available.
Cucumber water – Add a few slices of cucumber to your glass of water. This has a wonderfully cooling effect.
Citrus water – citrus, any citrus, is wonderful juiced into water. Limequat is one of my personal favorites (just juice one into a pitcher of water). Don’t forget that the skin has a lot of flavor too. Don’t throw it away after juicing, just drop it in the pitcher. If you let the water sit for a long time though you may want to take it out since the pith can make the water bitter.
Floral waters – If you like rose water or orange blossom water, try adding a few drops to a pitcher of ice water.
Berry Water – Raspberries and Strawberries are my favorite; just drop a few in your glass to infuse then enjoy.
Peaches – Add a few slices to a gallon of water, let sit for 30 minutes or more, enjoy over ice.
You can also combine any of the above to make your own flavored water.
My favorites: cucumber-mint, rosewater and raspberry, peach and orange.
When you have leftover coffee, don’t throw it out. Pour it in an ice tray and freeze it for later. Make your own blended or iced coffees with it. For variety in flavor, try any of the different coffee creamers available in the dairy section at the grocery store.
For a party, you can create a huge punch bowl of infused water — just add ice, water, and whatever flavorings you want.
I recently tried this punch at a retirement reception. It was wonderfully refreshing, not as overwhelmingly sweet as punch can often be. My friend Marilyn (who is also a Master Food and Nutrition Educator at the Duval County Extension office) shared the recipe; it was given to her by Dean Shrock.