Category:

Drinks

Is there anything more refreshing on a hot summer day than a glass of lemonade?

Today I’ve put a fun twist on the iconic American classic by incorporating basil and strawberry for a uniquely addictive flavor that’ll keep you coming back for more. I enjoy my lemonade slighty more tart than the averge bear, but if after you’ve tasted it you decide it’s too tart for you go ahead and add an extra cup of sugar or a few cups of water and it’ll bring the acidity right on down and have you sippin’ sweetly!

For an even better twist add a few shots of vodka and finish with sparking water or club soda to get the party going right!

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Gallon
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2 pounds strawberries (halved)
  • 4 ½ cups lemon juice (fresh or half fresh, half bottled. )
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 10 cups water
  • 3 cups basil leaves (packed)
  • Cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer
Instructions:
  • Preheat your oven to 425°F, and if needed get to squeezin' those lemons!
  • When oven is preheated place strawberry halves on a baking tray and roast for 30 minutes. The strawberries will darken in color and give up some of their juices.
  • While strawberries are roasting, in a small sauce pan combine 3 cups of sugar, 2 cups of water, and 3 cups basil leaves. Allow to melt over medium to medium-low heat without stirring. You're creating a simple syrup! Look at you getting down in the kitchen!
  • The syrup is done when all the sugar crystals have melted, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside allowing the basil leaves to continue to steep.
  • Add your lemon juice to your serving container.
  • When strawberries have finished puree them in a blender or food processor with 2 cups water.
  • Strain the strawberry puree through a cheese cloth or fine mesh strainer and into your serving container. This removes any seeds and makes a smooth tasty lemonade.
  • Remove the basil leaves from the simple syrup and add the syrup to your lemonade.
  • Add the remaining 6 cups of water and stir well. Taste for sweetness and adjust as desired. Enjoy with family and friends!

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I use pureed mango in this tea instead of using mango nectar to control the sugar. If sugar isn’t a worry you can use two cups of mango nectar instead of blending the mango. If you’ll be using mango nectar taste for sweetness before adding the honey. 

We’re using 1 cup more water than a true gallon because the tea bags absorb about a cup of water. This way you have a full gallon for serving!

Mango Lady Grey Ice Tea

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Cook Time: 15 minutes
Steeping Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Gallon
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Ingredients:
 
  • 16 bags earl grey tea
  • 16 bags lady grey tea
  • 16 oz fresh or frozen mango
  • 2 cups mango nectar (*if not using fresh mango)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 17 cups water
Instructions:
  • Bring 17 cups of water to a boil and turn off the heat.
  • Add all the tea bags and steep for 15 minutes.
  • While the tea is steeping puree the mango in a blender.
  • When the tea has finished steeping remove the tea bags and stir in the pureed mango, or mango nectar if using and add the honey. If using mango nectar taste the tea for sweetness before stirring in the honey.
  • You can strain the tea through cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer if you want a clearer tea that's lighter in appearance. In the picture the tea on the left has not been strained while the two on the right have been strained so you can see the difference.
  • Enjoy over ice and garnish with a spring of mint or a fresh slice of mango!

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When blending smoothies the way to get the best result is to put the liquids in the bottom of the blender and work your way up to solids. So for this smoothie we would put the orange juice in first. Then milk if using, vanilla, yogurt, mango, and then the ice. Silky smooth every time!

This orange mango smoothie is sweet, tart, creamy and a healthy treat! With no added sugar, ten grams of protein a serving, and fiber to spare it’s a guaranteed hit anytime of the day! I enjoy this smoothie T-H-I-C-C, but if you want to thin it simply add one cup of milk into the mix and enjoy.

Orange Mango Smoothie

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 (10 oz)

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Ingredients:

 

  • 3 cups mango (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk (to thin *optional)
Instructions:

  • Toss everything into your blender and make it smooth! You got this Travis! BOOM. Smoothie! Enjoy cold.

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I like my tea like I like my men

…A lot of different ways. (But this one’s my favorite)

This tea is full-bodied and perfectly sweet. It should be very dark when finished steeping, and combines perfectly with a slice or two of lemon, a porch swing, and a beautiful sunny day.

Southern Sweet Tea

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 Gallon
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Ingredients:
 
  • 17 cups water (the tea bags will absorb a bit of water)
  • 16 single cup sized black tea bags.
  • Big fan of Lipton for my sweet tea
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
Instructions:
  • In a large pot bring 1 gallon of water to a boil, and add baking soda. If you’re thinking- “Why baking soda?” It makes the tea smooooooooooth. Give it a go!
  • Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Steep for 30 minutes.
  • The tea should be VERY dark and still warm, remove tea bags-do not squeeze them, and stir in the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, and allow tea to cool. The tea is ready to be served (and spilled) with friends. Serve over plenty of ice!

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For a frozen version of this drink blend together diced melon and 1 cup of water. Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth. and blend the freshly strained juice with 3 cups of ice. Follow remaining instructions, but instead of stirring in the sugar you’ll need to blend the sugar with your frozen mixture in your blender as you taste for sweetness and lime.

For a boozy version of this drink try adding a shot of your favorite tequila, vodka or gin to each serving!

Cantaloupe Agua Fresca

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 large cantaloupe (diced skin and seeds removed)
  • 4 cups cold water or ice for a frozen version
  • 2 limes juiced *optional
  • 1 cup sugar *optional
Instructions:
  • In a blender add the diced melon, cold water, and blend until smooth.
  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth and into a pitcher.
  • Taste for sweetness, if your cantaloupe needs more sugar start adding to your pitcher 1/4 cup at a time. Tasting, and adding more sugar as needed until it’s as sweet as you’d prefer.
  • When you’ve achieved your preferred level of sweetness add lime juice if desired, again this is to your preference. Start with half a lime and add more as needed.
  • Serve over ice and enjoy!

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If you don’t have a jigger one ounce equals two tablespoons.

I do realize the subject of grain alcohol is debated among the gluten free community, so feel free to substitute with ingredients you know you can tolerate.

Coffee Break

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1
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Ingredients:
 
  • 1 ounce espresso- hot or cold
  • 1 ounce rumchata
  • 1 ounce whiskey with coffee notes
  • 1 ounce kahlua
Instructions:
  • Add all ingredients to a shaker if cold or just stir together if serving hot.
  • If cold serve over ice and enjoy!
  • If hot serve in a mug with some whipped cream on top .
  • Bottoms up!

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While allowing the blended rice time to set overnight produces a better flavor. It isn’t a must if you’re pressed for time. The blended rice really only needs 2 to 3 hours to give a nice flavor. Just let it sit for as long as your can before you need to move to the next step. 

Homesick Horchata

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Prep Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Servings: 4
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Ingredients:
 
  • 2.5 Cups jasmine rice
  • 6 Cups water
  • 1 Cup half and half
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 Cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/16 tsp ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions:
  • Add rice, water, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and ground cinnamon to blender.
  • Blend all ingredients until rice is broken into small pieces. The rice should look fine, like micro beads.
  • Allow to sit covered in the blender at room temperature overnight. In the morning blend again, and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a pitcher.
  • Add the half and half, and milk to the rice water, and stir.
  • Taste for sweetness and spices and adjust as desired.
  • Enjoy over ice, and think about sweet sweet Texas.

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