The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Let’s Talk Summer Drinks

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Summer Drinks)

We’re going through some kind of heatwave this week, and I finally understand why everyone has been warning us about the summer heat where we live out west. It’s H-O-T. Then again, I still remember what winter felt like back east (it was C-O-L-D) so I’m not complaining.

I’ve been drinking my share of plain cold water and cold seltzer, trying to stay cool and hydrated. I also find myself reaching for iced coffee when I can afford the extra caffeine. I like smoothies for breakfast, whip up fruit slushies in the blender when it’s snack time … I’d drink ice cream too, if I could. I think I ingest food mostly in liquid form when the temperatures start rising, and I suspect I’m not the only one. So, in an effort to expand our summer beverage repertoire, tell us:

What are some of your favorite summer drinks?

A Sicilian I used to work with swears by piping hot espressos and tea. He’s convinced that hot drinks can actually to cool your body down. I’ve also seen a lot of hot tea served in the middle of sweltering afternoons in India, so I’ve always wondered about this. Studies have shown that hot drinks make your body think it’s really hot outside, and that triggers sweating, which is your body’s way of cooling itself. But they warn it’s not as simple as that. It depends on other factors, like how humid it is outside and what you’re wearing. Because sweating helps only if it actually evaporates from your skin. Personally, I don’t like sweating, and if there’s no way for it to evaporate, you don’t quite get that promised cooling effect. You might instead get a hot-and-sticky effect. Not fun.

So I stick to my cold drinks, but wonder if anyone else might have a different experience. We want to hear all your summer drink ideas. Come share below!



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kay43026 on 6.22.2015

My go to summer drink is just plain old (unsweetened) Sun Tea…can’t knock a good thing!

I also brew my own tea…and love to combine flavors. Fruity teas brewed, and let to cool, then poured over ice are so refreshing. I do put a little stevia (Truvia) in my brewed fruited teas because it brings out the flavors a bit.

Other than water (and beer/wine of course)…Sun Tea is my main hot weather drink.

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Shawna C on 6.19.2015

Sweetened iced green tea is my go-to for the summer, though I do drink water, the odd soft drink, lemonade, juice and almond-coconut milk as well. I probably have iced coffee a few times a week during the hotter months, and lots of smoothies when I’m at home. At work I sometimes make mint tea then let it cool before drinking it.

Last year we got a fancy fridge that dispenses cold water and ice in your choice of crushed or cubed. I have to say, I wouldn’t have bothered with that feature but the fridge model we wanted didn’t come without it, and I have to admit that it has been a huge hit: the whole family drinks more water than we used to!

Deanna F on 6.18.2015

Every morning I drink Good Earth’s Sweet & Spicy herbal and black tea – hot. An old family recipe that is a favorite in summer is Orangeade. Really any flavored lemonade is fun – I’ve used pommegranate juice, bing cherry juice, strawberries, and blueberries. Iced tea with some muddled mint leaves from the garden is always nice. And iced coffee with cream is a special treat.

Beth M. on 6.18.2015

There are times when water doesn’t quench my thirst so I either go to iced tea or lemonade or make an Arnold Palmer, half tea/half lemonade.

Tessa | Natural Comfort Kitchen on 6.18.2015

I have a few summer favorites, since I get bored of drinking water. In the AM or post workout, I blend ice water, a pitted date, the juice of half a lemon, frozen berries, and a few basil leaves. I call it basil-berry lemonade and it’s so thirst-quenching, with no processed sugar. Homemade iced coffee ALL DAY with coconut (vegan) creamer or sweetened condensed milk, for a treat. Finally, I love the fizziness of store-bought kombucha tea! I no longer drink soda, so for only a few calories it gives me the carbonation I crave with digestive system benefits.

Surprisingly, though, I HAVE been craving one hot coffee to start my day, even when it’s hot. It doesn’t seem to make me feel warm.

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niccinoodle on 6.18.2015

Here in the SoCal desert, we thrive on unsweetened Iced tea…our family of four will go through a gallon jug a day in the summer. Our favorite go-to is Lipton’s tropical, you can find it in gallon teabags at Smart&Final. delicious. There just comes a point where you can’t drink anymore water, it seems like you are totally washing out your system, so tea is the deal.

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cookingtree on 6.18.2015

Living in Texas, we get many months of hot weather. I keep hydrated with plenty of ice water. Once or twice a month I will make cold brewed coffee. (My Toddy maker makes a batch of concentrate that will make about a dozen coffee drinks.) I make various types of iced tea; black, green, and herbal are all delicious. And occasionally for a treat I will make fresh limeade or lemonade. My current favorite is a limeade made with brown sugar and infused with fresh mint leaves. It’s so refreshing when it’s hot outside.

Helena Mouta on 6.18.2015

I drink mostly water, and more often than not room temperature, even when room temperature means more tepid. I don’t really go for ice cold water, not when I’m really thirsty. When I’m feeling particularly naughty (which I feel coming on soon), I make a mean summer sangria, with all the best summer fruits (think stone fruits and/or berries) and either some bubbly wine or some nice rosé. That definitely hits the spot! :-)

Julie on 6.18.2015

I can’t wait for summer for my morning iced coffee!! The rest of the day is ice water.

Kelly on 6.18.2015

Black, green, herbal – any type of Peach iced tea. I make a pot of hot tea in the morning and enjoy a cup. Then when the rest cools off, I put it in the fridge to enjoy later.

Lisa F. on 6.18.2015

My go-to all yearbhere in Arizona is either water or unsweetened tea with frozen homemade lemon cubes. Also when I need something sweet I make fruit tea and it hits the spot. But of course an icy cold beer or wine will never be turned away;)

KrissyC EsMommy on 6.18.2015

I was just looking for some great iced tea recipes, I’ll have to try yours Karend! I love flavored tea and your “recipe” sounds so quick and easy compared to what is suggested on the boxes.
I love lemonade. Its my all time favorite drink year round. Luckily I have raspberry bushes in my yard so I often allow some sugar and berries to infuse then strain the juice off and add it to the lemonade. Here in MN we get pretty limited hot weather so my drink choices tend to be warm/hot due to the cold we usually have.

Sandi W. on 6.17.2015

Definitely a sweetened, lemon infused ice tea is a fav for me but I nice kiwi or raspberry Italian soda moves me greatly or if I am in the mood for caffeine, I make cold Yerba Mate tea infused with sugary sweet lemonade; trust me, it’s good!!

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C. L. ( Cheryl ) "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser on 6.17.2015

Well Erika you know I love smoothies!!! Many non alcoholic beverages posted here in my recipe box. Like Karend I was raised and still live in Florida on the Ocean. It is one hot 11 months a year. We do drink a lot of water; we have a 5 gallon cooler in the house and cases of purified, vitamin water, gatorade in the spare refrigerator. Keeping hydrated here is essential. Aside from smoothies I love Cinnamon Sweet Tea (really many flavored sweet teas) they are a go to beverage here. Occasionally, I see a root beer float in my future! Ha! Have a great day. Cheryl

Nikki H on 6.17.2015

I drink coffee w/ cream and sugar in the morning and then mostly drink sweet tea with lime, but sometimes I splurge and have a Dr Pepper with lime. I’ve tried giving up soda, but I just can’t seem to step totally away.

Chonte on 6.17.2015

I moved to CT last year but my heart will ALWAYS be in the south. So obviously my go to is a tall glass of sweet tea!! Peach is my favorite!

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karend on 6.17.2015

I keep a pitcher of water in my refrigerator, then add cucumbers and mint leaves, or frozen raspberries and lemon slices, or any other combination that sounds good. I leave the fruit/veg overnight to infuse.

Also iced herbal tea – especially Celestial Seasoning – mixed berry zinger or tangerine orange zinger. I don’t boil the water; just fill a pitcher with water, add three tea bags and let it sit overnight in the fridge.

I live in Central Florida, so we are used to hot. It was 95 degrees and humid today. The worst part is, this will last until November.

kim on 6.17.2015

I know I’m supposed to say I drink only water. And I do drink mostly water, but when the temperature soars my morning drink of choice is Pioneer Woman iced coffee. I think I may be addicted.

I also keep a pitcher of diet peach green tea in the fridge all the time. It’s from a powder mix, and I’m sure it’s full of chemicals that are terrible for me, but it really hits the spot after working in the yard.

My husband and I also enjoy beer, and this time of year the IPAs and the stouts are replaced by low alcohol session beers. I especially like one local beer, called Hobnobber, from Full Pint Brewery near Pittsburgh, Great beer taste, refreshing and low in alcohol. Dee-licious.

Patricia @ ButterYum on 6.17.2015

My go to is water, but I occasionally indulge in iced coffee of blueberry lemonade.

Dottie1 on 6.17.2015

I drink coffee, diet rite orange and some water.

AC on 6.17.2015

I drink a lot of cold water during the summer, but I also love drinking iced chai and strawberry lemonade!