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Summer Drinks: Punches, Coolers, Aguas Frescas and More

Raise a toast laid-back summer entertaining with a big pitcher of something cold and colorful, slightly sweet but thoroughly refreshing, preferably with fruit floating in it. Besides prettying up your party, the beauty of big-batch drinks means everyone (even the host) can sit back and enjoy. So what’s the secret to a good party punch? Here are a few tips, tricks and recipes.

Strawberry Rosé Punch

Strawberry Rosé Punch

Some might say a hot grill is the cornerstone of a summer party. I for one think laid-back summer entertaining is captured best by a big pitcher of something cold and colorful, slightly sweet but thoroughly refreshing, preferably with fruit floating in it.

Besides prettying up your party, the beauty of big-batch drinks means everyone (even the host) can sit back and enjoy.

So what’s the secret to a good party punch? Here are a few tips and tricks.

  • Chill an almost-filled pitcher a few hours in advance to get the liquid cold. Then add some ice just as the party starts.

  • If you’re using a punch bowl, make an ice ring. It’s easy! And the larger ice means it melts slower.

  • Ice doesn’t have to be made with water. Freeze cubes of some of the liquid of choice so you can get your drink cold without diluting it.

  • If you’re mixing in something fizzy, soda or champagne, wait until just before serving to add it and then keep some on hand to refresh. You don’t want your punch falling flat.

Pink Wine Punch

Pink Wine Punch

Mix it Up

Here’s an extremely easy time saver: buy a big bottle of lemonade, fruit-flavored soda or other ready-to-drink beverage to use as the base of your summer party pitcher. KISS = Keep It Simple Summer!

Refreshing and lightly sweet, Califia Farms Aguas Frescas have some interesting flavor combinations going on. Pick from Mango Chili Lime, Watermelon Ginger Lime or Pineapple Ginger. Just add some cut up fruit and voila!

365 Everyday Value® Organic Lemonade is also pitcher ready with their Berry Blend or Watermelon flavors. They are a summertime limited edition!

Blueberry-Herb Lemonade Punch

Blueberry-Herb Lemonade Punch

Make your punch your own and have fun by playing with interesting combos. Just don’t go overboard. You’ll muddy the waters by pouring in a little bit of everything that’s in your fridge.

Whether they’re muddled or stirred in whole, the season’s abundance of fruit, herbs and even veggies can be used to your advantage. Here are some ideas of flavors to pick from:

Herbs and Spices: Mint, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Ginger, Chile

Fruits and Veggies: Berries, Stone Fruit, Melons, Pineapple, Lime, Cucumber

Beverage: Club Soda, Fruit-Flavored Soda, Lemonade or Limeade, Iced Tea, Ginger Ale, Wine or Sparkling Wine

Here are a few of our favorite non-alcoholic summer party drinks:

Homemade Ginger Ale
Watermelon Agua Fresca
Spiced Iced Tea Punch
Honeydew Green Tea

Honeydew Green Tea

Easy Does It

If you’re making your drinks “grown up,” consider mixing in wine or bubbly instead of hard liquor. This allows your guests to enjoy throughout the event with less risk of overdoing it. We also suggest having lots of non-alcoholic drinks on hand, as well.

Try these festive party punches and coolers:

Smokey Nectarine Punch
Wine Tea Punch with Summer Fruit
Sangria Coolers

Sangria Coolers

With all these amazing summer drink recipes and ideas, your grill is sure to be jealous.

What’s your favorite summertime party drink?

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