Summer is finally here — and that means plenty of opportunities to host backyard barbecues and holiday get-togethers. But if you or someone you love abstains from drinking alcohol, you may feel excluded from the festivities. Whether someone is struggling with alcoholism (like 16.6 million people currently are) or they simply want to lead a sober lifestyle, finding a way to celebrate sans booze can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-alcoholic, highly refreshing drink options to enjoy this summer. We’re sharing a few of them in today’s post. We’ll bet that if you serve these to your guests, they won’t even miss the buzz.
Lemonade With a Twist
Americans consumed 6.6 gallons of juices per capita in 2015. While orange juice is a reigning favorite, the enduring hit of summer has to be thanks to another citrus fruit: the lemon. Lemonade is undoubtedly a summertime staple, but you don’t have to just pick up a carton and call it a day. You can easily turn store-bought lemonade on its head by adding seasonal produce like fresh blueberries and raspberries or even lemon, orange, and lime slices.
But we also love this herbaceous take on lemonade that incorporates some very simple ingredients. Just heat ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Then, add six sprigs of fresh thyme and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer without stirring until the sugar dissolves. Let the mixture cool completely, taking care to remove the thyme. Then, add three cups of club soda and stir over ice. It’s perfect drink for sitting out on the porch or your next garden party.
Summer Melon Slushes
More than 50% of Millennials and Gen Xers say cost is a barrier to leisure travel — which can be a bummer for those who wish they could take a summer vacation. But fortunately, you won’t have to travel too far (or wait too long) to find the seasonal produce used in this spin on shaved ice! Since watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydews are in their prime during July and August, now’s the ideal time to try out this recipe.
There are three delectable flavor combinations to choose from: Honeydew-Ginger-Mint, Basil-Cantaloupe, and Watermelon-Lime. Each choice follows the same basic instructions. You’ll need to remove the skin and seeds of your melon(s) of choice and cut them into small pieces; make a simple syrup (which is just granulated sugar, water, and a little salt); stir in flavorings; puree the fruit and the syrup mixture; strain, freeze, and cover for eight hours; and scrape into fancy glasses! Although it’s an overnight preparation, it’ll be well worth it at your next cookout or pool party.
Pineapple Ginger Sparkler
Even though 52% of survey respondents said they expected to take a beach vacation in the next 12 months, you don’t necessarily have to go to the shore or a tropical locale to get a taste of paradise. For this zesty and refreshing beverage, the only place you’ll need to go is your local grocery store.
This simple recipes requires you to combine four cups of chilled ginger ale and four cups of pineapple juice. Then, top the mixture with one thinly sliced orange, one thinly sliced piece of fresh ginger, and ½ cup of fresh basil leaves (de-stemmed). You can serve the mixture over ice or as-is. It’s an excellent alternative to cocktails, as there’s some sweet, some sour, and some spice all in one.
With these recipes in your arsenal, you’ll have some great alternatives to beer, wine, and mixed drinks. We’re confident that if you serve these, your guests will be more than happy to remain sober for the evening.