Seasonal Cocktails and Other Beverages
Step in from a wintery blizzard and wrap your hands around a warm mug of cocoa. Put away the mower and refresh with cold, freshly squeezed lemonade. Welcome visitors with your signature tea blend, or toast the latest accomplishment with a glass of bubbly. Somehow, there's a beverage for every scenario!
Starting with a basic Arnie Palmer (half iced tea, half lemonade), you can create an endless number of other drinks, like this Berry Mint Cocktail by the pitcher, perfect for summer:Combine two cups of hot peppermint tea with two cups of frozen mixed berries (or add fresh berries to chilled tea). Add two cups of lemonade. Refrigerate until chilled, then garnish with a mint or lemon slices. For an alcoholic version, add light rum.
Think fruit and carbonated beverages: Sparkling apple juice with orange slices and star anise, or natural ginger ale with pineapple juice and frozen strawberries. For extra fun, add a scoop of sherbet to each serving.
Blend any combination of fresh or frozen fruit (frozen will make it icy), yogurt, milk, or soy milk for an instant smoothie. Add sweeteners and spices to taste.
When the cold wind blows, think hot beverages, like hot cocoa (spice it up with cinnamon and cayenne), chai tea, toddies, and mulled cider. To make a child-at-heart version of a bedtime toddy, simply warm milk or soy milk, sweeten with honey or maple syrup, and sprinkle with nutmeg. For a feistier version, include a little rum or brandy.
Toasting the holidays
When the winter holidays arrive, try your hand at making your own eggnog (with or without alcohol), and consider mulling some cider in your crockpot to make the whole house smell festive (mix it with cranberry juice, and go heavy on the spices).
You'll find a great selection of festive beverages at many co-ops, including regional wines, beers, and other refreshments. Bring home some ready-to-serve beverages, like natural pop, fruit juices, wines, and beers (maybe enough for a beer tasting party?), as well as ingredients for making your own beverages, no matter what the season!