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summer drinks

Best of the Blogs: Summer Drinks

Peanut butter and jelly, strawberries and chocolate, summer and cool drinks – some things just go together.  When the temperatures rise there’s nothing better than an ice cold beverage which is why this month’s Best of the Blogs is showcasing some of this season’s tastiest sippers.

Yum! Who wouldn’t want to start their day with this Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie from Love & Olive Oil? Almond butter and almond milk give this fruity smoothie just a hint of nutty flavor.



Margaritas are a classic summer drink and this Cherry Lavendar Beer Margarita from Heather Christo looks like the perfect way to add a new twist.


This old-school Chocolate Italian Cream Soda from Brown Eyed Baker would be ideal for kids! Plus, you can use any flavors of syrup to make your own creation.



Take advantage of some of the season’s best flavors with this Berry Sangria from Kitchen Confidante. The recipe can only be made in a large pitcher so it’s the perfect excuse to get friends together!



This cute Frozen Strawberry Milk Slushie from Picky Palete gives the childhood drink a seasonal update. Top it with homemade whip cream for a decadent touch.



More frothy drinks and striped pink straws! This Frosty Coconut Mojitos from How Sweet It Is gets a boost of sweetness from coconut water, milk and rum.



Sometimes summer drinks can turn into a complicated concoction. If you prefer to keep it simple, try this three-ingredient Strawberry Mango Lemonade from Hott Mama in the City.



This Roasted Cherry Sangria from Foodie Crush looks the perfect party sipper. Add your own spin to the recipe by tossing in some of your favorite herbs or orange slices.



This Loaded Hibiscus Arnold Palmers from Vegetarian Ventures is an easy way to use up extra fruits and herbs you have around. Although the original only has blueberries, the sweet sipper can be customized with any fruity flavors to switch up the taste.



In my opinion, there’s one summer drink that comes out on top: Iced Coffee. A few sprigs of mint and sugar make this Iced Mint Coffee from With Style and Grace perfect for warm weather.



What’s your favorite cool summer drink? If you’re still looking for more refreshing sippers, take a look at our Tasty Seasonal Drinks Pinterest board. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

- Kenzie, BHG Social Media Editorial Assistant

Is it happy hour yet? I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a tall, refreshing summer cocktail and the lovely late afternoon light on the patio that should go with it. Oma Blaise Ford here, executive editor at BHG. When I’m not wielding my editing pen at the magazine, I love to cook, have friends over, and mix up a great-tasting cocktail. So I was thrilled to accept the challenge when our food editor, Nancy Hopkins, asked me if I’d develop a collection of garden-inspired summer drinks for the June issue.

I’ve been called a cocktail geek, and that may be true, but what’s even truer is that I am a flavor freak. What I love about cocktails is what I love about cooking—creating great flavors and delicious combinations. Sometimes those yummy combos come from unexpected places, and sometimes you need a little push to try something different. Case in point: Cherry Tomato Margarita.

I love sweet little cherry tomatoes — when I have people over in the summer, a bowl of these beauties from the farmer’s market or garden is always among the nibbles I serve with drinks. But I hadn’t thought about using them in cocktails until a couple of years ago when I was having dinner at the bar at Range restaurant in San Francisco. They had a drink on the menu that had Sungold cherry tomatoes in it, and I was both intrigued and a little skeptical. The bartender gave me a taste, and I was very pleasantly surprised.

That surprise was my inspiration for the margarita in our June story. It’s got all the classic margarita elements: tart lime, tequila, and velvety orange liqueur (I like Grand Marnier in this version, but you can use your own favorite). But then underneath that classic mixture is the bright, summery sweetness of the muddled cherry tomatoes.

And here’s the main secret to tasty success: Choose the best, sweetest cherry tomatoes you can get your hands on. Tart or more vegetal tasting tomatoes will impart a hint of bitterness to the drink. I tried this with both yellow and red cherry tomatoes and found that yellow seemed to work better with the rest of the flavors. I also threw just pinch of salt into the shaker when I muddled the tomatoes to enhance the flavor — even if you don’t like salt on the rim, I recommend you include this bit of salt in the mix. But don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of lime or simple syrup to suit your own taste. I happen to like my margaritas on the tart side, but if you like them sweeter add a little more syrup.

Now, go get shaking and let us know what you think. Get the recipe here!

I’d serve the cherry tomato margarita with this cocoa-accented Smoky Braised Pork Shoulder. Or the super easy and very yummy Grilled Flank Steak with mole barbeque sauce from the June issue.

Want to know which of the cool summer sips was the staff favorite when we tasted them at the story pitch (seen above)? You can watch me make it over here.

Curious about the inspiring tomato cocktail from Range? I shared my recreation of that drink over on my friend Annette Joseph’s blog last year.

You can check out my cocktail ramblings on my personal tumblr.


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