By Sheila Anthony
Memorial Day weekend heralds the unofficial start of summer and the warm weather and sunshine it brings. Prepare for the hotter months with delicious beverages that are easy to make and always served ice cold. Here are 3 recipes for chilled drinks to put into rotation all summer long.
Iced Coffee Latte with Dulce de Leche and Chili-Infused Cream
(Makes 2 to 4 servings)
An infusion of dried de Arbol chilies transforms this iced latte into a delicious morning wakeup brew, revving you up without heating you up—a blessing on a hot summer day!
- 4 cups of brewed coffee*
- 4–8 dried de Arbol chilies, depending on desired intensity of heat
- 1 cup of light cream
- Dulce de leche, softened
- Ice cubes
- Brew coffee using filtered water, then chill in fridge.
- Add light cream and dried de Arbol chilies to a saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. As soon as mixture begins to boil, turn off heat. Let mixture stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Strain cream mixture through sieve into a sealable container, making sure all parts of chilies have been removed. Chill in fridge.
- To make the iced lattes, fill tall glasses with ice. Pour in coffee, followed by desired amount of softened dulce de leche, then chili-infused creamer. Stir if desired, or allow cream to slowly filter through coffee.
*Note: You can use instant coffee, or hot brew fresh coffee or cold brew coffee overnight.
Minty Juice-Sweetened Iced Tea
(Makes 4 to 8 servings)
Fresh mint and tangy lime give this tea a refreshing crispness that complements the sweetness of the black currant juice and honey.
- 6 cups filtered water
- 4 individual-size tea bags, preferably a robust black breakfast tea
- 2 cups black currant juice
- ½ cup of honey, or less if a less sweet taste is desired
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, reserving some sprigs for garnish
- 1–2 limes
- Pour water into a saucepan and set over medium/high heat. When water begins to heat, add honey, stirring to combine.
- Bring water to near boil, immediately shut off heat, and add tea bags and fresh mint. Stir briefly to soak. Cover saucepan and steep tea and mint for 4 to 5 minutes, or to desired strength.
- Scoop mint and tea bags from tea with a slotted spoon, squeeze out moisture, then discard. Allow tea to cool.
- Stir in 2 cups of black currant juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Chill tea in pitcher or similar container. Serve tea in ice-filled glasses. Garnish each glass with reserved fresh mint and slices of lime.
(Makes 4 to 6 servings)
Horchata is a milky rice drink flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and poured over ice, giving it a kind of eggnog-in-the-summer fabulousness.
- 1 cup long-grain white rice like basmati or jasmine
- ¾ cup blanched almonds
- 1 or 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks, depending on how strong a cinnamon taste is desired
- 5 cups of filtered water, divided into 4 cups hot and 1 cup room temperature
- ¼ cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon for garnish
- Ice cubes
- Break up cinnamon stick(s) and place in bowl. Add rice and almonds. Pour in 4 cups of hot (not boiling) water, and stir to distribute and immerse ingredients. Cover bowl and let sit on counter 8 hours or overnight. (Cinnamon pieces will soften in water.)
- Pour rice mixture into blender and blend until smooth. (This may take 3 to 4 minutes. Add extra water to facilitate blending.)
- Pour the now smooth mixture into a sieve and strain into a pitcher, pressing liquid through with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon. Discard rice and almond solids.
- Stir in remaining water,* sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Add ice and stir well. To serve, pour into ice-filled glasses and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
*Note: If a creamier horchata is desired, substitute a cup of milk for the water.
To achieve “peak recipe,” use the freshest ingredients possible, including water. Too often tap water adds an unpleasant chlorine taste and odor that will ruin your beverage.
By starting with purified water instead, you create the perfect base for your refreshment, allowing all the other ingredients to take center stage, taste-wise.
Brio offers a range of premium water coolers and water filtration systems that thoroughly remove the chlorine taste and odor from water, leaving it crisp, clarified, and ready to make any recipe taste better.
Enjoy your summer kickoff!