Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I immediately start panting for an icy beverage once the mercury goes consistently above 20 degrees Celsius. Just say the word and this is what instantly pops into my head:
Summer – Ice cubes tinkling in a glass
Summer – Mr. Freezies
Summer – Iced coffee
Summer – Anything on a popsicle stick
Summer – The mint is ready; Mojitos!
Mmm. I’m thirsty just thinking about it…
Let’s start with iced coffee. I looooove iced coffee. If I think about being pregnant with my first (who was born in August), the main recollection is my obsession with all iced coffees. I quickly realized that I could spend a small fortune at Starbucks if I didn’t find a way to make it at home, so my first stop was into Williams Sonoma to buy a blender that would, as I said to the amused clerk, “crush the $#!& out of ice”. I went home with my precious and quickly started experimenting with various ways to get the most coffee flavor for my obsessed pregnant buck. What I discovered was freezing leftover morning coffee in ice cube trays and using that instead of regular ice defeats the dreaded watering down effect and that sweetened condensed milk is amazeballs with cold coffee over ice. Thank you Vietnam! I have not, however, tried the cold brewed iced coffee method yet although I am told it’s pretty darn good too!
However since I am Greek, the first, last and only way to drink iced coffee is Frappe. This is essentially water, ice cubes, sugar and instant coffee shaken vigorously in a jar until its all foamy and frothy. Yes, instant coffee, the coffee connoisseur’s nightmare. Try it. I promise you will like it. And if you don’t, just add a bit o’ Baileys or other cream liquor; it makes everything better.
In the middle of the day, there is nothing like a yummy iced treat. But prepared iced pops are full of sugar and color that my family doesn’t need. Like, yes. Need, no. Iced pops are easy to make; obtain molds, put stuff in them, freeze. I’ve frozen orange juice, leftover smoothie, and even just yogurt that was close to its expiration date and the kids just devour them. These amazing Pina Colada pops are so simple to make and delicious too!
And finally, towards the end of the day, an icy cocktail certainly hits the spot. I love a good mojito but I find the premix kind to be a bit too sweet. Then I discovered a lovely carbonated (and sugar free!) beverage that comes in several flavors including lime which we call “Fizzy Lime Water” for lack of a better name. I like the PC brand but I’ve also seen a similar one at Sobey’s. This is a very refreshing drink on its own, but it’s also the basis of what is essentially a cheater mojito.
It’s so simple; Take a sprig of mint and rub it between your hands to release the oils. Drop it into a tall glass, add ice and a shot (or two) of your fave white rum. Top with fizzy lime water. Stir and enjoy.
The great thing about this is that you can add the mint but leave out the rum for the kids or if you prefer a mocktail.
So there you have it; icy treats for those summer mornings, noons and nights.