Gina Florio
July 07, 2016 3:00 pm

There are few things in the world that can give you the same satisfaction as a cold drink on a hot summer’s day. It’s one of those things that’s so simple in theory, yet wildly rewarding when put into practice. Instead of grabbing an icy soda (it’s tempting, I know), treat yourself to a healthier beverage you can totally make in your kitchen!

Here are six tasty summer drinks that are worthy of some DIY-ing.

1. Mint Pineappleade

I accidentally invented this a few weekends ago and it was one of the proudest moment of my adult life. It’s simple, really. You chop up a fresh ripe pineapple and run it through a juicer. Then you toss the juice into a blender with some fresh mint leaves and a scoop of honey, to taste. Blend it up, put it in a pitcher, and let it cool in the fridge until you’re ready. (Psst, I drank mine right away and it was just as good!)

2. Strawberry Basil Lemonade

Gina Florio

Here’s one of my favorite twists on a classic lemonade. I’ve recently become obsessed with putting basil in weird places, like a morning smoothie, since it adds an extra layer of fresh that brings out the sweetness of whatever fruit you pair it with.

Blend up the following: 1 1/2 cups coconut water, 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, 1 peeled and chopped up lemon, 4 hulled strawberries, 4 tablespoons of honey, and a handful of ice cubes. Kick back and don’t forget your sunscreen.

3. Classic Creamy Chocolate Shake

Every gal needs some cold, chocolatey goodness in her summer life. This concoction is as delicious as it is beneficial for the body. The secret to achieving the luxurious creaminess is the avocado, which may sound weird to some of you who’ve never had an avo in a smoothie, but you have to trust me. It’ll blow your mind.

Blend a cup of almond milk, 1 ripe banana, a few pitted Medjool dates, 1/2 ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder, 2 tablespoons of almond butter (or any nut butter of your choice, really), 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseeds, and a handful of crushed ice until smooth. It’s just as yummy for dessert as it is for breakfast.

4. Piña Colada Smoothie

Gina Florio

Cool, fresh, and packed with all the healthy greens your body needs! Because I doubt you’ve eaten enough spinach today. Put the following into a high-speed blender (or even a food processor) and blend it up: 1 cup coconut milk (full fat is best), 1 big handful of fresh baby spinach, a frozen banana, 1 cup of frozen pineapple chunks. You get the impossibly creamy texture from the coconut milk without the overload of dairy that usually comes in a drink like this.

5. Jalapeño Lime Spritzer

Gina Florio

Sounds weird, tastes bomb. Put 3 cups club soda in a pitcher with 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1 lime thinly sliced, and 1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced. Stir in some ice and let it sit for a little bit to allow all the flavors to combine. If you’re not really a huge fan of spice, seed the pepper before you slice it up.

6. Watermelon Ginger Limeade

Gina Florio

Anything related to watermelon makes me feel like I’ve been thrown into a time machine and placed back in 8-year-old land. I loved every kind of fizzy drink that was watermelon flavored when I was a kid, and I’d often walk around with a bright red tongue when I was on summer break. Here’s an adult version of one of those drinks, only without all the preservatives and refined sugars. It’s also got a bit of ginger in there to add an extra kick.

This recipe makes about 4 servings. Put 1 cup of chopped up seedless watermelon in a blender, along with juice from 2 limes, half an inch of peeled ginger, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or honey), and 24 ounces of water. Blend it together until it’s fully combined, chill, and revisit your worry-free childhood.

Cheers!

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