Decorating & Entertaining Ideas

Refreshing Coolers

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Often overlooked, nonalcoholic drinks show you’ve thought about your guests who may decline a tipple. Beyond still and sparkling water, consider tasty options like these infused iced teas and lemonades as alternatives to a cocktail or glass of wine. Besides, it’s important to stay hydrated in the summer, and these concoctions make it easy, and delicious, to do just that.

 

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All recipes courtesy of Eugene Jho

Peach & Pink Peppercorn Lemonade
Peach & Pink Peppercorn Lemonade

Makes 8-10 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup pink peppercorns, crushed between the fingers (for a more peppery drink use 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • 1 cup peach nectar
  • Sliced peaches for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water, sugar, and peppercorns to a boil, stirring constantly, just until all the sugar has dissolved. Immediately remove from heat and let steep at room temperature until cool. Once cooled, pour syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove peppercorns.

2. In a large pitcher or drink dispenser, mix lemon juice and peach nectar with 7 cups of water. Stir in the peppercorn syrup, 1/4 cup at a time, to the desired sweetness. Chill. To serve, pour over ice and garnish each glass with a fresh peach slice.

White-Tea, Lavender & Elderflower Iced Tea
White-Tea, Lavender & Elderflower Iced Tea

Makes 8-10 drinks

Note: Steeping tea for too long will create a bitter taste.

Ingredients:

  • 8 white-tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lavender buds
  • 3/4 cup elderflower cordial
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish (optional)

1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add tea bags to hot water and steep 5 to 15 minutes, depending on desired strength of tea. For the last two minutes of steeping, add lavender buds. Remove tea bags and pour tea through a fine mesh strainer to remove the lavender; chill.

2. Once the tea is chilled, transfer it to a large pitcher or drink dispenser, and stir in elderflower cordial, 1/4 cup at a time, to the desired sweetness. To serve, pour over ice and garnish each glass with a lavender sprig.

Sources: Elderflower cordial available on Amazon.com

Shiso Lemonade
Shiso Lemonade

Makes 8-10 drinks

Note: Shiso leaves are available at Japanese and specialty food stores. Basil leaves can be substituted. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12-15 shiso leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Fresh red currants for garnish (optional)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups water, sugar, and chopped shiso leaves to a boil, stirring constantly, just until all the sugar has dissolved. Immediately remove from heat and let steep at room temperature until cool. Once cooled, pour syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove shiso.

2. In a large pitcher or drink dispenser, mix lemon juice with 7 cups of water. Stir in the shiso syrup, 1/4 cup at a time, to the desired sweetness. Chill. To serve, pour over ice and garnish each glass with a sprig of fresh red currants.

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