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Aside from a tall glass of icy cold water there are plenty of thirst quenching options to keep you and your family well hydrated during the hot, humid and hazy days of summer. Unfortunately many store-bought options are loaded with artificial colours and flavours and an abundance of both sugar and sodium, which isn’t good for anyone in the family.

Fear not though, for making your own summer sippers is easy-peasy and requires nothing more than a few common fridge foods or easily accessibly grocery items to create cool-inducing drinks for everyone to enjoy.

Punch

A universal favourite for parties and barbecues, this version can be whipped up when it’s needed or an hour in advance.

1 can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 can frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1 can pineapple juice
2L ginger ale
Frozen berries for garnish

Combine the first four ingredients and mix well. Pour into glasses and garnish with frozen berries. Recipe via www.cooks.com

Flavoured Waters

Enhance flat and sparkling waters with a few of the following flavour combinations. Get your kiddies in on the creations by asking them to try pairing different fruits and herbs together.

Lemon, lime and orange slices
Cucumber slices and mint leaves
Chopped strawberries and fresh basil
Watermelon chunks and lime slices
Lemon and rosemary

If you prefer sweetened waters, feel free to add a touch of honey or sugar to any of the above combinations

Smoothies

There are endless options for these popular blended beverages. Keeping them dairy-free is preferable when enjoying them on a hot day. Here is a recipe that can utilize any berry or fruit (think peaches) that is in season.

2 cups strawberries
1 cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree.

Sangria

Even Mom needs a special drink just for her. Put the kiddies to bed and head out to your front porch, back deck or patio table for a cold glass of Sangria.

To a glass filled with ice add:

4 oz rose wine
1 oz vodka
1 oz lemonade
3 diced strawberries

Top the mixture with 2-3 oz club soda and garnish with mint.

(Author’s note: I tend to quadruple the recipe and make a small pitcher of this – one glass isn’t nearly enough).Recipe via www.lcbo.com

Lemonade

Combine equal parts simply syrup and lemon juice and top with flat or sparkling water until you reach the desired sweetness.

To make simple syrup combine equal parts water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from stovetop, stirring to ensure all of the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool and use as directed above.

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