Pucker Up

Even a die-hard diet soda addict like me often longs for something different on sweltering summer days.

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

8 lemons
1 and 1/4 to 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 quarts water
2 trays ice cubes
15 sprigs of mint (optional)

Wash lemons. Cut into very thin slices and remove seeds. Place in a large bowl. Cover with sugar and let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Press lemons firmly with a potato masher to extract juice. Add water and continue to press with masher until liquid is well-flavored. Add ice cubes. Chill for at least 2 hours.

Taste for sweetness. Add additional sugar, if desired. Pour into tall glasses over crushed ice or ice cubes. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serves 16.

Purple Cow

I can't even venture a guess how this old favorite received its name. But you or your parents may have enjoyed it at the local soda fountain. Kids will be delighted at the taste as well as the name, and as treats go, it's fairly high up on the healthy list, especially if you use the frozen yogurt option.

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup milk
1 cup vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
1/8 tsp. vanilla
ice cubes (optional)
soda water (optional)

If using frozen blueberries, defrost them partially beforehand and reserve a few whole berries to use as a garnish.

Blend all ingredients until frothy and purple. Pour mixture into tall, ice-filled glasses and serve with colorful straws and long sundae spoons. Serves 3 to 4.

Ginger-Pineapple Punch

2 cups orange juice
2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
2 Tbsps. grated fresh ginger
1 liter bottle diet ginger ale, chilled
ice cubes*
1 orange, thinly sliced

In a large pitcher, combine orange juice, pineapple juice, and ginger. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Strain mixture; discard ginger and pulp. Slowly pour ginger ale into juice mixture.

Serve over ice in chilled glasses. Garnish with orange slices. Serves 12.

Root Beer Float

One of the pleasures of the good old USA that I miss in Israel, where root beer is a luxury item.

1 can (12 oz.) or bottle root beer
4 scoops of ice cream

Place 1 scoop of ice cream into each of two tall glasses. Pour root beer carefully over the ice cream.

Add another scoop and repeat once or twice. Serves 2.

Watermelon Cooler

3 cups coarsely chopped seeded watermelon
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups lightly-packed fresh mint leaves
2 cups white grape juice
2 tsps. finely shredded lime peel
3/4 cup fresh lime juice, chilled
4 cups (32 oz.) club soda, chilled
fresh mint sprigs (optional)
watermelon wedges or balls (optional)

Place the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth. Strain watermelon puree through a fine mesh sieve; discard pulp.

In a large bowl combine sugar and mint. Using the back of a wooden spoon, lightly crush mint by pressing it against the side of the bowl.

Add grape juice, lime peel, lime juice, and watermelon puree, stir­ring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in club soda.

Serve in glasses over ice. If desired, garnish with mint sprigs and watermelon wedges or balls. Serve immediately. Serves 9.

Mock Sangria

2 cups orange juice, chilled
1 cup unsweetened white grape juice, chilled
1 cup reduced-calorie cranberry juice
1 liter bottle diet lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled
ice cubes
2 cups assorted fresh fruit (such as oranges, cut into wedges; thinly sliced and halved lemons and/or limes; pineapple wedges; seedless red or green grapes; sliced, peeled and pitted peaches; and halved strawberries)
fresh mint sprigs

In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together chilled orange juice, white grape juice, and cranberry juice.

Add the lemon-lime beverage; stir gently. Fill each of 10 glasses about two-thirds full with ice. Divide fruit among glasses. Pour juice mixture into glasses. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 10 (6 oz.) servings.

Mulled Raspberry Tea

1 cup frozen loose-pack raspberries, slightly thawed
2 cups brewed tea
2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
1 cup prepared lemonade
1/4 cup water
3 whole allspice
sugar (optional)
1 lemon, thinly sliced
fresh or frozen raspberries (optional)

In a 2- or 3-quart saucepan slightly mash raspberries with potato masher. Stir in tea, cranberry-raspberry juice, lemonade, water, and allspice.

Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Strain and discard fruit pulp and spices.

Ladle into a heat-proof glass mugs or cups. Sweeten with sugar, if desired.

Serve with lemon slices and additional raspberries, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Rivka Tal is a former Minne­so­tan who has lived in Jerusalem for the past 45 years. She is a food writer and translator. Email her at: [email protected]



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here