Sometimes you might wish for a more exciting version of plain water, while other times you may simply want to drink your fruit instead of eating it. Good news: I’ve got you covered.
Here are six thirst-quenching summer beverage recipes for fruit- and herb-infused water, sangria, coffee and more that will keep you cool and healthy all season long.
That’s right: These drinks are not only tasty. They are also loaded with skin-protective antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene that may just help boost your SPF, too. Talk about a sweet sip!
The recipes are listed in order of increasing difficulty or time needed.
Lemon blackberry mint-infused water
4 servings (8 ounces each)
2 lemons, sliced
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Fill a large pitcher with 32 ounces water. Add lemon slices, blackberries and a few mint leaves. Refrigerate overnight.
Pour into glasses and using the back of the fork or a muddler, squeeze some of the juice from lemon slices and crush blackberries slightly. You can also lightly chop the mint before adding it to the glass to release more of its flavor, or crush with a muddler in the glass.
Add ice before serving if desired.
Per serving (without eating fruit and mint after): 3.6 calories, 0 g protein, 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 0.4 g sugars, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 2 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 10 IU vitamin A, 3.9 mg vitamin C, 0 mg vitamin E, 0 mg iron, 0 mg zinc
Per serving (eating fruit and mint after): 29 calories, 1.2 g protein, 7.1 g carbohydrates, 3.4 g fiber, 2.4 g sugars, 0.4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 mg sodium, 41 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 546 IU vitamin A, 24.5 mg vitamin C, 0.5 mg vitamin E, 1.8 mg iron, 0.3 mg zinc
Grapefruit rosemary-infused sparkling water
4 servings (8 ounces each)
32 oz seltzer or sparkling water
2 small grapefruits, sliced
4 sprigs rosemary
Fill a large pitcher with seltzer. Add grapefruit slices and rosemary sprigs. Refrigerate overnight.
Pour into glasses and squeeze some of the juice from the grapefruit slices and crush the rosemary leaves slightly with your fingers to release some of their natural oils.
Add ice before serving if desired.
Per serving (without eating grapefruit after): 6.3 calories, 0 g protein, 1.4 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 1.4 g sugars, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 12.6 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 0 IU vitamin A, 4 mg vitamin C, 0 mg vitamin E, 0 mg iron, 0.2 mg zinc
Per serving (eating grapefruit after): 32 calories, 0.6 g protein, 8.1 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 7 g sugars, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 48 mg sodium, 23 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 927 IU vitamin A, 34, 4 mg vitamin C, 0 mg vitamin E, 0.1 mg iron, 0.3 mg zinc
If you want to create a kid-friendly sangria, simply substitute white grape juice in place of the rosé.
6 servings (about 5 ounces each)
1 750 milliliters bottle rosé wine (or 3 cups white grape juice for nonalcoholic version)
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
1 cup seltzer or sparkling water
Fill a large pitcher with rosé and combine with lemon slices, orange slices, strawberry slices and apple slices. Refrigerate overnight.
Add seltzer just before serving.
Per serving (alcoholic version): 142 calories, 1 g protein, 13.9 g carbohydrates, 2.1 g fiber, 11 g sugars, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 31 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 82 IU vitamin A, 31 mg vitamin C, 0.2 mg vitamin E, 0.5 mg iron, 0.3 mg zinc
Per serving (nonalcoholic version): 107 calories, 1.1 g protein, 28.1 g carbohydrates, 2.1 g fiber, 24.1 g sugars, 0.2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 17 mg sodium, 28 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 82 IU vitamin A, 67 mg vitamin C, 0.2 mg vitamin E, 0.2 mg iron, 0.1 mg zinc
Watermelon lime slushie
2 servings (about 6 ounces each)
2 cups watermelon, frozen
Juice and zest from 1 large lime, plus 2 lime slices and zest for garnish
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
To freeze watermelon, place seedless watermelon cubes on a baking sheet and place in freezer for a few hours or until firm. Blend together frozen watermelon, lime juice and zest, agave nectar and ½ cup water until smooth, adding more water if needed.
Top with lime slices and additional lime zest. Serve immediately (it will melt).
Per serving: 82 calories, 1 g protein, 21.6 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 17.9 g sugars, 0.3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 mg sodium, 15 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 877 IU vitamin A, 20.4 mg vitamin C, 0.1 mg vitamin E, 0.4 mg iron, 0.2 mg zinc
In summertime, enjoy a lighter iced mocha that combines antioxidant-rich cocoa, along with almond milk and a bit of maple syrup for sweetness.
In this recipe, you can create a “chocolate syrup” to drizzle around the glass that slowly swirls into the coffee as you drink it. For more indulgence, top the mocha with a dollop of whipped cream and some mini chocolate chips.
2 servings (about 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1 cup hot coffee
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or low-fat milk)
2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons whipped cream
2 teaspoons mini semisweet chocolate chips
To make the chocolate syrup, stir 1 tablespoon cocoa powder into hot coffee and let cool. Add almond milk and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and stir until combined.
Drizzle this chocolate syrup around the inside of the glasses. Fill glasses with ice and then pour in the coffee mixture. Top with whipped cream and mini chocolate chips.
Per serving: 108 calories, 2.1 g protein, 19.9 g carbohydrates, 2.2 g fiber, 14.4 g sugars, 3.8 g fat, 1.2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 92 mg sodium, 274 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 0 IU vitamin A, 0 mg vitamin C, 3.5 mg vitamin E, 2.7 mg iron, 0.5 mg zinc
Strawberry basil limeade
In this creative spin on classic lemonade, limes replace lemons and combine with strawberries, agave nectar and basil for a sweet and tangy pink-colored limeade.
8 servings (about 4 ounces each)
3⁄4 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped, plus more for garnish
1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 cup agave nectar or honey
1⁄2 cup fresh lime juice, plus 2 lime slices for garnish
In a small pot, combine strawberries, basil, agave and 1⁄2 cup water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook, crushing up the strawberries, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the mixture cool and then strain into a pitcher. Add 3 cups water, lime juice and ice.
Add strawberry slices, lime slices and fresh basil to the limeade as garnish.
Per serving: 68 calories, 0.2 g protein,18.4 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 16.9 g sugars, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 7 mg calcium, 0 g omega-3 fats, 79 IU vitamin A, 12.7 mg vitamin C, 0 mg vitamin E, 0.1 mg iron, 0 mg zinc
Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, an author and a CNN health and nutrition contributor.