A lot of summer’s happiest moments take place around the grill. But sometimes, the heat can be overpowering, especially when grilling during the day. Don’t allow yourself to get dehydrated while you’re cooking outdoors! Beat the heat in style with these cool drinks for hot summer days:
1. Sweet Young Coconut
Yes, this one’s obvious—obviously delicious. Sweet Young Coconuts are like nature’s Gatorade, but they’re so much tastier and better for you. The water is sweet and refreshing. It’s like a dive off the high board—for your taste buds. Crack open a coconut when the midday sun is at its highest to stave off dehydration.
2. Dragon Fruit Lemonade
Dragon Fruit has got to be the coolest looking of all the fruits, not least because of its hot pink skin. But with this drink, it’s what’s inside that counts—and that’s the shiny white flesh with tons of crunchy, edible seeds. Blended with your favorite Our Family lemonade and mint, this is one cool drink. This mocktail is sweet and mild. Serve it anytime!
3. Coconut Cactus Pear Cooler
Cactus pears are covered in spiky invisible little hairs, so if you’re intimated, you’re not alone. But the risk is worth the reward: a magical strawberry-watermelon-kissed-by-roses flavor, and an incredible brilliant pink color. Face your fears! Start by covering your cutting board in tin foil. Put on disposable gloves. Hold the fruit by the stem and flower ends, which don’t have any prickles. Cut the cactus pear in half lengthwise, and either scoop out the flesh with a spoon or just peel back the skin. Either way is surprisingly easy—I mean easier than peeling a tangerine. When you’re done, just pull the tin foil off the cutting board and throw everything away at once. See? Easy. This drink is so simple and so delicious—it’s really a crowd pleaser. And the adults might like to add a little rum!
4. Passion Fruit Cooler
Passion Fruit has a flavor like nothing else: it’s sweet, tart and floral. Its marigold-yellow pulp is studded with crunchy, edible black seeds that will wake up your taste buds. And it tastes unbelievable with dairy. For breakfast, I often enjoy passion fruit scooped out on top of plain yogurt, and sometimes I’ll have it over vanilla ice cream for dessert. That’s why this slightly unusual recipe for Sandra Beltre’s Passion Fruit Cooler caught my eye: it’s just water, milk, passion fruit, and a little sugar in the blender—basically, a low-guilt milkshake. Sandra’s husband, Texas Rangers 3rd Baseman Adrian Beltre, loves this drink. Last year, he joined baseball’s exclusive 3000 Hit Club. If this cooler’s good enough for Adrian and his family, it’s good enough for me!
5. Iced Green Tea Dazzler with Orange and Ginger
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans go by the wayside. We forget to write a complete grocery list, or can’t find something at the store. Or maybe a bunch of people show up and you realize you don’t have the right thing to serve company. Cue the Iced Green Tea Dazzler. What’s dazzling about it, I think, is how easy it is. Chances are, you already have everything you need in your pantry. If you don’t, improvise. You could sub chamomile or black tea for the green, and lemons for the oranges. Just taste as you go along. Don’t skip the ginger, though: nothing can replace that zing. I always have ginger at home, and store it with my garlic and onions. When I buy it, I don’t know if I’ll use it in a stir-fry, cookies, or tea for a tummy ache—but I do know I’ll use it.
You can find the fruits for these delicious drinks and more Melissa’s items in the produce section at your local Forest Hills.
Elizabeth Weinstein lives, writes and eats in Los Angeles, where she has spent five years as a member of Melissa’s Produce’s marketing team. She is passionate about teaching Americans how to live tastier, more flavorful lives.