Three pious summer drinks to cap off the 4th of July holiday week (and beyond).
Photos by Leah Lizarondo
Virgin is not a pejorative term. I’m talking about food and drink here, people. Now “mocktail” – don’t even get me started. No one ever says, “I think I’m going to have a mocktail.” If I’m wrong, I don’t need to know who says it. I’ll trust you and the, um, interesting circle of friends you run with.
This doesn’t mean that I love saying, “I’d like a virgin margarita, please.” That sounds so wrong. Illegal, almost. I think we should just go ahead and call a margarita without tequila by a completely different name. I mean, the Geena Davis movie without Susan Sarandon isn’t called Simply Thelma, it’s called Stuart Little. See what I’m saying? That’s because Geena without Susan is a completely different experience. Or we can just be completely honest and say, “I’d like a margarita please. Just the mix, not the tequila. That’s right!” If you’re going for the virgin version, tell it like it is. Say it loud. Be proud. Stand straight(edge).
I kid. However, I do think that your repertoire should include a few drinks that can stand on their own without alcoholic embellishment. Someone needs to look after the designated drivers, expectant mothers and the unfortunate have-to-work-the-next-day souls. But seriously, these three summer mocktails are unapologetically non-alcoholic, yet they’ll make you so giddily refreshed that you’ll swear there’s something else in it. (Hint: it might be mint.)
Three Must-Taste Summer Drinks
Bonus: Two of these recipes use what you might otherwise throw out – cucumber seeds and pineapple cores!
Cucumber Lemon Mint Cooler
Seeds from two cucumbers*
Juice of 2 lemons
8 oz. water
1 cup ice
4-5 mint leaves
Dab of maple syrup or agave (optional, I like it tart!)
Blend in a blender.
*Don’t know what to do come up with just seeds? Make this quick pickle.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
2 cups cubed watermelon, cold
10 mint leaves
1 cup ice
1 tsp maple syrup or agave (optional, only if watermelon is not sweet enough!)
Blend until completely liquefied.