Cool Summer Sips

It’s HOT out there! It’s so hot the birds have to use potholders to pull the worms out of the ground! Ha!

Need to cool off? Here are some favorite cold drinks in the area to help you cool off in a most delicious way. Some are new, some are old favorites, and all have been taste-tested by friends and family…

When I asked my friend John if he had a favorite, refreshing drink for the summer he didn’t hesitate a moment. “The new frosted lemonade drink at Burger King,” he announced. This drink features Fanta Lemonade blended with vanilla soft serve ice cream. “It’s like a creamy slushie. It really hits the spot!” he said.

Newlyweds Jennifer and Evan like to toast to their new marriage at Chachi’s with a Frozen Sangria Margarita. They also have their favorites for a quick cool off…Evan likes the generous amounts of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in a Sonic Blast. “But of course, he has to add more to make it even more peanut buttery,” laughs Jennifer. “I like the Iced Coffee with Hazelnut Syrup at Javaman Coffee. It’s a great way for a cold pick-me-up. The syrup is the right amount of sweetness that is balanced with the almond milk I like to add to make it a creamy, tasty beverage.”

Over the years Starbucks has become so colorful with a rainbow of delicious flavors. The Pink Drink and the Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade have been favorites. But it is the iced coffee drinks that bring in the summer crowds. This year Starbucks has tripled the flavor in one of their most popular coffee drinks. The Triple Mocha Frappuccino has layers of whipped cream that’s infused with cold brew, white chocolate mocha and dark caramel. On each layer of whipped cream is a dollop of rich dark mocha sauce. “It’s to die for,” said Cara. “It’s like super-charged mocha!” Little too charged for your taste? My son, Jeff, and his girlfriend Hannah keep it real simple at Starbucks. “The Iced Doubleshot is really yummy, said Hannah. It’s an icy, frothy, bold espresso drink with just a hint of sweetness.

My husband Jim is a card carrying Dairy Queen Blizzard fan club member. His favorites are the Reese’s and Heath bar flavors. On his way back from his annual Canadian fishing trip he just had to stop and get a Heath Bar Blizzard. “It’s smooth, creamy, crunchy and you know it’s thick when they serve it upside down,” he said.

I’ve been told Chick-Fil-A has the best milkshakes. This summer they brought back the ever-popular Peach Milkshake. Randi was too excited. “The peach milkshake is the best! It tastes like you just picked the peaches off the tree, chopped them up and mixed them with ice cream,” she said.

Taco Bell has a new drink for candy lovers-the Skittles Strawberry Freeze. “It tastes like frozen candy in a cup,” said Jeff. Julie swears by the Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze at Taco Bell. “It’s really cold, sweet but also has that limey taste. Then there’s the coconut taste that adds a whole new dimension,” she said. During “Happier Hour” 2-5 pm you can get 16 ounces of these frozen delights for $1.

Wendy’s has a couple of good choices if you are just looking for a quick refresher, easy on the straw, nothing frozen or whipped. Their Fruitea Chillers come in two flavors: Orange Mango and Blueberry Pineapple. Lisa is a big fan of the Orange Mango. “You really get a blast of orange in here and the mango jumps at you in the end. I love what they did to my favorite green tea.” she said. Lisa would be surprised to know that in addition to the orange juice, mango puree and organic Honest Tropical Green Tea, there is a splash of carrot juice in there.

I have always liked Sonic’s Crème Slushes, strawberry or orange. It reminds me of the creamsicles I so loved “back in the day.” The biggest Sonic fan I know is my friend Tamara. Every time you see her, she has a cup of their unsweetened tea. Talk about simple and refreshing. She gets two super-sized cups every day and carries a cup wherever she goes…winter, spring summer and fall!

There are plenty of cool drinks featuring various spirits that can keep you cool and smiling this summer. A Moscow Mule (ginger beer, vodka and lime juice) is a local favorite as well as a variety of flavored daiquiris and spiked fruit punches.

My friends Penny and Jerry spent quite a lot of time in South America and find the best way to cool down here in the USA is by replicating their two favorite chilled drinks: a Peruvian Pisco Sour, and a Brazilian Caipirinha, featuring a sugarcane liquor called cachaça. Jerry knows how to mix up a mean batch of both (we’ve enjoyed more than a few together), but it’s only for lucky friends and family so you will have to wait till Chimichurri’s reopens in Kingwood to experience these exotic drinks from the south.

Of course, for many, the best cool down is an ice-cold beer.

For me, I prefer a crisp glass of Viognier, from the Pride Family Vineyards in Napa…preferably poolside.

Here’s to staying cool… In the most delicious way!

Cheers!

**Some of these drinks are only available through the summer so you better grab them while you can.