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Of course there are the everyday homemade Lemonade and Limeade. which are always great, nice pitcher of iced tea, with a lemon wedge on the glass and fresh Mint Tea.

In the 1960’s when few had air conditioning (believe me it was HOT) as I remember a time when we did not even have a box fan, you just got used to sleeping on the cool concrete porch at night, or sleeping in the basement, where it was nice and cool, otherwise when you got out of bed at night the crisp line dried white sheets would peel off your back in the middle of the night. Thank goodness today for air conditioning.

I was sitting here this afternoon thinking of the pitchers of Pineapple Juice and Ginger Ale, how refreshing that was on a hot day. Back then the carbonated drinks had much more carbonation in than they do today (remember the days when Coke would come out of your nose if you drank it to quickly) that never happens today! Nonetheless, pineapple juice and ginger ale is still cool and refreshing!

It is also very easy to make strawberry and raspberry lemonade, just by adding the juice of sugared strawberries or raspberries to your lemonade. So many easy ways to make refreshing beverages.

PINEAPPLE JUICE & GINGER ALE

1 can Pineapple Juice (unsweetened)

1  16 – 20 ounce bottle Ginger Ale

Combine and stir!

How much easier can this be!

 

FRESH MINT TEA

(If you are lucky enough to have fresh spearmint growing along the house, in the garden or down by the creek, go out and pick a handful of the top leaves, many people inexperienced in picking fresh mint, thinks they have to take the entire stalk, by pinching out the top leaves this allows the new growth to sprout out up and down the stalk and branch out.)

One or two nice hands full of fresh mint

(wash under running cool water) place in a 4 cup measuring cup or larger bowl.

Bring water to the boil and pour over the mint to fill the cup or bowl. allow to steep for several minutes, strength depends on personal taste. Strain out mint leaves while pouring into a tall pitcher or bottle, add sugar to taste and fill pitcher with water, stir and chill.

Mint can also be added to regular black teas to flavor, anything from a couple pinches of fresh leaves to a handful.

ICED TEA

I will add here that yes I am a tea snob, ever since about 20 years ago when a friend bought me a box of Yorkshire Gold Tea by Taylors of Harrogate (simply the best teas in the world, and as you may have already guessed yes it is British)

I love Yorkshire Gold Tea Hot, by the cup, pot, or iced, it is simply the best tea around, never bitter or acrid, never that tea film in your cup either, that is the end of my shameless advertisement for Yorkshire Gold Tea!

We have made everything from sun tea over the years to steeped in a pot, to putting loose or bagged tea in a gallon jar and pouring  several cups of hot water over and letting set over night. Everyone seems to have their own special way of brewing the perfect jug of tea.

 

FRESH LEMON OR LIMEADE

Years ago in a cookbook I found a way to extract more of the oils and juice from the lemons/limes to make the drinks, this was to slice the lemons/limes thin, cover with the sugar you would use in the drinks and allow to stand and draw at room temperature over night, this also will help draw the oils from the zest covering the rinds. Next morning add water and stir.

 

Ginger Syrup & Homemade Crystallized Ginger

Click o the above link to be taken to this refreshing recipe. Several things can be made from this recipe, first you get homemade crystallized ginger to eat, cook and back with, and also the ginger syrup from which you can make homemade ginger ale.

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