Beat the Heat: Cheap and Refreshing Summer Drinks


In the heat of summer, nothing tastes better than a cold summer drink -- not necessarily an alcoholic beverage, which will only dehydrate you more, but a simple, cold, refreshing brew. The summer drinks we have in mind are made with water, fruits, and herbs -- surprisingly tasty, very low cost, and guaranteed to slake your thirst throughout the hot months.

Flavored Water.

Flavored water (we're talking here about the homemade kind, with real ingredients) is all the rage this summer and for good reason: It's easy and cheap to make, it spices up plain old water, and it promotes hydration and well being. This summer drink also lacks all the artificial flavorings found in the store-bought variety.

Anyone can make flavored water. Use the fruits and herbs you have on hand and you can't go wrong. But if you're in need of inspiration, The Yummy Life serves up several summer drink recipes for you to try, including citrus, raspberry lime, pineapple mint, blackberry sage, and watermelon rosemary; our favorite is the watermelon rosemary. Simply add a sprig of rosemary to a two-quart pitcher. Mash it up a bit to release the flavor, add a half to a whole cup of watermelon cubes and mash them gently. Add some ice and water. Refrigerate for a few hours and enjoy the refreshing summer drink flavors.

Detox Drinks.

Detoxing is huge right now, but what people fail to realize is that water -- a lot of water -- is, on its own, an excellent way to detox (by flushing your system). If plain water gets a little too boring, Pinterest is loaded with DIY detox summer drink recipes. Here are two:

  • Sassy Water: Combine two lemons (sliced), half a cucumber (sliced), and a handful of mint leaves. Add to a container filled with two to three quarts of water and seep overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Apple Cinnamon Water: Exactly what it sounds like -- apple slices from one or more apples and a cinnamon stick or two, plus water. Play around with the proportions to get the taste you like best. Let the mix sit overnight and then sip away.

Tea and Lemonade.

Nothing screams summer more than a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea. No need for premade store mixes for these easy summer drink concoctions, either. Craving Comfort swears by this easy and cheap recipe for sweet southern tea: Add one-quarter teaspoon baking soda and five to eight family-size teabags to a gallon-size pitcher. Pour one quart of boiling water over the mixture. Seep for fifteen minutes. Remove the teabags and add one-and-a-half to two cups of sugar (depends how sweet you want it) and three quarts cold water. Chill in the refrigerator and drink up.

Our 'Beat The Heat' Coverage
• Cheap Air Conditioners Buying Guide
• Best Cheap Pool Reviews
• Too Hot to Cook? Try These Cheap Summer Recipes
• Cheap and Refreshing Summer Drinks
• Beat the Heat and Keep the Paycheck

For a new twist on lemonade, try strawberry lemon herbal tea slushie by The NY Melrose Family. Make a six-ounce cup of decaffeinated Sleepytime Herbal Tea and let cool to room temperature. Place the tea, one cup of ice, half a cup of strawberries (fresh or frozen), and one tablespoon lemon juice in a blender. Blend into a slushie and chill out.

If you're heading to a summer cookout or a Fourth of July shindig, whip up one or a few of these summer drinks to take with you and share with friends. They're sure to be a huge hit.