Archive for the 'Summer drinks' Category


Vitamin A Odyssey Apricot Peach Smoothie

It’s summer, it’s hot and humid and we need something to help us cool down. Nothing better than a smoothie, especially if it is also healthy, filled with vitamins and antioxidants. We scour the net and cookbooks of all kinds to bring you the most delicious recipes, like this one from Ellen Brown and Karen Konopelski‘s Super Smoothies – 100 Recipes to Supercharge Your Immune System, on pages 140 and 141:

Vitamin A Odyssey Apricot Peach Smoothie

ApPeachSmThe bright orange color of apricots and peaches should serve as your clue that the are both good sources of of beta-carotene, which helps protect your cells from free radicals and lycopene, which may lower cholesterol and help prevent heart disease. these two fruits have complementary flavors as well as colors, as you will see when enjoying the frosty smoothie.

  • 1 cup chilled apricot nectar
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup unsulfured dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups peach slices, frozen
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 4 peach wedges for garnish


  1. Combine apricot nectar, tofu, and dried apricots in a blender or smoothie maker. Blend on high speed for 45 seconds or until mixture is pureed and smooth.
  2. Add peach slices and frozen yogurt, and blend on high speed until mixture is smooth.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with peach wedges, if desired.

Yield: Four 1-cup servings

Nutritional Analysys: Each 1-cup serving provides 180 calories; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 3 g protein; 43 g carbohydrate; 4 g dietary fiber; 2.5 mg cholesterol

Tip: Most commercial dried fruit has been sprayed with sulfur dioxide, a gas used for fumigation. the gas destroys much of the fruit’s natural B vitamins, so make sure the dried fruit you buy is marked unsulfured.

SUPERCHARGE NUTRIENTS                                      % DAILY VALUE

  • Vitamin A                                                             3628 IU (73%)
  • Vitamin B6                                                           0.1 mg (5%)
  • Vitamin C                                                             25.7 mg (43%)
  • Vitamin E                                                             0.5 mg (3%)
  • Magnesium                                                          27.4 mg (7%)
  • Manganese                                                          0.2 mg (4%)
  • Selenium                                                             2.7 mcg (4%)
  • Zinc                                                                     0.5 mg (3%)

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values
may be higher or lower depending on your caloric needs.

It tastes delicious, it is good for you and it’s truly refreshing. Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Sunset Sangria

We constantly scour the web, magazines, cookbooks – old and new -for delicious recipes we want to try out and share with you. We found the following recipe (by Pam Anderson) for a perfect drink on a gorgeous Memorial Day (or any summer day!) like today, in Better Homes and Gardens Annual Recipes 2008:

Photo by: Andy Lyon - Better Home and Gardens Annual Recipes 2008

Photo by: Andy LyonsBetter Home and Gardens Annual Recipes 2008 – Page 145

Sunset Sangria

Prep 25 minutes, Chill 2 hr.


  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped lime peel
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • Ice
  • 750 ml. bottle of Pinot Noir or Syrah, chilled
  • 1 nectarine, pitted and sliced


  1. In a 1-quart glass measuring cup combine lime peel, lime juice, and sugar; add water to equal 4 cups. Stir to dissolve sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  2. To serve, place ice in six 16 ounce glasses. Add 2/3 cups of lime juice mixture to each glass, slowly add 1/2 cup of wine. Thread nectarine slices on skewers and add to glasses.

Look for firm, fragrant grapefruit, golden yellow with blushes of red, that gives to light pressure, avoid hard or green nectarines. Let slightly unripe fruit ripen at room temperature for a couple of days. Refrigerate ripe fruit for up to 5 days.




Summer Drinks – Raspberry-Lime Rickey & Mediterranean Coolers

Summer’s a time when you can enjoy the most delicious fresh juices. In our quest to find the best combinations, that will bring out the fullest flavors, we found these two in At Home with the Culinary Institute of America:

Left to Right: Rasberry-Lime Rickey and Mediterranean Coolers.  Photo by: Ben Fink on page 244

Left to Right: Raspberry-Lime Rickey (page 247) and Mediterranean Coolers (page 245). Photo by: Ben Fink on page 244

Raspberry-Lime Rickey *

During berry season, you can make your own raspberry puree using fresh raspberries and adding sugar to taste. But this drink can be made year-round thanks to the unsweetened frozen raspberries available in the freezer section of most grocery stores and specialty markets.

Makes 6 servings

  • 3/4 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • ice cubes, as needed (optional)
  • 4 cups club soda or sparkling water
  • 6 lime wedges, for garnish
  1. Puree the raspberries in a blender until smooth. Strain to remove the seeds. Add the sugar to taste, if needed. Combine the raspberry puree and lime juice in a pitcher. Pour into 6 tall glasses, over ice if desired. Add the club soda and stir to mix well.
  2. Serve, garnished with lime wedges.


Mediterranean Coolers *

A variety of fruit juices and nectars are now commonly available in most grocery stores and gourmet markets in the juice and beverage aisle. If you decide to use them instead of making your own juices, check the label to see if there are added sugars.

Makes 6 servings 

  • 4 cups tangerine juice
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups club soda
  • ice cubes (optional)
  1. Combine the tangerine and pomegranate juice in a pitcher. Chill.
  2. When ready to serve, pour the juice into 6 tall glasses, add the club soda, and stir to combine. Serve over ice, if desired.


* Juicing Citrus

A citrus fruit at room temperature gives more juice than chilled fruit. Before cutting and juicing it, roll the fruit firmly beneath your palms to crush its pulp. Use a fitted reamer or a mechanical juicer to extract as much juice as possible.

These drinks not only tasted great but they were very refreshing, just I expected for summer.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Detox Kosher Style – Delicious Summer Berry Smoothies

[Today we present a new guest poster, Lisa Yeoman. After graduating in Food and Nutritional Sciences, she began working as a nutritionist before becoming a mother. Now she works from home as a freelance writer who covers topics as diverse as the latest in health research, green food production, family nutrition and health, living with conditions and health education. CS]

Mmmm, summertime! The perfect season for pool parties and sitting out in the radiant sun, as well as enjoying some terrific kosher food. The great thing about kosher food is that it can accommodate virtually everyone’s tastes, whether it is a tangy lemon egg soup or savory samosa. Not only incredibly delicious, kosher offers a large selection of meals which provide as much nutrition as they fulfill the palette, and today we are going to take a look at a great recipe which also boasts another massive health benefit and is an excellent way to cleanse the body and celebrate the hot summer months: the detox berry smoothie.

Kosher for Goodness & Health

Detox might be a slightly loaded word for a kosher meal, but one of the many benefits that the kosher culture has to offer is one which holds advantages for everyone. A kosher diet is one which strives for healthy living while also providing an essential opportunity for various communities to pull together and celebrate, and it is also enjoying the important role of reaching out and helping people in need too. With nutrition forming an important component not only in identifying part of a person’s well-being, this article highlights some of the ways in which food plays a vital role in recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. Implementing a well-rounded diet has become a crucial part of recovery programs from alcohol to food to opiate addiction recovery, and outreach programs in the Jewish community. The benefits of a kosher detox recipe involve ingredients which will replenish the body with the right amount of vitamins and minerals, all combined for a refreshing, delicious, and easy meal. It’s delicious and serves the greater good!

Smooth Operator

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by: Romuald Bokėj from Sweden

Photo from Wikimedia Commons, by: Romuald Bokėj from Sweden

Smoothies are one of the best selections for a relaxing, inexpensive snack containing high nutritional value beneficial to everyone – let’s face it, at one time or another everyone could do with a good detox regardless of diet. A fruit smoothie is ideal for its versatility – you can add, swap, and improvise to your heart’s content – and it’s very difficult to go wrong. Now is the best time of year to buy fruit in its prime, and preparation is minimal. It’s become a household staple for many, and taken off with a blast on the commercial cuisine circuit with several restaurants, bars, and cafes opening their menus up to the luscious drink as well as entire franchises operating in devotion to a multitude of flavors which covers a scale of diverse international influences.

Berry smoothies in particular are very adaptable – unlike most fruit, berries can be frozen and even used right from freezer to blender instead of using ice. For a delectable treat sure to please, here is your detox berry smoothie (approx. two servings):


  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • Half a medium-sized banana
  • Half a tablespoon ground flax seed
  • Half a cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 6-8 ounces orange juice


Put berries, banana, flax seed and yogurt into a blender, adding about 4 ounces of orange juice. Mix on a high setting while adding orange juice to reach a smooth consistency. When finished, add a few fresh berries and/or orange slices and serve.


For something a little more exotic, swap the cup of frozen berries for a cup of frozen pineapple, and add 4 ounces of orange juice and 4 ounces of light coconut milk using the same measurements for banana, flax seed, and Greek yogurt. Bananas and Greek yogurt can be replaced with a few green leaves as well. Double the ingredients for multiple servings and enjoy!

Seasoned Delight

This recipe is perfect for several occasions, whether it is for guests by the pool to cool off on a hot day or a healthy snack during winter, it is a great detox for the body without losing any flavor. No need to stop at the berry patch, though – as mentioned above, there are several other recipes to enjoy as well, perfect year-round. Mango, apple, grape, kiwi, even peanut butter make excellent treats which children and adults alike can appreciate and get the daily required fill of nutrients, and it can be savored at morning, noon, or night. In fact, according to the above source, smoothies are even better than multi-vitamins. Get your shake on today and create a snack bound to become a favorite!


Lisa Yeoman


Cucumber Cooler

Easy to make, refreshing and delicious to drink. From The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook:

Cucumber Cooler

Photo by: Paulette Tavormina, on Page 52

Photo by: Paulette Tavormina, on Page 52


The combination of cucumber, coriander, and sugar makes a simple syrup that tastes like a cross between vanilla and citrus. It makes a great base for our refreshing summer cooler: just add sparkling water and a little lime juice. This same simple syrup can also be used in summer cocktails.

Cucumber Simple Syrup (makes 2 cups – serves 8)

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 Kirby cucumbers (1/2 pound total), peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

Cucumber Cooler (for 1 drink)

  • 1/4 cup cucumber syrup
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 to 4 slices skin-on Kirby cucumber, for garnish

For the Syrup: In a small saucepan,bring the water, sugar, and coriander seeds to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumbers to the pan, cover, remove from heat, and let stand at room temperature until mixture is cool. Strain and discard the cucumbers and coriander. (Refrigerated, the syrup will keep for several weeks)

For the cooler: Pour the cucumber syrup into a tumbler and top it off with the sparkling water. Add the juice and stir to combine. Add the cucumber slices and serve while sparkling water is still sparkling.

Variation: For a super-intense cucumber flavor, you can take this one step further. Leave the cucumbers unpeeled. Cut them into chunksand puree them in a food processor. Add the puree to the sugar syrup, cover and let stand at room temperature until cool, then strain and store as directed.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy and stay cool this summer!



Vanilla Mint Julep

Summer’s is almost at the door, the weather’s just perfect for flavorful adult drinks. This one’s refreshing and delicious!

Vanilla Mint Julep

A delicious summer drink, a vanilla infused variation on the classic mint julep.


Serves 1


  • 1 ounce plain vodka
  • Dash of fresh lime juice
  • Dash of sugar syrup *
  • 3 mint sprigs
  • 1 cup cracked ice
  • 2 ounces Vanilla Bourbon **


  1. Combine the vodka, lime juice, and sugar syrup in a shaker.
  2. Add 2 of the mint sprigs and the cracked ice. Pour in the bourbon and stir, gently bruising the leaves.
  3. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the remaining mint sprig.


* Sugar Syrup


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar


  1. In a small saucepan add the water, then the sugar. Bring the water to a boil while stirring.
  2. Reduce the heat and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Select a clean container and using a funnel, pour the sugar syrup into the container, seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Usage Hints

The sugar syrup must be completely cooled before adding to the infusion, lest you burn off some of the alcohol and affect the flavor. I prefer to use bottled water rather than tap water.


** Vanilla Liqueur


  • 1-750 ml of vodka, or bourbon
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lenghtwise
  • 1/2 cup sugar syrup (optional)


  1. Decant the spirits into a clean 2 quart glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Add the split vanilla beans, including the seeds, to the spirits. Allow the spirits to infuse away from the direct sunlight and intense heat for 1 month. Shake the container a few times a week.
  3. When satisfied with the intensity of flavor, strain the liqueur through a coffee filter into a bowl. Discard the solids. Strain again if needed. Add the sugar syrup to taste, if desired.
  4. Using a funnel, pour the liqueur into the original bottle. Label with the name of the liqueur and the date. Age the liqueur for one month, away from light and heat.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!



Coffee Liqueur


Great Summer Drinks

I don’t know how it is for all my foodie friends out there, but come summer, I crave tall, cool icy quenching drinks – and healthy interesting salads.  Heavy food just doesn’t cut it! Summertime used to mean throwing Tahiti parties with my son in the back yard – good music, fun books on the lounge chairs, a kid’s wading pool, a sprinkler, water guns, fun drinks, a great salad, a relaxed head space and a handful of silly playfulness. I return each summer like a salmon swimming upstream against the passing of time to partake of tasty tumblers, full of those sweet reminiscences. My blender is my best friend in this heat.

Come April-May, I switch from hot to ice coffee, and often take a cupful of ice, equal portions of water and  low- fat-milk, two sweeteners, a teaspoon of my favorite coffee… blend it all and NIRVANA! There are some really cool sugar free, fat free, kosher syrups and creamers available out there now. Our favorite pick is DaVinci Gourmet® (Khof-K certification) which has dozens of sugar free flavors-all the standards plus exciting gourmet ones like Dulce de Leche, English Toffee, Irish Crème, KAHLUA® Flavored Sugar Free Syrup, Toasted Marshmallow and a host of fruity flavors as well.  A 750 mL bottle runs $7.99.  You can order directly from their site The possibilities are all tasty, endless and delightfully guilt free.  Of course they also have all the classic and natural flavored syrups flavors.  Oh, don’t miss their gourmet dessert syrups all at surprisingly affordable prices. A little goes a long way. I’m going to try the Chai tea, sugar free concentrate, I spotted on their web site.  Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found any cholov Yisroel low fat sugar free creamers, let us know if you find any on the kosher market scene.

For smoothies I like making my own these days. Sunflower Café on Kings Highway (Brooklyn), corner of13th Street, makes a really good smoothie – they call them fruit frappes; they offer flavors like melon, peach, strawberry, kiwi, apple, mango and banana, or you can ask for two flavors mixed (with milk or without).  They’re delicious, tall but pricey at $6 a glass. I like buying my own fresh fruit and blending up my own creative fresh combos. When day turns to night, throw in some rum, pineapple juice, a couple of tablespoons of coconut milk, some strawberries and voila! instant yumminess with that special chill factor.  One of the reasons I like making it at home is for the sure savings plus I know the approximate calories Ive put in.

Check out,,, or  Obviously you’ll have to make kosher substitutions where necessary.

Strawberry Banana Supreme Smoothie

It is worth trying to find strawberry nectar to make this smoothie hum. This is a very popular smoothie as it contains strawberry flavors and banana.


  • 1 cup strawberry nectar or apple juice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup strawberry yogurt


Pour all liquid ingredients into the blender. Add all frozen ingredients. Blend at MIX setting for 30 seconds then blend at SMOOTH setting until smooth. While the machine is running, move the stir stick around counter-clockwise to aid mixing. Serve immediately.


Each recipe serves 3-5.

Sugar-Free Orange Guilt Free-ze Milkshake



Combine the milk, syrup and two scoops sorbet, in a blender. Blend until thick and creamy and pour into a glass. Top with remaining frozen yogurt or ice cream.


one 16-ounce serving

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