Cooling summer drinks and easy DIY styling

Phew! The heat is killing me! I know, most of the year I am complaining about not living in a warmer climate zone without freezing cold winters  – and with temperatures that allow me to abandon my hot water bottle for ever. But the truth is: I can’t stand hot weather either, especially if it is so humid like these days.  And we’re talking about 30°C … some of you will probably laugh at me calling this hot! As airconditioning isn’t common around here, you have to find other ways to survive the temperatures and keep as cool as possible. If you don’t have to work, you’re amongst the (rare) lucky ones and you can spend your day at the lake or at the swimming pool. If not, you have to find other solutions.

Taking cold showers several times a day and closing all shutters in the apartment is one possibility. For the cooling-down from inside my freezer is packed with ice cream, ice cubes and frozen berries. Here are two of my favourite ice cold summer drinks:

Chilled green tea with lemon and mint – I love green tea at all times of the year (as you may know). This is my refreshing summer version with sour lemon and cooling mint essential oil.

Berry bitterno – The appeal of the berry bitterino lies … in the bitterness of bitterino, a herby italian nonalcoholic aperitiv which tastes very similar to Campari or Aperol. The most common bitterino is Sanbittèr from San Pellegrino. Add some frozen berries and it gives you this glamorous Sophia-Loren-feeling, sitting underneath an umbrella at the isle of Capri overviewing the sea and drinking your bitterino, very cool and very elegant of course.

For the real summer party feeling I did some DIY styling fo my drinks as well:

Of course, those beautiful vintage paper straws improve every drink on their own. But look at the little paper flower: doesn’t this give just an extra touch of summer?! I found the inspiration in the recent issue of Living at Home (p. 110). All you need to create these floral straws are some chocolate paper forms (two for each straw) and some washi tape. You can use the little papers as they are or cut a wave or zig-zag pattern into the edges. Cut a little cross right into the center of the two papers, draw straw through and fix with a strip of washi tape about 2 cm from the top end of the straw. Optionally adjust length of straws to the size of the drinking glass.

And if you’re getting slightly annoyed by little mugs swimming in your drink or bees surrounding your glass like a helicopter, you have to make those easy paper lids, that are a decorative eye catcher as well: Cut a cross into a cupcake liner. (Have a look at the lovely cupcake papers at Mein Cupcake.) Slip paper over drinking glass. Optionally fix with a string or rubber band. Carefully push straw through the opening in the paper lid. Ready and save from any kind of vermins!

Green tea with lemon and mint (2 drinking glasses at 200 ml)

ingredients and preparation
Cut two thin slices of 1 organic lemon, squeeze rest of the lemon. Cook 1/2 litre of green tea. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Chill down. Fill two drinking glasses with 2-3 ice cubes each. Add a thin slice of lemon and 2-3 leaves of mint (I always have some in the freezer) to each glass. Fill up with green tea.

Berry bitterino (2 drinking glasses at 200 ml)

ingredients and preparation
Fill drinking glasses with 2-3 ice cubes each. Add about a tablespoon of frozen berries (homemade or from the supermarket). Fill up with 1 bottle of bitterino each. Serve with straw and cocktail pick, if you like.

For the grown up version of this drink substitute 1 bitterino by the same amount of Aperol or Campari and fill glasses with the mix.

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