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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Long, cool drinks are a summer delight

Creamy smoothies, ice-cold fruit punch, milkshakes and iceshakes are the perfect refreshment for hot summer days. It takes just a few ingredients – fruit, juice, milk and yoghurt – and the help of a hand blender, to make your own delicious long drinks. Try a Greek iced coffee, a Café Frappé. Simply foam up cold coffee (either real or powdered), add ice cubes and iced water and add milk, sugar or a scoop of vanilla icecream to suit your taste. Serve with a straw and a long spoon.

Or what about a melon smoothie? Puree cubes of melon with mint leaves and freshly-squeezed orange juice to a foamy mix and serve over ice cubes. Have a milkshake instead of a mid-afternoon coffee and cake. Simply foam up milk with seasonal soft fruit like raspberries or strawberries with ice-cold milk and vanilla yoghurt. Or substitute buttermilk for a lighter and creamier shake.

Make your own – and you know
what you’re drinking

The big advantage of making your own lemonade is that you control the ingredients and especially the amount of sugar. To make a sweet-sour lemonade concentrate, dissolve a little sugar in boiling water, let it cool down then add freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice. Dilute to taste with cold mineral water and serve with ice and slices of lemon. It will keep for several days in the fridge. Oranges, melons and strawberries also make excellent lemonade. Iced tea is another classic summer drink. Simply brew ordinary black or green tea for three minutes and pour it immediately over ice cubes. This shock cooling stops too many bitter-tasting compounds forming. Cool the tea thoroughly in the fridge for a couple of hours and serve with sugar, lemon juice and ice cubes to taste.

Fruit punch for summer parties

A strawberry punch is the perfect centrepiece for a garden party. Mix the fresh fruit – hulled and cut into pieces with cold white wine, prosecco and possibly a little sugar to taste. Serve over ice. It’s best to make the fruit punch just before serving, because the strawberries loose their aroma after a while and become soggy. Children can be offered a multivitamin cocktail with pureed banana, orange juice and peach juice, decorated with a cocktail stick on which you’ve impaled chunks of peach and lemon balm leaves. 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de