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Making Low-calorie, Refreshing Citrus Coolers

Updated on June 25, 2019
Marie Flint profile image

Marie has been vegan for over five years and enjoys experimenting with traditional recipes.

A tasty, fresh citrus drink tastes delightful, quenches the thirst, and helps keep a healthy electrolyte balance. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, tangerines, tangelos, and pummelos are citrus fruits, but oranges and lemons are used in making the Summer Citrus Cooler recipe.

Citrus Cooler
Citrus Cooler

Summer Citrus Cooler: A Quick Beverage Recipe

Cooling, refreshing, and low-calorie, this drink provides quick energy upon arising in the morning or for mid-afternoon blood-sugar drops and is a perfect cooler for those hot summer days. Fresh, hand-squeezed oranges, lemons, and a fruit-based herbal tea are the ingredients,or you can use an electric juicer. This recipe makes about four, 8-ounce servings.

5 stars for citrus cooler


  • 4 Navel oranges, large, seeded and juiced
  • 1 lemon, medium, seeded and juiced
  • 3 3/4 cups water, pure or filtered, room temperature
  • 2 T stevia, powdered form
  • 2 bags fruit-flavored herbal tea


  1. Using a hand or electric juicer, juice the Navel oranges and lemon. Seeds may be removed either prior to or after juicing. A paring knife works well prior to juicing; otherwise, a small spoon works well if a medium-holed strainer is unavailable after juicing. Manually taking out seeds with the spoon also allows more pulp to remain in the juice.
  2. Steep the tea in the water at least 8 minutes.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a small pitcher.
  4. Drink at room temperature or refrigerate, as desired.

The Summer Citrus Cooler is just one recipe for making a refreshing citrus cooler. Try different blends of sweet and tangy citrus fruits mixed with your favorite sweetener and a berry herbal tea blend. You can use the proportions from this recipe. Be creative and enjoy!

Herbal Tea Varieties

Several companies provide fruit-flavored, herbal teas that work well for this recipe. Teavana makes Berry Kiwi Colada and Pomegranate Cranberry Crush. Celestial Seasonings has Cranberry Apple Zinger and Raspberry Zinger. Herbal Sage carries Family Health Tea with Elderberry and Ginger Hibiscus Organic Tea. Wild Raspberry Hibiscus Herbal Tea by Stash compliments the citrus juices. Any tart-flavored berry combined with a mild, sweet spice like ginger or cinnamon as part of the herbal tea blend suits this Summer Cooler recipe.

Orange Varieties

Oranges around the world come in over 600 varieties. The California Navel, which also grows in Florida, and Valencia are the most common in American grocery markets. The Hamilton Orange, native to Florida, may be dark yellow to light orange in color, is seedless and good for juicing. Valencias originated in Valencia, Spain, with possibly an earlier origination in China. Lesser known varieties include the Blood Orange from Italy and the Cleopatra Mandarin of India.

Lemon Varieties

There are over 24 varieties of lemons, some of which are Avon, Baboon, Bearss, Berna, Cameron Highlands, Eureka, Escondido, Femminello, Genoa, Interdonato, Lamas, Lapithkiotiki, Lemonade, Lisbon, Meyer, Nepali Oblong, Otaheite, Perrine, Pink Lemonade, Ponderosa, Primofiori, Sweet Lemon, Villafranca. and Volkamer.

The Nutrients of Oranges and Lemons

Nutrient (per 100 g)
Vit. A
225 IU
22 IU
Vit. C
53 mg
53 mg
9.4 g
2.9 g
40 mg
26 mg
181 mg
138 mg
30 mcg
11 mcg

A Demonstration With One Type of Manual Juicer

Stevia, a Non-caloric Herbal Sweetener

Stevia is a plant most commonly found in South America. The plant's leaves contain 30-45 times the sweetness of ordinary table sugar.The compounds in the stevia leaf that account for the plant's sweetness resist heat, are pH stable, and do not ferment.

Stevia has been researched since the 1970s when the scare of carcinogens were associated with cyclamate and saccharin. In Japan, stevia makes up about 40% of the sweeteners consumed. Today China is the greatest exporter of one of stevia's sweetening compounds, stevioside (a combination of glucose and steviol). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves stevia as a dietary supplement but not as a "food additive," due to questionable effects on kidneys, heart, and reproduction in spite of the fact the Japanese have continued to use it without any known side effects. One minor "side effect" is that heavy consumption can leave a bitter taste in the mouth from the aglycones, nonsweetening ingredients that are found with glucose. The FDA does approve the less refined version of sterioside, rebiana.

The Stevia Plant
The Stevia Plant | Source

Credits and Resources (Information on Orange Varieties) (Lemonpedia) (Jessica Brusso on Lemon-Orange Nutrients)

© 2012 Marie Flint


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    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      2 years ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      Since writing this hub article, I have discovered Monk's Fruit, another non-caloric sweetener that can be found in specialty markets and some major groceries. It is often mixed with dextrose for ease in pouring. The stevia could be substituted by the Monk's Fruit in this citrus drink recipe.

    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      3 years ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      Monk fruit can be substituted for stevia. Monk fruit is equally sweet, has no calories and no known unhealthy effects.

    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      5 years ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      With summer returning in the northern hemisphere, these citrus coolers will be especially useful! ***

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 

      6 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Will be trying the Summer/Citrus cooler a.s.a.p-it looks delicious! Thanks for a well written and useful hub.

    • jericho911 profile image

      Kenneth Claude 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      Cool ideas ! My favorite fruits are oranges and lemons so this is right up my area of interest !

    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      7 years ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      You're very welcome! And, for those concerned with acid affecting dental enamel erosion, remember the tea dilutes the citric acid--also you can rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after indulging in citrus drinks.

    • peachpurple profile image


      7 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wonderful beverage recipe. I love fresh fuit juice, very nutritious, low in sugar and high in vitamin C and etc. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marie Flint profile imageAUTHOR

      Marie Flint 

      7 years ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      I drink a lot of herbal tea. Sometimes oranges aren't being eaten in a timely manner, and not everyone can handle citrus acid. So, I combined the juice from the oranges and lemon with a little extra water and herbal tea. The oranges should be sweet, and, while Raspberry Zinger by Celestial Seasonings is my choice for use in this recipe, any fruit-flavored herbal tea will work nicely--especially the berry varieties. Enjoy!


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