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Recipes: Fast and Simple Cool Drinks

Updated on August 21, 2011
Iced Tea
Iced Tea

No bought juice of soft drink can match the summer charm of something long, cool and homemade from simple, fresh ingredients.

All of these cooling drinks are fast to make and can be waiting in the refrigerator ready to be served at a moment's notice!

This Hub includes the following recipes:

  • Sparkling Cinnamon Pear Cooler
  • Iced Tea
  • Old-Fashioned Lemonade
  • Balsamic Berry Quencher
  • Lemon Barley Water
  • Orange Rhubarb Fizz
  • Ginger Beer
  • Passionfruit Cooler

Choose your favorite or try them all! Now on to the recipes....

Sparkling Cinnamon Pear Cooler

You will need:

  • 1½ pound (750 g) ripe pears, cored and chopped
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crumbled


Combine all ingredients with 4 pints (2 litres) water in a large bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover loosely and stand at room temperature for 48 hours. Strain through a sieve lined with muslin and pour into sterilized clip-top jars. Seal and set aside for 2 weeks. Chill well and open bottles with care.

Tea made with boiling water tends to cloud when chilled, as pigments and other components that were extracted by the heat come out of solution. For crystal-clear iced tea, use cooler water so that these components are not dissolved in the first place. Infusion will be slower, so leaves must be steeped for longer.

Iced Tea

You will need:

  • 2 tablespoons Orange Pekoe or Darjeeling tea leaves
  • 10 mint sprigs, optional
  • Strained lemon juice, to taste
  • Sugar or honey, optional, to taste
  • Lemon slices, to decorate
  • Mint sprigs, extra, to decorate


Combine tea and mint sprigs, if using, with 6 cups lukewarm water in a large jug. Cover and stand at room temperature for 3-4 hours. Strain. Add lemon juice and sugar or honey to taste, if desired. Serve in long glasses over ice cubes and decorate with lemon slices and extra mint sprigs. Makes about 3 pints (1.5 litres).

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

You will need:

  • 6 large lemons
  • 12/3 sugar
  • Sparkling or still mineral water, to serve
  • Lemon slices, extra, and lemon rind strips, to decorate


Finely grate rind of 3 lemons. Squeeze juice from all the lemons, strain and set aside. Combine lemon rind and sugar with 11/4 cups water in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain through a sieve lined with muslin. Stir in lemon juice. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to a week. To serve, pour syrup over ice and mineral water. Decorate, with lemon slices and lemon rind strips, if desired. Makes about 3 cups of syrup.

Balsamic Berry Quencher

You will need:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1¼ pound (600 g) mixed berries (such as raspberries, hulled strawberries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • 2½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • Soda water, to serve
  • Mixed berries, extra, to decorate
  • Strawberry flowers, optional, to decorate


Combine sugar and cinnamon sticks with 1 cup water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add berries and simmer for 5 minutes, or until berries are soft. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Remove cinnamon sticks and mash berries. Spoon into a sieve lined with muslin and set aside to drain for 3-4 hours. Press remaining pulp with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible. Stir in vinegar. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve syrup over ice and top with soda water. Decorate with extra berries and strawberry flowers, if desired. Makes about 1½ cups of syrup.

Lemon Barley Water

You will need:

  • 4 ounces (125 g) pearl barley
  • Julienned rind of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
  • Sugar, to taste


Place barley in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and discard water. Combine barley with lemon rind and 4 pints (2 litres) boiling water in a jug. Cover with plastic wrap and cool. Strain, add lemon juice and sugar to taste to the liquid and serve well chilled.

Orange Rhubarb Fizz

You will need:

  • 2 bunches rhubarb, trimmed and chopped
  • 1½ cups raw sugar
  • 1 cup strained fresh orange juice
  • Soda water, to serve
  • Orange slices (optional), to decorate


Combine rhubarb with sugar and 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until soft and pulpy. Cool. Process in a food processor until smooth and stir in orange juice. Spoon into a large plastic colander lined with muslin and place over a bowl. Set aside to drain overnight in the refrigerator. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Pour syrup over ice cubes in glasses and top with soda water. Decorate with orange slices, if desired. Makes about 3 cups of syrup.

Ginger Beer

You will need:

  • 3½ teaspoons sugar
  • 3½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 1 sachet dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


For the plant, combine yeast, ginger and sugar with 2/3 cup lukewarm water in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine. Cover loosely with lid but do not seal. Place in a warm draught-free place. Each day for the next 7 days mix in ½ teaspoon each of sugar and ground ginger, using the handle of a wooden spoon to stir. Strain through a plastic sieve lined with muslin. Add sugar, lemon juice and 3 pints (1.5 litres) cold water. Top with 1 cup of very hot, but not boiling water and mix well with a wooden spoon. Pour into clip-top bottles, seal and leave undisturbed in a cool dark place for at least 3 weeks. Chill well and open bottles with care. Makes about 4 pints (2 litres).

Passionfruit Cooler

You will need:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon Epsom salts
  • Pulp of 12 passionfruit (about 1 cup)
  • Still or sparkling mineral water, to serve


Combine sugar, citric acid and Epsom salts in a large bowl with 2 pints (1 litre) boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. Stir in passionfruit pulp. Pour into sterilized bottles, seal and store for up to 3 months in a cool dark place. To serve, pour syrup over ice and top with mineral water. Makes about 3 pints (1.5 litres) of syrup.


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    • Dink96 profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Some of these sound quite interesting, especially the orange rhubarb fizz. Thanks for the recipes...I'm going to try a couple of these.

    • Lgali profile image


      9 years ago

      very nice hub for summer times

    • marisuewrites profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      These all sound so good, great for hot weather!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      What's summer without lemonade!! I also like the sound of the cinnamon pear cooler...thanks for the ideas!


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