While the world of fashion is already putting layers upon layers of sweaters, chambray shirts and flannel on storefront mannequins, I'm still firmly planted in the sweltering heat of New York City's summer. When the heat gets really bad, and everyone is sweating and rubbing up against me on the subway, there are few things that can help. One is a cold shower to wash off all the random people germs from said subway ride, another is an icy drink in my hand.
When someone says icy drink in the summertime, my first thoughts are usually of the margarita, mojito or piña colada variety, because tiki drinks and summertime heat go together like Yonce and chart topping hits. However, sometimes when you want something icy and refreshing you've got a pile of work to get through by 5 PM, and a piña just isn't conducive to focusing on making sure your article is in AP style. That's when you've got to break out the teetotaling drink recipes.
If I'm in a rush, a few slices of citrus and some ice cold water will do, but if I've got a little more time on my hands, and some forecast foresight that the week will be a scorcher, I get a little fancy with my agua.
I first came up with the idea for this spritzer because I was trying to combine all the ingredients I could think of that would take me from hellaciously hot to cool as a cucumber. So, obviously, cucumber is involved. Juicy honeydew melon brings a cool sweetness, and a little mint and some bubbles take the beverage to super refreshing levels of awesomeness. While it may seem more involved than pulling some ice out of the freezer and pouring yourself a glass of water, this spritzer is easy enough to blend in the morning, and have a few glasses throughout the day. It also travels well if you want to take it with you to the office in a thermos. Just make sure to keep the La Coix or sparkling water in it's can until you're just ready to drink - then top off your green juice with it. Everyone at the water cooler will be très jaloux of you and your fancy pants drink. It's also a tasty alternative for anyone not imbibing at your backyard BBQ this weekend.
If you can't possibly fathom the idea of a spritzer without some level of proof to it, add a little gin. I prefer Hendrick's because of it's cucumber notes.
Honeydew Melon, Cucumber and Mint Spritzer
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 5 minutes Serves: 8
1 honeydew melon, diced
1/2 of 1 English cucumber, diced Use the other half for garnish.
1 cup of mint
1 lime, juiced
2 cans of club soda or sparkling water I prefer La Coix sparkling waters for their crisp bubbles that make this drink refreshingly zingy. Regular, "Pure," flavor and lime work particularly well in this recipe.
Lots and lots of ice
- Puree the melon, lime juice, cucumber and mint in a blender on high, until it blends into a smooth liquid. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a pitcher.
- Add the cans of sparking water or club soda to the pitcher.
- Fill high ball glass with ice and slowly pour the spritzer over the ice. Garnish with a slice of lime and a few melon balls if you're feeling fancy. Then plop yourself in front of an air conditioner and get ready to cool down.
It's also fun to freeze a few melon balls and use those as ice cubes so your drink doesn't get watered down in the heat.
Sans alcohol, this drink recipe is relatively inexpensive. You get the look and taste of a fancy drink for about $1.30 per serving, after you purchase all the ingredients. What a good reason to stay home - off of those sweaty subway trains - and toast to being super cool and economical.