10 Summer Patio Drinks for 2016

10 Summer Patio Drinks for 2016

Ah, summer! The warmth of the sun; the beauty of blooms; the sounds of song birds, the backyard barbecues; and the extraordinary patio drinks – all to be enjoyed over a few short months of summer. This article focuses on a few easy and tasty recipes that one will want to enjoy at their next patio get together.


Flavoured teas are rising in popularity. Today one can find teas in almost every garden flavour. Of course fruits and blooms are the first things that come to mind. But there are also other garden plants that make excellent teas such as mint, rosehip, sage, and even dandelion.


The blueberry is a fruit plant native in North America. Not only does it produce a wonderful, flavourful berry, the leaves make a fantastic tea. The blueberry is known for its antioxidants; even more so the leaves. The blueberry leaf is chock full of health benefits. See the table below for details.

Blueberry Leaf Benefits

Lowers blood sugar

Anti-inflammatory properties

Protects against neuropathy 

High in phenolic compounds to fight cancer

Lowers plasma triglycerides

Relieves inflammation caused by eczema

Improves memory

Protects the brain against mental illness

Lowers blood pressure

Strengthens eye capillaries; decreases eye strain

Supports urinary tract health

Fights hepatitis C

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.wildaboutberries.com

Now let us talk about making the tea. If one has access to blueberry plants, the leaves are best harvested in the fall after the berries have stopped producing. Pick healthy looking leaves that are about the size of one’s thumb. Put the leaves in paper bags to dry for several days. They may need to be spread on a rack until they turn crispy. This could take a week or more so check them regularly. Once the leaves are dried and crumbly they can be stored in air-tight containers and are ready for tea. Blueberry tea may also be purchased for those who do not have access to blueberry plants. Name brands such as Celestial Seasonings, Tea Forté and Tazo have blueberry leaf teas. The blueberry leaf makes a red tea.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.wildaboutberries.com

To make the tea, steep the blueberry leaves in hot water for about 3-5 minutes and cool. Pour into tall glasses over ice and sweeten to taste. There you have the perfect blueberry tea.

Another great blueberry tea comes from Rachel Ray. This focuses more on the flavour than the benefits. Make a black tea using 6 tea bags and cold water; let it steep overnight. Press 2/3 cup of blueberry preserves through a fine strainer to come up with a thick juice. Add the blueberry juice to the black tea. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Fill glasses with ice, pour and serve.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.rachelraymag.com


It is estimated there are as many as 18 different species of mint plants. These plants grow well in wet climates with moist soils. The mint leaves make a refreshing tea that is perfect for a hot summer day. Traditionally mint tea has been used to treat stomach ailments and even chest pains. Mint is also known as a stress reliever. Fortunately, the tea recipe is fast and easy. Throw a handful of fresh torn mint leaves into a tea pot. Cover with boiling water and let steep for 3-7 minutes depending on how strong one likes the tea. Honey is a great sweetener for this tea. Imagine a dewy summer morning, the sun just coming up. Enjoying one’s inviting patio or deck with a cup of mint tea is a great start to the morning. Mint tea can also be served cold. Try it over ice with a garnish of mint leaves and lemon.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.health.learninginfo.org/benefits-mint.htm


Approximately 83% of Americans drink coffee. The beloved drink has dramatically evolved over the last twenty years. Traditionally coffee was served hot and black, or with cream. Today’s coffees come in many different flavours, hot brewed, cold brewed, over ice, and many more options. Step into any local espresso/coffee shop and one will find some very exotic, decadent coffees from which to choose.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.ncausa.org/

What makes a great summer coffee? The best coffee is the one you love most. From early morning wake up to late night wind down, coffee has a solid place in everyday life. Here are a couple of easy coffee recipes one may like to add to their repertoire.

Coffee Cooler

This is a fantastic summer drink and it works great with leftover coffee. The ingredients are simple and most likely things one has on hand:

  • 2 cups of strong coffee at room temperature
  • 2 cups of skim milk
  • 1 package hot cocoa mix
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 banana cut in chunks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 10-12 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients until smooth and frothy. Serve up in a fanciful glass.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.allrecipes.com

Café Mexicano

This coffee is served hot and would pair perfectly with a simple dessert.

  • ⅔ cup dark roasted coffee grounds
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Orange peel
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

In a saucepan stir in all ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, let steep five minutes. Strain and serve up in glasses with an orange slice garnish.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.foodnetwork.com


Who doesn’t love ice cream? Certainly your kids and their friends love the cold, creamy sweetness on a hot summer day. Let us look at a couple of easy recipes made from ingredients you most likely have on hand.

Iconic Strawberry Milkshake

This easy recipe comes to us from The Food Network.

Blend 1 pint of strawberry ice cream with 1 cup of strawberries. Add ¼ cup of cold milk. Blend, pour into tall glasses, garnish with a strawberry and serve. This recipe is perfect for an afternoon snack or served as dessert after a light supper. For other variations of this recipe try different types of fruit that would blend well with ice cream: blueberries, bananas, peaches. Whatever one chooses, it will be delicious and refreshing.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.foodnetwork.com

Cookies and Cream Milkshake

Another easy recipe that your family is sure to love is cookies and cream. To start, crush several chocolate sandwich cookies. Mix ice cream and cookies and a splash of milk together in the blender. Try different flavours of ice cream to indulge your sweet tooth. Vanilla, chocolate, mint chip, chocolate chip are all great choices. Once blended to the right consistency, serve it up with a garnish of crumbled cookies on top. Enjoy!

Milkshakes are a great summer treat. Don’t be limited by traditional recipes. Be brave and try out an assortment of fruits and flavours to make your own signature blend.


Summer time is a great time to get together with friends and colleagues. An evening outdoor party is a great venue to serve up some delightful cocktails.

Sunset Punch

Ideal for the summer party or backyard barbecue is this easy punch.

  • 8 ounces bourbon
  • 8 ounces white vermouth
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup simple syrup (¼ cup of sugar dissolved in ¼ cup of water)
  • 12 ounces chilled ginger beer

Mix all the ingredients in a large punch bowl. For a festive look, garnish with lemon, lime and orange slices.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.foodandwine.com

Watermelon-Tequila Cocktails

This bright and colourful drink will quench any thirst.

  • ¼ cup simple syrup
  • 8 cups diced seedless watermelon
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1¾ cups blueberries
  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1¼ cups silver tequila
  • Ice

Puree the watermelon until smooth. Strain, capturing the watermelon juice. Gently press on the solids to extract as much juice as possible. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, blueberries and mint leaves in a large carafe. Lightly mix to draw out their flavours. Add remaining ingredients. Chill and serve.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.foodandwine.com

At your next gathering, impress your friends with these simple summer cocktail recipes.


Most of us have our go-to wines to enjoy with certain meals and occasions. Here is a variety of wines to add to your list for summer 2016.

Accadia Cantori

This white wine comes from the Marche region of Italy and has a golden honey colour. The bold flavours of peach, honey, almond and walnut combine to make a great tasting summer wine. The wine is best served at 12.2-13.9 ºC

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.wineadventurejournal.com

Clif Family 2015 Rosé of Grenache (Mendocino)

This rose is Wine Enthusiast Editor’s choice. This wine is just the lightest pink in colour. With floral and cherry aromas followed by delightful cherry and grapefruit flavours, this fruity wine is versatile and will pair with almost any dish.

(n.d.). Retrieved June/July, 2016, from www.winemag.com


There you have it – a great selection of beverage recipes to try for your next patio event. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, there is something for one to enjoy on a hot summer day or a warm summer eve.

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