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December 21, 2014

Cool fun in the summertime: Keep the party going with fun, festive non-alcoholic drinks

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Posted: Sunday, June 29, 2014 1:28 am | Updated: 11:37 pm, Wed Jul 2, 2014.

Looking to cool down at your next summer cookout? There are a variety of local craft beers and refreshing boozy beverages for adults, but don’t forget about hydrating the little ones at the kids’ table. These fun recipes are great for parties, but can be used anytime.

Lemonade bar

Start with your favorite large-batch lemonade recipe, whether it’s fresh-squeezed or comes from a mix — just be sure it isn’t too tart or sweet. If you can’t decide on one recipe, it’s OK to have two or three options. Store the lemonade separately in large, clear containers with easy-to-use dispensers.

In the days leading up to your backyard barbecue, head out for some freshly picked fruits to infuse lemonade with. A number of local farms offer u-pick services, or you can find it at local farmers markets. Or go off the beaten track in your own backyard and forage for your own blackberries.

For garnishes, slice up lemons to place on the edge of the glass, or cut herbs such as rosemary or mint for added flavor. The lemonade bar serves as a great way for guest to customize their own drink, and offers an opportunity to chat with one another.

Think summer’s too hot for hot chocolate? Not if it’s frozen! Frozen hot chocolate makes it easy for chocolate lovers to indulge, even on a scorching afternoon.

FROZEN HOT CHOCOLATE

  • 6 half-ounce pieces of your favorite solid chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons of hot chocolate mix
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 3 cups ice

Chop chocolate into small pieces and place in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Add in hot chocolate mix and sugar and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and carefully add ½ cup of milk until smooth; let it cool to room temperature. Pour remaining milk and chocolate mixture into a blender and fill with 3 cups of ice. Blend on high speed to desired consistency. Decorate the finished product with chocolate shavings, whipped cream, sprinkles — or all of the above.  

Peach daiquiris

Peaches are one of summer’s most versatile treats — yes, treat. Peaches on the grill with a slice of prosciutto make a great snack, and the fruit is often infused in teas and beers. But drastic heat indexes call for drastic measures.

This recipe is fairly easy, and tastes best with delicious peaches from Chilton County, available at area farmers markets and produce stands.

VIRGIN PEACH DAIQUIRI

  • 5-6 ripe peaches
  • ⅓ cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 (12-ounce) can frozen concentrated orange juice
  • Ice

Slice peaches into small pieces and put in blender along with frozen orange juice concentrate and sugar. Blend for 30 seconds and fill with ice. Serve in decorative glasses. Add more ice to thicken the daiquiri to your preference.

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