31 Super Refreshing Drinks to Help You Stay Cool All Summer

When it’s 90-something degrees outside and the humidity is so high it’s making even our arm hair frizz, we know water should be our go-to. Key word being “should.” Although we try our best to drink several glasses a day to stay hydrated, plain agua gets plain old boring.

Mix it up with these libations that will keep you chill all day, from iced coffee in the a.m. to iced tea at lunch to an ade in the afternoon to a slushie for dessert. Plus infused water in between all that because you should never go without any H2O. Heat wave? What heat wave?


Photo: Gimme Some Oven

When summer hits, we have one thing on our minds: watermelon. There’s nothing better than biting into a juicy slice of the flavorful fruit—unless you add a little lemon juice and sugar and pour it over a tall glass of ice for enjoyment on a hot afternoon.

The color of this drink will have you instantly smitten, but we’re all about the taste. Sparkling water adds that extra wow, and the raspberries and lime make for the ideal mix of sweet and tart. For the raspberry purée, simply put the berries in a food processor or blender.

A perfect balance of sweet, spicy, and tart, this is so good you’ll want to make the syrup year-round and add it to teas. (We’re thinking it’d be super soothing on a sore throat.) Fresh ginger adds tons of flavor and is a natural anti-inflammatory.Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks. Percival SS, Vanden Heuvel JP, Nieves CJ. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2013, Jul.;31(4):1541-1087.While the vodka is optional, if you’re making this for brunch, go for it!

Everyone loves a traditional limeade, but this recipe adds a floral element that takes it a step beyond ordinary. And don’t worry: It doesn’t taste like soap. With just three ingredients (OK, and water), this recipe is a cinch to whip up at a moment’s notice. What better reason to keep calming lavender laying around the house?

Although this lemonade actually is made with limes—it’s Brazilian, just go with it—after one sip, you won’t care what it’s called. A bit skeptical about using sweetened condensed milk in a citrus drink? It adds a creaminess that’s oddly satisfying.

Say hello to summer in a glass. Really, this is so pretty you may not want to drink it. This fun twist on your standard lemonade includes blueberries for an extra touch of sweetness and mint to amp up the flavor. It’s a quick crowd-pleaser that gets tastier the longer it stands, so you can mix it up ahead of time to enjoy later at a party.

Iced Tea

Photo: Half-Baked Harvest

You probably don’t have dried hibiscus flowers in your cupboard (neither do we), but this ruby-red drink is worth getting some off of Amazon. Steep with lemongrass and basil, and you’ve got incredible, full-bodied flavor that packs an extra punch: Hibiscus has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis Linn flower extracts. Khan ZA, Naqvi SA, Mukhtar A. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 2014, Jun.;27(3):1011-601X.

The delicious blueberry syrup takes this tea from plain to party in just a few simple steps. The best part? You can still reap the health benefits of green tea, which can help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease, while sipping on something your taste buds will approve.Tea and health: studies in humans. Khan N, Mukhtar H. Current pharmaceutical design, 2014, Apr.;19(34):1873-4286.

A fresh take on a sangria, minus the alcohol, this refreshing summer tea combines fruity oolong and spicy ginger teas. When you’re finished drinking, you’ll have ginger-infused pears, blueberries, and peaches waiting for you at the bottom.

This recipe does simple right—it’s just three ingredients, plus garnishes if you wish. The addition of pomegranate juice adds an extra layer of zing and makes for a glorious pitcher of tea that looks just as good as it tastes. Be sure to buy 100 percent pomegranate juice to maximize the health benefits, which may include preventing and treating cancers and cardiovascular disease.Pomegranate peel and fruit extracts: a review of potential anti-inflammatory and anti-infective effects. Ismail T, Sestili P, Akhtar S. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 2012, Jul.;143(2):1872-7573.

Satisfy your summer berry craving with this recipe that uses both strawberry black tea and fresh (or frozen) berries. The addition of rosemary and a little lemon perfectly rounds out the flavor and helps to cut the sweetness. Now that’s what we call the perfect cup of tea.

Iced tea is refreshing on its own, but add in watermelon and mint? Now that’s a sure-fire way to cool down, no matter how hot the sun is blazing. Add as much (or as little) mint syrup as you wish—even Southern grandmas will envy your drink.

Talk about chilling out! Both lavender and chamomile have been shown to have calming effects.An orally administered lavandula oil preparation (Silexan) for anxiety disorder and related conditions: an evidence based review. Kasper S. International journal of psychiatry in clinical practice, 2013, Aug.;17 Suppl 1():1471-1788.But the kick of cayenne means you won’t fall asleep (it also provides a great contrast to the other flavors). Can’t find nettle leaves? Omit them—it tastes just as good.

Iced Coffee

Photo: Kitchen Treaty

Sometimes you just need a little cinnamon to spice things up, even in the summer. Blend it with brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee for some extra sweetness and caffeine in this iced version of the winter favorite. Now you’re ready to face the day.

Why stop at the coffee shop when you can make your own, healthier frappuccino at home? Simply freeze coconut milk into ice cubes overnight, then blend them with coffee, chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, and toasted coconut the next morning. Vegan or not, this recipe is a winner.


It’s a universally acknowledged truth that Nutella belongs in everything. Pancakes, crepes, toast, fruit, ice cream, and, yes, even in your coffee. After all, who doesn’t like hazelnut or mocha joe? This is the perfect indulgence for a special occasion, and rich enough to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Cold brew is all the rage, and it’s easy to make at home: Combine ground coffee with water and let it brew overnight. Strain, and you’re ready to pour and drink as is or add milk, cream, or sweetener. If you want, put it in a mason jar to take to work and look like the hipster you are.

You don’t need to be a barista to make a frapp. All you need is a blender and five ingredients, including ice. A touch of honey sweetens up the coffee and adds more flavor than basic vanilla versions, though we’re thinking maple syrup would be delicious too.

We know what you’re thinking: “Salt? In my coffee?” Trust us: It adds a whole new dimension to the flavor of your java, and the sugar and cream help temper the saltiness. If you’re already an avid lover of salted caramels and chocolates, this recipe may just become your new summer favorite.

Healthy? Probably not. Delicious? Absolutely. Treat yourself to this dessert-like drink after a workout or long day at work. #YOLO.


Photo: The Kitchen McCabe

A tasty spin on the traditional favorite proves frozen lemonade isn’t just a theme park treat. The light hint of basil balances out the sweetness of the berries and adds an unexpected twist. If you’re feeling particularly artsy, you can layer the various ingredients for a perfectly Instagram-worthy frosted glass.

Slushies aren’t for kids anymore! At least not this one, which is spiked with vodka and schnapps. Just be warned that it goes down quickly, so be ready for an ice cream headache—and make a big batch if you’re having a party.

This recipe can be served as a drink, slush-style, or in a dish as a substitute for your weekly (or daily) ice cream splurge. And since it only calls for three ingredients—peaches, water, and lime juice—it’s about as healthy as they come. Plus, what tastier way to get in some vitamin C?

If you happen to have essential oils for aromatherapy or DIY cleaning, this drink is a fantastic new way to use them. Think frozen strawberry lemonade with an extra pop of lemon and lime. If you prefer your lemonade on the sweeter side, you can leave out the extra lemon juice. Either way, this recipe will have you going back for more.

With just three ingredients and a blender, it doesn’t get much simpler than this! In a matter of minutes, you’ll have a refreshing, tangy slush that’s the perfect splash of citrus to brighten up your day.

Infused Water

Photo: Infused Waters

Rosemary makes for the perfect blend of tart and savory here. Before you cut off the rinds, zest the grapefruit and use that to flavor salt, sugar, or olive oil, or leave the rinds whole and freeze, then add to chicken when baking.

This combo isn’t only good on chicken and in Mexican dishes; it also adds a tangy, bright flavor to basic H2O. Let your water infuse for a few hours for maximum flavor.

Watermelon in water? Why not? The subtle flavor pairs perfectly with stronger lemon and mint for slightly sweet, super refreshing agua.

It’s time to move beyond the standard lemon and lime. With its subtle sweet pineapple and spicy ginger flavors, this recipe will get you hooked on flavored water. And if you have an upset stomach, the ginger may help to ease the nausea.Ginger in the prevention of nausea and vomiting: a review. Palatty PL, Haniadka R, Valder B. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 2013, Dec.;53(7):1549-7852.

Chia seeds are having a moment, and considering the fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients they provide, it’s no wonder. Get your daily dose of goodness with this tasty concoction, which adds a bit fruit to sweeten up the seeds. (We’d omit the honey.)

Staying hydrated is no problem when you’ve got something this good at hand. Chopped and mixed together, the strawberries, lemon, and basil make for a beautiful presentation worthy of summer dinners and picnics.

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