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Sometimes a Summer Drink can be a Vacation in a Glass

I got a text from a girlfriend on Saturday, she was sitting poolside enjoying the last moments of a ten-day vacation at Disney’s new Hawaiian resort, the Aulani. When I think of beach vacations, I think lounge chairs, cabanas, beach reads, napping, sunscreen and cool summer drinks.

At the point that I got the text I was watching another set of thunderheads building over the mountains and silently marching into Reno after a harrowing afternoon spent at Costco, where I saw people actually running their carts into each others as they jockeyed for a place in the checkout line.

So, the thought of being poolside was intoxicating. So, I asked her to tell me what she had been drinking during her stay, so I could recreate the taste of vacation on my patio’s hammock. Her tropical drink menu: Mai Tais, Lava Flows and Cucumber Lychee Fizzes.

This summer give yourself and the kids a drink vacation, something a little out of the ordinary and refreshing. This can start first thing in the morning with cold brewed coffee for mom.

This summer, brew some Iced Coffee in the refrigerator so a change to the morning coffee routine. Image courtesy of Chow.com.
This summer brew some Iced Coffee in the refrigerator for a change to your morning coffee routine. Image courtesy of Chow.com.

Cold Brew Coffee  – Based on a recipe from Chow.com

  • 1 cup of your favorite coffee beans, coarsely ground
  • 1 quart of cold water
  • A quart size mason jar
  • A fine mesh sieve, coffee filter and Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup

 Grind your coffee beans and pour the grounds in a quart-sized Mason jar. I like dark roast coffee. Add a cup of cold water to the jar and mix to wet all the grounds. Then, add the rest of the water to fill the jar and stir again. Screw on the lid and let sit in the refrigerator for about 8-12 hours.

Grab that Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup, the coffee filter and a fine mesh sieve. Place a coffee filter into the fine mesh sieve. Slowly pour the coffee mixture into the strainer into Pyrex measuring cup. Let the coffee slowly strain through the filter, leaving the solids at the bottom of the jar. Throw away the grounds and rinse out that jar.

Pour your cold coffee/elixir of the gods, into that handy Mason jar. Store in the refrigerator. Now you are free to pour that coffee an ice filled glass, with half and half, sugar or your favorite flavorings. I might think about pouring this over vanilla ice cream for a dessert treat. Add a straw, you are set. Makes a quart of coffee concentrate.

We know summer means cool drinks as we aim to manufacture our own air conditioning and breezes. When we were kids this might have meant a two-minute break from a game of tag as we got a drink from the hose, or, if we were lucky, a glass of Kool-Aid from a Tupperware pitcher in the fridge. Instead of the Kool-Aid of my youth, maybe serve the kids a Strawberry Agua Fresca for a refreshing, lightly sweet drink made with real fruit.

Strawberry Agua Fresqa, a summer thirst quencher
Strawberry Agua Fresca, a summer thirst quencher. Image found here.

Strawberry Mint Agua FrescaI modified the recipe from Food52

  • 1 pound, hulled strawberries
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  •  Six cups of cold water
  • A blender and a fine mesh sieve

Add strawberries, mint and two cups of water into a blender. Blend until very smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large pitcher. Add in the additional four cups of water, lime or lemon juice and sugar.

Stir and pour over glasses of ice. Makes about four glasses.

Now back to the those Mai Tais. For a little escape to the islands here in Reno, try the classic rum-based drink served at Café de Thai. I hear they make for a lovely evening, even if date night just means a trip to Target after dinner.

Cheers Mamas!



About Shelle Murach

Shelle Murach
Shelle Murach has been an Aunt since 1985. She specializes in saying things like, “Should that child be doing that to her brother?” “Where did that juice box go?” "Can Aunt Shelle have some of your Cheez-its?” She is an expert at attending dance recitals, soccer games and ice skating competitions all while clapping or cheering at the appropriate moments.While she is very good at passing out cake at birthday parties, due to an unfortunate incident with a stick, her husband has made her promise to never again help with piñatas. Something about lawsuits and personal injury nonsense. She precariously balances being a full-time Aunt with a career in PR and has found that many of her client management skills can also be used on her various nieces and nephews. She is very excited to be part of Reno Mom’s Blog where she will focus on the Reno food and events scene, booster seats and face paint are optional. You can check out her blog at Care & Feeding in Reno, where she desperately needs to post some new stories and recipes. Trust me, she knows, it is on the list.

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