Keep Cool and Sip On

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I’m not a huge fan of summer — it’s true. I get exponentially more agitated and become a full-fledged whiner when the temperature rises above…let’s say 85°F. Why I decided to stay in the Midwest I’ll never figure out, but lately it has been hot here. Beyond hot — in fact, according to, the U.S. is in the middle of the worst drought since 1956.

To keep cool, I’ve been making batches of fruit-infused beverages to sip while slowly flipping the pages of my favorite summer reads (even reading is hard work in this heat people).

While searching for beverage recipes, I had a thought — what better way to show a loved one or neighbor that you care, than by delivering some homemade chilled lemonade or fruit-infused sparkling soda?

With that in mind, I’ve rounded up a few recipes that are simple to prepare, and can be packaged as you see fit, then shared with friends, family and neighbors.

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First, let me start by pointing you in the direction of a fantastic blog with plenty of great homemade recipes. My Own Ideas is the blog behind the company My Own Labels, and this site not only shows you how to create your own labels, but they have some great recipes to try as well.

By accident, I stumbled upon their post for Summertime Fruity Lemonade by blogger Bobby. This recipe for fruity lemonade calls for sugar, water and fresh squeezed lemon juice. You can then customize the beverage to appeal to your preferred taste — adding fresh raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, lemon wedges and more.

When you’ve prepared a good batch, serve to your favorite people in mason jars with lids, then customize each gift with a label of your own.

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Another fantastic beverage recipe from the blog is their Cucumber Cooler by blogger Lindsay.

Calling for cucumbers, honey, club soda, fresh mint leaves and thinly sliced lime wedges, this recipe is simple to make using a blender.

Lindsay is quick to point out that cucumbers have natural cooling properties — making them the perfect addition to a summer beverage to help you survive this heat. (Yeah, I’m being a tad dramatic, but have you seen the forecast for the Midwest this week?!)

Here’s to fancy beverage sipping and book reading. And that people, is how I intend to make it through this summer.