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Tuesday, May 12, 2015


We had a mini-heat wave, here, over the weekend, with temperatures soaring into the high 70s! Okay, not exactly blistering, but warm enough to want plenty of chilled beverages.

Saturday morning, I made 3 pitchers of cold drinks for our family. One, a fruity punch, made with the last of the blackberry pancake syrup, some red currant drink syrup, water and about 1 cup of flat lemon-lime soda, leftover from the March birthday of my two daughters.

The second beverage was a black tea and lemon iced tea, made from Dollar Tree black tea and bottled lemon juice. I didn't sweeten it, but left that up to each drinker, which was a good choice, as neither of my daughters wanted it sweetened.

And the third beverage was the one which surprised me with it's popularity in our family. I made a tomato juice, using canned tomato paste, onion powder, crushed celery seed, lemon juice, water, sugar and salt. I made a little over a quart and by mid-afternoon we were down to 1 cup of that juice. As it turns out, all three of my kids (and myself) loved it. So, this is definitely a beverage to continue making this season. A good way to get a veggie serving in each day, with minimal added sugar. And it only costs me about 30 cents per quart to make (with the price I paid for my ingredients), not too bad.

Gone are the days of those vibrantly-colored pitchers of Kool-aid in our fridge!

What are your family's favorite warm-weather beverages? Have you found that as your kids grew up they preferred less sugary drinks, and/or opted for more nutrient-dense beverages?



  1. My kids don't care for carbonation so they rarely drink soft drinks (oops, I almost wrote "pop", which is a Michigan term for soda pop) although I notice as my son gets older, he is more interested in soft drinks--wants to keep up with the other kids, I think! Around here, the choices are usually water or milk (including chocolate milk for an occasional treat). They enjoy lemonade or an uncarbonated fruit punch. My daughter likes iced tea but I haven't made any of that yet this year. They like most kinds of juices so I will occasionally purchase juice. I avoid sugary beverages for everyday consumption--I don't want my family to get into the habit of consuming empty calories--I tend to think of those as a fun treat.

    1. Hi Kris,
      Growing up in California, we called all carbonated drinks "coke", when just generically referring to soda pop. Here in the NW, "soda pop" seems common.

      That's interesting about your son more interested in soda pop, sort of a fitting in thing with other kids. I don't know if my kids felt exactly like that, when younger. But I do know that they were super excited when they went some place where soda pop was served (church picnics and youth group). And especially so with my daughters and youth group at church, as they would get to have an entire can all to themselves (and usually felt sick afterward!)

    2. I thought "coke" was a southern term. Funny how different locales have different terms they use.

      I keep a small amount of soda pop on hand, mostly for company, as it upsets my reflux and no one else in my family cares a lot for it. We don't typically drink alcohol but have some friends who occasionally do, so I like to have something a little more "fun" available for them when we have them over and soda pop seems to fill the bill to meet that need. Church//extra-curriculars are also where my kids are most likely to get soda pop for my kids, as well.

    3. When I find soda pop on sale in 2-litres for 79cents or less, I buy a few, then save them for birthdays, etc. But otherwise, we're not big soda drinkers here, either, now. I don't like the sugar, myself, so would rather have iced tea, or now, tomato juice ( was a huge V-8 fan when I was younger). It does always surprise me that we can have some soda pop in an opened bottle in the fridge for a couple of months, as no one, here, seems to be interested in it.

      Sometimes, on vacation we might buy some soda pop. But on our last family trip, we all decided that we'd rather have other treats, instead. I guess the "luster" of having soda is wearing off on us! (I do love the sound that a can of soda makes when you open it -- all that fizzing!)

  2. I don't drink juices because of the higher sugar content than fruits, but you have made some very savvy use of leftover juices. My husband who is not as prediabetic as I am, drinks Tang for Vitamin C he says, but I think he likes drinking it. He's fussier than I am about his palate so I can't easily convince him to drink any other juice. I'd love to stop buying that expensive cannister of unhealthy powder!! You're lucky you're the master of your family's food universe :)


    1. Hi YHF,
      So, when you are fully retired, here's something to fill some of that free time -- homemade orange drink mix.
      "Home-Made Drink Ingredient Quantity Source
      Sugar (sucrose) 1 Tbs. (12 g) Supermarket
      Fructose ½ Tbs. (7 g) Natural food store
      Citric acid ¼ tsp. (1 g) Supermarket or pharmacy
      Potassium citrate
      (or sodium citrate)
      1/3 of 1/8 tsp.
      (0.023 g)
      Pharmacy, natural food store,
      or chemical supply co.
      Orange extract ¾ tsp. (4 mL) Supermarket
      Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) ¼ of 1/8 tsp. (0.08 g) Natural food store or pharmacy
      Yellow 5 2 drops Supermarket
      Red 40 1 drop Supermarket "

      This makes 8-oz glass of mock-Tang.

    2. Very interesting....I hope I am not tempted to try this with my free time lol Seems scary to make chemical mixtures for consumption although in my nutrition class (40 years ago) I recall learning that our body doesn't know the difference between Vitamin C from an orange or ascorbic acid from a bottle. I read the instructions on how to make Tang to my husband and he was a bit amused it could be made at home. Maybe he'll think twice about buying another Tang cannister, which comes to about 35 cents a quart, not exactly cheap for "flavored water". Thanks for the information, I appreciate it!!


    3. YHF, at 35 cents per quart, that just sounds like robbery. You don't even get the water part of the "flavored water". I does sound like a lot of sugar, though. Maybe your husband will turn the canister around and really look at the label now.

  3. Primary summer beverages here are water and ice(d) tea. I despise tea personally but my hubby and kids like it. We use the inexpensive tea bags from Aldi, 2 bags per gallon of tea, which makes it quite frugal, about 4 cents per gallon not counting the cost of water and electricity to heat it. My hubby does sweeten his glass of tea (each individually) with a bit of pure stevia powder, purchased in bulk. If I buy other drinks, the kids will drink them, most definitely. So we try to keep drinks to an occasional treat.

    1. Hi Cat,
      Iced tea, made from bags, is one of those very frugal drinks, isn't it? My mom used to buy instant iced tea, which I'm sure is much, much more expensive than made from bags. I like leaving the tea unsweetened. Then every one can decide for themselves how much sweetening they want.


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