drinks guest post summer

A Trio of Summer Beverages | Guest Post From Reclaiming Provincial

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Trio of Summer Beverages
It’s the summer of fun! For reasons before mentioned, I am lining up guest posts for this summer. First up is Carey from Reclaiming Provincial. I somehow only recently discovered Carey’s space a few months ago, but fell in love instantly with her gorgeous photographs and recipes. She’s amazing.

Hello, everyone! I am excited to be sharing something in Sarah’s gorgeous space. I have long admired her work, and the unique sense of peace that it brings to me whenever I am here. Her hushed images and sincere words have a knack for finding their way to the very core. This is a quiet, honest, and beautiful place to be. And I am thrilled to be here with all of you today!

I have often felt a strong seasonal connection to Sarah, despite the fact that we live in different parts of the country. We seem to experience the same sort of yearly patterns—fleeting autumns and springs that give way to endless winters and sweltering summers—as well as the moods that result from dull, grey snow that hangs around for far too long, or humidity that makes you perspire with every breath then sadistically refuses to evaporate the beads of sweat from your skin. And when Nature decided to throw some unseasonably hot and humid weather at us here in the northeast the other week, I started obsessing over summer drinks filled with herbs and so. much. ice.

The weather has since cooled off, but the brief hot spell was a reminder that summer is just around the corner. And I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Sarah’s break than with three delicious beverages that are perfect for sharing with loved ones and making the heat a little more bearable. Happy Summer, Sarah!
A Trio of Summer Beverages
A Trio of Summer Beverages
“If we wish to know about a man, we ask ‘what is his story—his real, inmost story?’—for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us—through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives—we are each of us unique.” —Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

A Trio of Summer Beverages

A Trio of Summer Beverages

Each of these drinks brings different things to the party. The lemonade is tangy with an extra tartness from the hibiscus tea, which is mellowed out by the sweet, herbal flavor of thyme and the floral notes of raw honey. The peach iced tea is full of awesome fresh peach flavor set against the brightness of yuzu green tea, with a little punch of fresh ginger and some herby basil-ness. And the honeydew…oh man, the honeydew. This one is perfection, you guys. There aren’t many combinations more refreshing that melon + mint, that’s for sure. But what really takes this drink to the next level is the anise-fennel simple syrup. Although both anise and fennel can be dominating flavors at times, they hang out in the background of this drink, adding complexity to the slight muskiness of the honeydew. And then there’s a little bit of lemon juice to bring in some brightness and round everything out. And if you like to booze-ify your summer beverages, some sparkling wine would go nicely with any of these. (There are plenty of other options, but sparkling punches and extra-refreshing bubbly things suit summer so darn well.) Each recipe makes approximately 1 quart.

Note: If you’re really good at planning ahead (unlike me), increase the recipe by 50% and freeze a portion of it into ice cubes to use for the pitcher/glasses.

Honey Lemonade with Hibiscus & Thyme

2/3 cup of fresh lemon juice (from 3–5 lemons, depending on size)
1 cup of water plus 2 1/2 cups of water, divided
1 hibiscus tea bag
2 tablespoons of raw honey (or more, to taste, and depending on the sweetness of your hibiscus tea)
a few sprigs of thyme, plus more for garnish

Bring one cup of water to a boil then remove from heat. Add the few sprigs of thyme, let sit for about 5 minutes, then add the hibiscus tea bag. Let steep for 3 minutes, then discard thyme sprigs and tea bag.

Stir in honey until dissolved. Let cool completely.

Combine lemon juice, cooled tea, and the additional 2 1/2 cups of water. Pour into a pitcher filled with ice and garnish with thyme sprigs.

Peach Iced Tea with Ginger & Basil

3 large ripe peaches (or 5–6 small ones — enough to yield 1 1/2 cups of juice, with water)
1/2–3/4 cup of water plus 2 1/2 cups of water, divided
2 yuzu green tea bags (if you can’t find yuzu green tea, just use your favorite regular green tea and add a squeeze of grapefruit juice [ideally] or a little bit more lemon juice, OR a few dashes of Miracle Mile Yuzu Bitters, if you happen to have them)
a 1 1/2 inch nub of fresh ginger, roughly chopped
healthy squeeze of lemon juice
1–2 tablespoons of honey, to taste
a few basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Bring the 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil then remove from heat. Add ginger, let sit for about 5 minutes, then bruise a few basil leaves and add them to the water, along with the green tea bags. Let steep for 2 minutes, then strain out ginger, basil, and tea. Stir in honey until dissolved. Let cool completely.

In the meantime, peel and pit peaches, then roughly chop. Add peaches to a blender or food processor along with 1/2 a cup of water, then blend. Add additional 1/4 cup of water (or more) if necessary to get the juice to a nice, thin consistency. Strain the puree through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. (If you have juicer, you can skip the peeling part and the straining part, but you will still want to add the water to thin out the juice.)

Combine peach juice, cooled tea, and the healthy squeeze of lemon juice. Pour into a pitcher filled with ice and garnish with basil leaves.

Honeydew Agua Fresca with Mint & Anise-Fennel Simple Syrup

one ripe, medium-sized honeydew
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
1 star anise
about half a dozen fennel seeds
juice of 1 lemon, on the smaller side
a few mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Heat sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is just dissolved. Remove from heat, add star anise, fennel seeds, and a few bruised mint leaves. Let steep for 5 minutes, then discard mint, fennel seeds, and anise. Let cool.

In the meantime, de-seed melon and remove rind, then chop into chunks. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth, then strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve. (If you have a juicer, you can skip the straining part, and even removing the melon rind too, I believe. [Correct me if I’m wrong!]

Combine honeydew juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Pour into a pitcher filled with ice and garnish with mint leaves.
A Trio of Summer Beverages


  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Such a lovely post for a Monday morning; it may be grey and miserable here but this post is a true ray of sunshine. All three of these drinks sound so delicious.

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathryn! (:

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 7:36 am

    These look so lovely and refreshing. Thanks for posting them. I’m especially looking forward to trying the peach iced tea.

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks, Salinya! The peach iced tea is pretty rad. (:

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Two of my fave forces on the internet combine powers 🙂 Hey Carey! Loved seeing you here, and love that you shot on a white background–looks so great. These recipes are all stunning too–such innovative combinations of flavour and essence. I need a peach iced tea with ginger and basil so soon.

    Also I share those same weather patterns and seasonal tendencies up here in Ontario too (waves hello to both of yous). Humid, sticky, ridiculous summers ahead, much? We’re all in it together, right?

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks, Laura! 😀

      Yes! We totally form a funny little triangle of sister cities. I expected there to be more cooling lake breezes when I moved here, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. And I rarely go to the beach because it’s littered with sticks and college kids and litter from the college kids, so it doesn’t really help me at all!

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 9:52 am

    This is so beautiful and creative, combining herbs and spices with summer fruit is so fun. Thanks Sarah for introducing us to such an awesome blog!

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Thank you, Anya! I adore fresh herbs in drinks, especially in the summer. (:

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Yes to all of these.. Peach tea is an all-time favorite of mine, love the addition of ginger and basil.

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks, Erica!

  • Reply
    Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Your pictures made me want to try it and then when I started to read about hot days, it made me thirsty 🙂

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you, Marta!

  • Reply
    Eva | Adventures in Cooking
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Such a beautiful post, I am getting quite thirsty looking at all these fresh beverages and now my piping hot mug of green tea just won’t do. I need fresh juice with chilled tea, darn it! I am definitely going to try out the honeydew one, it is my favorite melon and oh, so so sweet in the summer heat. A truly delicious range of beverages 🙂

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

      Thanks, Eva! I think you will love the honeydew one. (It actually shocked me with how good it was when I tasted it.)

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    A beautiful quote to soak up whilst sipping on these three lovely drinks. I couldn’t possibly decide on a flavour, so one of each, please. 🙂

    Stunning photos!

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks, Valerie! I adore the way Oliver Sacks manages to write about the strange workings of the mind in such a poetic way. It isn’t often that my love of prose and scientific non-fiction meet. (:

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Each one of these sounds completely amazing. Such beautiful photos, and writing, too! Hooray for guest posts! 🙂

    • Reply
      Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:12 pm

      Thanks, Alanna! They were all a lot of fun to make. (And drink! I took ’em to a friend’s birthday party later that day. 😀 )

  • Reply
    Monday, June 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Oh my gosh Carey, these all sound amazing, the peach especially! I am now officially excited about summer fruits! And you know what? These all sound like they’d make great popsicles too, which I think might be my ‘thing’ this summer (well, once I get a couple molds). That heat wave last week was so icky wasn’t it? Fight-inducingly so, as in, I got into a fight with Chris about getting an air conditioner, haha. Oh dear lord, I hope the summer’s a little easier on us this year.

    So nice to see you on the Vanilla Bean Blog… and loving the white background, very much!

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Dude……these in popsicle form. YES to the millionth power! (If you buy one of those molds with the flat metal/plastic sheet that goes over top with the slots for the sticks, there’s a really neat trick for getting the sticks to all sit straight and at the same depth using by using 1 1/4″ binder clips. GENIUS. I love crazy Amazon reviewers.)

      Last week was so gross up here, and I can only imagine how much worse it was in NYC. (I don’t even know how anyone could argue against getting an air conditioner in that heat!) (: My air conditioner was up and running by Friday. I am an unbearable wilting flower when it’s hot and humid.

  • Reply
    Kristina @ Organic Yogi Kitchen
    Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Love the post. Everything about screams summertime!


    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      Thank you, Kristina!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 7:29 am

    These photos from Carey are beau-ti-ful! Honey + Hibiscus + Lemon + Thyme are all my favorite things to spice up teas with!

    I’ve been wanting to play around with making Aqua Fresca and this looks like a wonderful place to start!

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you, Shelly! We totally have the same tastes when it comes to beverages and foods. (:

      The honeydew drink is so ridiculously good, I can’t even get over it. Definitely a great place to start!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Breathe & Nourish
    Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Yum! These look so tasty, gorgeous, and fresh! I need to get some pitchers and have a party.

    • Reply
      Thursday, June 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

      Thank you, Lauren! (:

  • Reply
    Miss Diane
    Friday, June 14, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Que de bonnes idées! Et les photos sont magnifiques! I feel like having a glass of each right now…

  • Reply
    Willow (Will Cook For Friends)
    Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 1:18 am

    All of these drinks sound incredible! Carey, you never cease to amaze me with the flavor combinations you come up with. I’ve been itching to do something with melon and mint, and you just took it to the next level. I, like you, have been suffering through some serious heat and humidity, so a nice tall glass (or two, or three) of these would be just perfect right now.
    And thank you for introducing me to Sarah’s blog! I can’t believe she wasn’t on my blog-radar… everywhere I look are gorgeous things! 🙂

    • Reply
      Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  • Reply
    Thirsty Thursdays: Ginger Peach Mojito Mocktail | Just Putzing Around the Kitchen
    Thursday, July 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    […] trio of summer beverages: you had me at honey lemonade with hibiscus and lime…and then you threw in some peach iced tea with ginger and basil. […]

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