Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Summer Refreshers" or Drinks for When You Collapse After Gardening

I'm still working at trying to get plants out (herbs and a small vegetable patch) and keeping the new trees and shrubs watered (part of our landscape overhaul). I'll tell you...I've always admired people who live in the country and farm for a living, but I have a new-found appreciation just for small-time gardeners! They make it look so beautiful and effortless; it is so much work, time, and dedication to using a garden hose until those plants get established...then comes the weeding. I have to say, though, that there is such a sense of accomplishment and self sufficiency when you get done watering, hoeing, weeding... or whatever and plop into the lawn chair for a cold drink and a "sit" to admire your handiwork.

That made me think that since I'm short on time today, and hot and thirsty, I would share some summer drink ideas.

Sassafras Tea (Mammam used to make this in the Spring when I was little)
Lina Michael/Paden City, WV

Wash roots well.
Put 6 roots in pan or coffee pot with about a quart of water.
Soak overnight.
Place on fire and boil until you have a fairly strong tea.
Add water and sugar (or Splenda) to taste.

(She used to claim that this drink, "cleaned out your system"-like a spring tonic!)

Sparkling Apple Juice (got this one from an older lady at a Ladies' Club Tea)

1/2 C apple juice
1/2 ginger ale

Combine. This makes a single serving, but you get the part apple juice to one part ginger ale.

Southern Punch
(Miss Betty Robb/ Fort Deposit, Alabama)

1 12 oz. can frozen pink lemonade
1 12 oz. can frozen orange juice
1/2 container Crystal Light Iced Tea Mix

In large pitcher, mix lemonade, OJ, and tea mix.
Add water to taste.
Chill at least 2 hrs. prior to serving.
Serve over ice.
Add sprig of fresh mint (opt.) Makes 1 1/2 to 2 qts.

Pineapple Lemonade
(Marcia Jeffries/ Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

1 46 oz. can unsweetened pineapple juice
4 C water
2 C fresh lemon juice
1 1/3 C sugar

Combine all ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves.
Serve over ice. Yield: 3 quarts.


  1. Great recipes!
    But I'm wondering where you can find sassafras roots!!! Do you have some growing?? Where can you get it? :-)

  2. Mammam could find it in the woods behind her house, but you might have to try Holistic Health sites online or Natural/Health Food Stores. You might even try asking around at local Farmer's Markets. That sassafras tea is good hot or cold, but stick close to a bathroom!

  3. Great recipes, I love Hawaiian Punch and 7-up. That's what we served at our wedding (the color didn't fit!). We tried several different recipes but didn't like anything "fancy". My husband didn't think he would like it but he did! :)