Who doesn’t love a summer patio party? Sun-dappled evenings, strings of twinkling lights, the perfect summer playlist in the background, good conversation and drinks. Sounds like the perfect evening (or way to celebrate Canada Day!)
Hosting a summer gathering can be fun but it can also be an expensive proposition if you’re supplying all of the provisions. Providing drinks in addition to food can also be expensive regardless of whether you are serving soda, alcoholic beverages or imported sparkling water. It all adds up.
Here are three fun and inexpensive drinks to wow your company that will also help cut down your hosting costs.
- Herb-steeped water. Adding a few sprigs of mint, basil, or rosemary to plain old tap water goes a long way to making it look and taste fancy. You can add some slices of citrus fruit, if desired. It’s refreshing and easy. Get yourself a little plant now to use throughout the summer. For the cost of a seedling, you can make many litres of flavoured water over the summer. Let it steep for at least an hour before serving or refrigerate overnight.
- Homemade iced tea. You can serve a slew of people with homemade iced tea. Steep 6 bags of cheap black tea in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags, stir in a ¼ cup of sugar or sweetener of choice. Pour over additional 4 cups of cold water. Add ice and slices of lemon before serving.
- Homemade lemonade. Really impress your guests with homemade lemonade. It’s easy. Using the rinds, which are usually discarded, you can pump up the flavour of lemonade. Squeeze the juice from 2 lemons into a pitcher (preferably organic, as you will be using the rind here). In another bowl, or large measuring cup, pour 4 cups boiling water over the 2 squeezed (empty) lemons. Add ½ cup sugar or sweetener of choice (stevia works really well here but you only need a tiny bit). Strain the lemon-sugar water into the pitcher with the lemon juice. Muddle with herbs like rosemary or mint, if desired. Refrigerate until serving. Add ice or frozen berries just before serving.
Now invite your friends over (make it a potluck!) and serve up some fancy drinks to enjoy the evening! And cheers for a happy and safe Canada day, eh!