Janet's Notebook
Cool Off With Fresh Summer Drink Ideas

Khalua Mocha Frappe

There's a charming spot right off our little downtown square where they make liquid gold. They call it Almond Punch, but I swear it's priceless. Cool and cravable, it's the go-to for every lunching lady who steps across the threshold. And it got us thinking... if we could pick one summertime drink to sip for the rest of the season, what would it be?

With so many options, we decided that a taste-test was in order! Sip on these summertime favorites from among our cooler of drink recipes.

What says thirst-be-gone quite like a chilly glass of sangria? This fruit-infused concoction of delicious red wine and potent brandy is quite possibly the perfect way to say ole after a long day!

"Since I'm married to a Cuban this is a holiday drink in our household!!" laughs home cook April Alvarez whose Cuban Sangria recipe is a Blue Ribbon winner.

Playing up strong citrus notes in honor of her husband's heritage, April stirs in two types of fruit juice and a bit of orange-flavored Triple Sec to her recipe. Toss in sliced fresh lemons, oranges, lime and cherries for a cooler wine cooler than any other.

Speaking of cool, Kahlua Mocha Frappe anyone? Mary Lee of Lowell, IN is spilling her recipe for these giggle-inducing adult milkshakes. Calling it her favorite "couple's drink," Mary starts with a healthy amount a vanilla ice cream, then blends it together with crushed ice, Kahlua, chocolate syrup, milk and instant coffee powder. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate curls, pour into a glass and add two straws!

For a more kid-friendly soda fountain moment, ease the summer sizzle by blending up your own Wannabe Frosty! This fast food copy cat from Sacramento's Catherine Haury is a pure delight.

"My daughter and I love these," smiles Catherine, "especially on a hot day!"

The unique chocolate flavor of Catherine's Frosty comes from cocoa powder and the unlikely addition of instant pudding mix! It is so sweet and creamy that it's a frequent request from members of the Kitchen Crew. (It's a particular favorite of a certain 10-year-old grandson of mine.) There's not a stitch of alcohol in this recipe, so feel free to mix it up with the entire family.

Rounding out our list of favorite drinks du jour is a punch with a familiar flavor: Almond Punch! Though not the recipe used at our favorite lunch spot, the flavors of Martine Bykowski's recipe are every bit as rich and equally crave-worthy.

"It looks like Champagne!" says Martine, who loves serving her signature punch at family holiday parties. "It's a favorite for wedding receptions, anniversaries and special occasions."

Imagine dipping in to a crystal bowl filled with sparkly, golden goodness. Rich with strains of ginger, lemon and almond, this punch will be the talk of your family gatherings, too.

After all, it just isn't a party until the punch bowl comes out...

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Melissa Baldan - Jul 29, 2013
these all sound yumm, but remind me of cooler weather, not summer.
Karen Clemons - Jul 25, 2013
Mmmmmm good!!
Leila Rockwell - Jul 24, 2013
They all sound delicious so pinched each one. Thank all of you for posting them.