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3 Refreshing Drinks For Hot Summer Days

Brooke Scheller
Jul 1, 2019

When temperatures rise, there’s nothing better than cooling off with an icy beverage. But before you hit the vending machine, know that just one 12-ounce can of coke contains a whopping 39 grams of sugar—the equivalent of 10 sugar cubes. That's more than the American Heart Association recommends that adults get in an entire day!

We get it: Water gets super boring. So we asked Freshly’s head nutritionist Brooke Scheller, DCN, MS, to share recipes for her favorite summer drinks. From a healthy lemonade to a not-too-sweet iced tea, the recipes below will keep you healthy and hydrated all summer long.

Cucumber-Lime Hydrator

Serves 2

This mocktail has no sugar but still feels like a special treat at the end of a long day. The cucumber and lime juice make it extra refreshing. Don’t forget to eat the cucumber slices for some extra fiber and potassium, notes Scheller.


16 oz sparkling water or plain seltzer

Juice of 1 lime

Sliced cucumber


In a pitcher, stir together the sparkling water and lime juice. Serve over ice and top with sliced cucumber.

Strawberry-Basil Lemonade

Serves 6

This delicious twist on classic lemonade gets sweetened with honey (instead of sugar). Since basil is in the mint family, it brings a bright, fragrant element that goes perfectly with fresh strawberries. For an even stronger strawberry flavor, add in puréed strawberries, says Scheller.


6 cups warm water

Juice from 4 fresh lemons

1/2 pound strawberries, sliced

Fresh basil leaves, whole and shredded

1/2 cup honey (or your favorite alternative sweetener)


1. In a pitcher, mix together the water, lemon juice, and honey. Add the strawberries and chill mixture in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

2. When ready to serve, pour over ice and garnish with sliced strawberries and basil.

Southern-Style Sweet Tea

Serves 8

This classic calls for refined sugar but to give it a more natural source of sweetness, our version uses honey. For a stronger flavor, feel free to steep the tea bags a bit longer.


8 cups of water

6 black tea bags

1/2 cup honey

Fresh mint

1 lemon, sliced

Fresh berries


1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat; add tea bags and steep for about 15 minutes.

2. While tea is still warm, stir in honey until incorporated. Pour mixture into a pitcher and add 4 cups cold water. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

3. Serve over ice. Garnish with mint, fresh lemon slices, or fresh fruit (we used blackberries).

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3 Refreshing Drinks For Hot Summer Days