Happier Starts: Tips for Better Summer Beverages

happier-starts-beveragesI’m less of a Pinterest person and more of a Pinterest Fail kind of person. I realize it’s something of a sacrilege to admit that, but I am just… not crafty. I tell you this by way of preface; if you want recipes for cucumber-watermelon-limeade with a twist of mint or a DIY on making your own goblets, I’m sure that stuff exists on Pinterest. I’m sure it’s great, too. But that’s not really my sort of thing.

My sort of thing is more like… how can I do something foolproof, cheap, and low-effort that will make me or my family/guests smile? And right now we’re smack in the middle of a typical southern summer, at my house, which means the temperatures are soaring and everything from lazy evenings to fancy social events start with an icy glass of something. Here’s a few simple no-crafty-skills-required ideas for keeping your drinks fabulous.

1) Amp up your ice cubes! I’m all for just plain ice, of course, but the possibilities for going one step further are nearly endless. Doing water for a large group? Freeze berries in your cubes to add a hint of flavor and make the drinks prettier. Love ice coffee or ice tea? Coffee cubes—or even half-n-half cubes, if you like yours light—avert the dreaded water-down, and tea cubes or lemonade cubes for tea are awesome. Want your kids to drink more water, but they want juice? Make juice cubes for their water (and go with a variety of colors).

2) Find a vessel that makes you happy. You’ll drink more if have something to drink out of that you really love. (Hmmm… seems like I’ve heard that before….) Stay hydrated on hot days by figuring out what sort of bottle or cup will keep you reaching for it.

3) Play mad scientist. Someone gave me an infusion bottle as a gift (you know, a water bottle with a sort of cage in the center to allow you to lower solids into the water without them getting in the way of the straw). I put lemon and lime slices into it for weeks before it occurred to me that I had an entire garden of possibilities to try. Mint! Lemon verbena! (Okay, Pinterest, you win, I did cucumbers and they were refreshing, fine.) Kids will love this one, and if adult beverages are more your thing, c’mon now, how do you think they invented sangria…?

4) Go for the stunning visual. Sugary beverages are a rare treat around my house, but for a special occasion, doing a layered drink would be all kinds of fun. All you have to remember is that sugar in a liquid makes it heavy, but here’s a quick Instructable on the process, too. (This works for adult beverages as well, of course; higher alcohol content liquids are lighter than their lower-proof counterparts.)

5) DIY beats fancy drink labels. I’ve seen all sorts of fancy drink charms and sleeves and what have you all over Pinterest. “Make your next party perfect!” You know what partygoers really love? I mean, assuming it’s an outdoor, relaxed affair? A stack of Solo cups and an array of permanent markers. Sure, the first few people will dutifully write their names on their cups. Then will come a few fake names, and maybe a few scribbles. But then the real art begins. It’s fun and easy and I’ve yet to meet the kid or adult who doesn’t end up sort of getting into it.


One thought on “Happier Starts: Tips for Better Summer Beverages

  1. Pingback: “Easier” Can Be a More Powerful Value Proposition than “Better” | Ergonomics in Design

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