Soft Summer Drinks

Ho boy! The weather outside is currently hot and humid after we’ve had some overcast and summer storms. I though the “soft” drinks written about below might be fun to try out while attempting to cool off. This article was found in a July 1908 issue of a Montana newspaper.

Raspberry lemonade is one of my favourite drinks but it would be nice to mix it up once in a while and I’m especially excited to try my hand at the orange sherbet.

School for Housewives – Soft Summer Drinks

In the old times, the thirsty soul – or body – solaced itself with plain water or with lemonade. The chief variation upon his was iced tea and, once in a while, iced coffee. These were the only beverages open to the drinker of temperate habits.

We have improved upon that sort of thing and have introduced “soft” punches, in which our old friend, lemonade, while still serving as a foundation, would not recognize itself. Tea, too, is metamorphosed, although hardly improved, and other mixtures of which we did not dream earlier days are taken as a matter of course.

We may call ourselves old-fashioned and make fun of these innovations – but we cannot help acknowledging that some of them are very good. Especially are they a delight to the palates of our thirty girls and boys who come in after a tramp across the golf links, or a bout at tennis, or a game of baseball. Even the seniors of the party may be beguiled into taking a second glass. The house where the pleasantest welcome and the best and most refreshing thirst-quenchers are offered is likely to be the one which the young people will flock, and we need not fear that our boys and girls will wander off to undesirable associations while they know that good things, both spiritual and physical, await them at home.

None of the drinks I have given below contains liquor of any sort. Those who have tried it, know that alcohol not only fails the relieve thirst, but also raises the temperature of the body in warm weather as in cold. Be our principles what they may, common sense urges us that when we wish to be cool we should take cooling drinks, and I do not hesitate to recommend those I have given as means to the end of lowered temperature, without and within.

Ice Tea

Just as there is a popular fallacy that everyone can make a cup of good hot tea, so there is an impression that any one can make good cold tea. The one idea is as mistaken as the other. You cannot make good iced tea of the dregs of the teapot, after the water has stood on the leaves all through the meal by the simple expedient of filling up the teapot with boiling water.

There are two right ways of preparing tea for iced tea. One is the Russian fashion of making the tea hot with freshly boiling water and pouring it still hot upon cracked ice in tumblers. When this is done, the tea must be pretty strong in the first place, as the melting ice weakens it. The other way is by making the tea fresh some hours before it is to be used, and then pouring it off the leaves and setting it aside to cool. In one country house, where I am always a happy guest, iced tea is served as a beverage at luncheon, and in place of the regular 5 o’clock function of afternoon tea, all during the hot weather. The hostess makes the breakfast tea from the boiling kettle that swings on the crane at her elbow, and, when she has poured out her own morning cup, fills the teapot from the still bubbling kettle and strains the tea into a big pitcher, to be set aside until it is needed. Then it is poured into the ice-filled glasses and is a drink to cast nectar into the shade.

Such is iced tea at its best, and there is no reason why it should ever fall below perfection. Let me parody Bishop Butler: “Doubtless a better drink could have been made, but doubtless it never was.”

Iced Tea Punch

Make iced tea and turn it into a punch bowl, on a big lump of ice. Add to a quart of the strong tea a tablespoonful of lemon juice, a bottle of Apollinaris water and sugar to taste. Cut thin splices of lemon, and let them float on the surface of the punch. When they are in season, a few strawberries or cherries or a bit of pineapple may be added. Ladle out and drink in tumblers.

Ginger Ale Punch

Squeeze the juice of six lemon upon a cupful of granulated sugar and leave on the ice for an hour. When it is to be served, put two cupfuls of cracked ice in a punch bowl with the lemon and sugar, a quart of water and the contents of two bottles of ginger ale. Have ready long sprays of fresh mint, bruise their stems between the fingers, then thrust them into the punch.

Mint Punch

Make a lemonade foundation of lemon and sugar, as directed in the preceding recipe, by putting together lemon juice and sugar, and add to this a double handful of mint sprays, which have been bruised, with a couple of tablespoonfuls of white sugar. Let these stand in a cool place for an hour; put into a punch bowl with a block of ice and pour upon them two bottles of “charged” water, or the contents of two siphons of seltzer. This is very refreshing.

Orange Sherbet

Peel and squeeze eight large oranges and two lemons. Put the juice of the lemons and the pulp and juice of the oranges into a bowl with a small cup of granulated sugar. After it has stood ten minutes and the sugar is well melted, add a tablespoonful of minced pineapple, and after standing a few minutes longer pour upon a block of ice in a punch bowl. Just before serving turn in a quart of Apollinaris.

Fruit Punch

Make a foundation of a good lemonade, allowing five lemons to a quart of water and sweetening to taste. To each quart of the lemonade allow half an orange, sliced; a tablespoonful of pineapple, cut into dice; a small banana, sliced; and a handful of cherries or strawberries or raspberries. Let all stand half an hour before serving, and turn into a punch bowl or large pitcher with plenty of ice. Stir up well from the bottom before pouring out.

Iced Coffee

Make your coffee clear and strong, and add to it plenty of cream and no milk. The best plan is to have the clear coffee in a pitcher and add cream and sugar as it is needed. To those who have never tried it, let me say that there are many worse drinks on a hot day than good, clear coffee, served with plenty of ice and without cream or sugar. But the coffee must be of the best and freshly made – not the leftovers of the breakfast beverage.

Pineapple Lemonade

Boil two cups of sugar and a pint of water ten minutes and then set it aside to cool. When it is cold add to it a juice of three good-sized lemons and a grated pineapple. Let this stand on the ice for two hours. When ready to serve add a quart of water, either plain or “charged” and pour on a piece of ice in a punch bowl or in a large pitcher.

Currant Punch

Make a syrup of sugar and water as in the preceding recipe and set aside to cool. Crush together four cups of red or white currants and a cup of red raspberries. Put them through a press and put with them the syrup and three pints of cold water. Add the juice of a lemon and let all stand for a couple of hours before serving. Throw a handful of stemmed currants and of raspberries into the bowl or pitcher from which the punch is served.

Strawberry Punch

Make as the currant punch is compounded, substituting a pint of strawberry juice for that of the other fruits, and add the juice of three lemons instead of one. Put a handful of the hulled berries into the punch when made. While this punch is especially good when made with the fresh fruit, it may be made from the fresh strawberry syrup when the berries themselves are out of season. The addition of a half cupful of red raspberries to this punch is an improvement.

Raspberry Shrub

For a foundation for this beverage one must have the old preparation of raspberry vinegar or raspberry royal. To five teaspoonfuls of this a quart of cold water must be allowed, and the mixture must be served with plenty of ice. If red raspberries to float on the surface of the punch cannot be procured, in their place may be used a cupful of shredded pineapple or a banana cut into dice.

Marion Harland


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