Summer is here and so is the unquenchable thirst for all things chilled, hydrating and refreshing. As a recipe developer and owner of the wellness tea company Lake & Oak Tea Co., spring and summer is a time where we dial down the “cozy” and celebrate healthy beverages that keep us cool, calm and collected. 

Luckily, delicious iced drinks are a lot of fun to create, and you don’t need to be a seasoned barista or mixologist to create something gorgeous and insta-grammable at home. 

You might be surprised at the drinkable magic you can create with a few pantry staples.

A few of my favourite ingredients to have on hand for summer beverages are a variety of teas (black, green, herbal, fruity, matcha) fruits (citrus is key, and seasonal fruits are extra punchy), dried spices and fresh herbs (they make a gorgeous garnish!). 

To add a hit of sparkle, flavoured seltzer waters are great to have in your arsenal. Lemon and lime are classic flavours that pair with anything, or you can go rogue with peach or coconut.  For a hit of healthy sweetness, maple syrup dissolves beautifully into cold drinks. Raw honey is a bit trickier to mix-in, but combined with hot water makes a snappy simple syrup.

Here are a few of my favourite healthy and delish drinks you can whip up at home this summer. Grab your favourite glass or pitcher and let’s get started!

Green Tea Mojito 

Fresh, herbaceous and bright. Great for energy and antioxidants.

Steep 2 heaping tsp loose or 2 tea bags of Green Tea in ¾ cup water at 80°C for 5 minutes. 

Stir in 1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup. Add 1 tbsp of torn fresh mint and lime wedge to the glass and muddle. Top with ice. Squeeze over lime wedge. 

Green tea Mojito recipe

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Creamy, rich and refreshing. Like a healthy chocolate shake with mood-boosting benefits from raw cacao. 

In a high speed blender, add 1 cup coconut or almond milk, 1 tbsp raw cacao powder, 1 frozen banana (cut into pieces), ½ cup of ice, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp maple syrup and 1 tbsp chocolate protein powder (optional).  Blend until creamy, adding more milk as needed. 

 Frozen hot chocolate recipe

Healthy-ish Hibiscus Margarita 

Zingy, bright and hydrating. Hibiscus is packed with collagen-boosting vitamin C.

Steep 2 tsp loose or 2 tea bags of Hibiscus tea in 1/2 cup of boiling water for at least 5 minutes. Strain tea and stir in 1-2 tsp raw honey. In a shaker or jar, add steeped tea, 1.5 oz silver tequila, juice from half a lime, a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt and 1 cup of ice

Shake for 20 seconds. Pour into your favourite glass and enjoy!

Hibiscus cocktail recipe

Iced Coconut London Fog

Energizing, creamy and refreshing. An elevated take on a London fog, and a great substitute for your afternoon iced coffee. 

In your favourite heat-proof glass, steep 2 tsp loose of 2 tea bags of Earl Grey tea in 3/4 cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 min, covered. Stir in 1-2 tsp honey or maple syrup and ¼ tsp vanilla extract.  Top with 1 heaping cup of ice and 3/4 cup of milk (I love oat here). Garnish with crushed rose petals or cinnamon if desired.

Iced coconut London Fog recipe

Coconut Watermelon Slushie

Hydrating and revitalizing. Watermelon and coconut are the ultimate summer skin food. 

In a high speed blender, add 1 cup coconut water, 1 cup frozen watermelon (diced) ¼ cup frozen banana (cut into pieces) and 1/4 cup frozen strawberries. Blend, adding more liquid as needed, until creamy and combined. 

Watermelon slushie recipe

By Meredith Youngson

Photography by Jocelynne Flor

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Meredith Youngson