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No alcohol? No problem with these drinks

By Deirdre Parker Smith

deirdre.smith@salisburypost.com

Easy, non-alcoholic drinks are the perfect solution to a hot summer or to getting children to eat more fruit.

And now that many people are trying to avoid sugary sodas, or caffeine laden diet sodas, you need to have some alternatives.

Go beyond iced tea or lemonade and use some ofthe fruits in season, like peaches or blueberries. Frozen fresh fruit makes for great cold drinks or slushies, and it is typically frozen when ripe. Try to avoid getting frozen berries dripping in sugar syrup and look for frozen fruits with the fewest possible ingredients.

All you need is a blender or food processor for most of these recipes, and a little time to let ingredients blend. Serve at your next cookout or family dinner.

Slushberry Drink

2 cups 100% pineapple juice

1 cup club soda

2 cups frozen strawberries

1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients until slushy.

For adults, add a few sprigs of basil or mint.

Try

2 cups orange juice

1 cup club soda

2 cups frozen peaches

1 cup ice

or

2 cups white grape juice

1 cup club soda

2 cups frozen blueberries

1 cup ice

For adults, add 1-2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root.

or

2 cups pineapple juice

1 cup club soda

2 cups frozen mango

1 cup ice

Try to use 100% juice and unsweetened frozen fruit. The sugar in the juices and fruit will be plenty.

This is a tart take on a summer cooler.

Mason Jar Citrus Cooler

1  1/2 cups fresh orange juice

1/2 cup lime juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1  1/2 tsp sugar

6  cups club soda

Lemon or lime slices for serving.

In a measuring cup or pitcher, stir together fresh orange juice, lime juice, and lemon juice. Spoon sugar into each of 8 mason jars and top with juice mixture. When ready to serve, fill each mason jar with ice, cover and shake to blend and dissolve sugar. Top with club soda.

Watermelon Cooler

4-5 cups seedless watermelon, cut into chunks

1/2 peeled cucumber, cut into chunks

5-10 mint leaves, roughly chopped

3 Tbsp. sugar

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

A pinch of salt

You may have to do this in two batches in your blender. Divide ingredients in half and process twice, if needed.

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Pour through a strainer into a bowl, pressing the solids with a wood spoon to get all the liquid out.

Place the mixture back in the blender; add ice cubs depending on how slushy you want it.  Serve immediately.

Non-alcoholic sangria uses white grape juice blended with blueberries for its rich color. Just add chunks of fresh fruit.

No Alcohol Sangria

4 cups white grape juice

1/4 cup blueberries plus 3/4 cup blueberries

1 cup orange juice

Juice of 1 lime

2 limes

2 oranges

2 bananas

2 peaches

Blend the white grape juice with 1/4 cup blueberries. Pour into a jar or bowl.

Add the orange and lime juice. Stir until well mixed.

Place ice in a mason jar, add the liquid, then the chopped fruits — 2 oranges, 2 bananas, 2 limes and 2 peaches, along with the 3/4 cup blueberries. Let stand in refrigerator for about 2 hours.

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