5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

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Hosting a barbecue in honor of America’s birthday this weekend? We’ve got your burgers, snacks, and sides covered. All that’s left is to stir up some tasty drinks to wash it all down. Skip the high-calorie sugary sodas and try one of these fruit-infused concoctions that are equally as refreshing and delicious (just remember it’s still a good idea to go easy on seconds). Here are our favorite (alcohol-optional!) summer coolers to get your party started. And if you’d rather serve up H2O, try these tasty ways to jazz up your water.

5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

Red, White, and Blue Berry Coconut Slushies

Nothing says summer like strawberries and blueberries, and this tasty sip from Kitchen Confidante highlights them beautifully. First, make the red layer by combining frozen strawberries with agave nectar and lemonade (to keep calories in check, look for a low sugar variety). Then, make the white layer by blending light coconut milk with ice and a small amount of agave nectar. Layer the slushies into glasses and top with fresh blueberries. Serve them virgin or with a splash of vodka or tequila.

5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

Ginger Lemonade

This twist on a summer favorite is a thirst quencher and a health booster. Ginger is traditionally used to quell digestive issues and provides a good amount of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C. Add it to your lemonade with fresh mint leaves and sparkling mineral water for a party-ready sip.

Ingredients: 3-4 slices fresh ginger, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp honey, 1/2 lemon, 1/2 cup sparkling mineral water, 1-2 fresh mint leaves

Boil the ginger with 1 cup water. Strain and add the honey, juiced lemon, sparkling mineral water, and mint leaves. Stir well and chill. Serve cold.

Excerpted from Health and Beauty Home Remedies, © 2015 by Aslihan Koruyan Sabanci. Reproduced with permission of Sedes Holding A.S. All rights reserved.

5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

Energizing Watermelon Juice With Fresh Mint

One of the most popular summer fruits, watermelon is especially hydrating (it’s 92 percent water!) and packed with lycopene and vitamins A and C. Pick up a watermelon, which is widely available and affordable this time of year, and combine it with just two other simple ingredients for a hydrating beverage that’s perfect for backyard barbecues.

Ingredients: 1 lb. watermelon chunks, 1/2 cup water, 3-4 fresh mint leaves, sliced

Extract the seeds of the watermelon. Blend the watermelon with ice using a hand blender. Add the fresh mint leaves. Serve cold. Garnish with sliced watermelon, if desired.

Excerpted from Health and Beauty Home Remedies, © 2015 by Aslihan Koruyan Sabanci. Reproduced with permission of Sedes Holding A.S. All rights reserved.

5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

Honeydew-Cucumber Juice

Melon fans will love this vitamin C-rich green juice that has a clean and invigorating taste. Both honeydew and cucumbers are a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps boost heart health. Stick with English cucumbers to avoid having to scoop out the seeds before blending.

Ingredients: 2 ½ cups honeydew melon chunks, 1/2 cup English cucumber chunks, agave nectar (optional)

Add the melon and cucumber to a blender. Cover and blend until smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Taste for sweetness, adding agave nectar if desired. (Makes 2 juices)

Excerpted from Smoothie-licious, © 2015 by Jenna Helwig. Reproduced with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

5 Healthy Summer Drinks for Your 4th of July BBQ

Dig Inn’s Strawberry Shrub

A combination of sweet and tart flavors, this simple recipe from the popular New York City eatery Dig Inn is perfect for adventurous palates and pairs well with a variety of mix-ins from club soda to white wine. The leading ingredient, juicy sweet strawberries, is rich in vitamin C and folate. Drink up!

Ingredients: 1 lb. overripe strawberries, 1/4 cup agave nectar, 1 large basil sprig, 1 tbsp black peppercorns, 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

To make the shrub syrup: Place the strawberries, agave, basil, and peppercorns in a large non-reactive bowl or container. Stir well and leave on the counter overnight to extract the fruit juices. The next morning, strain off the fruit juices, and stir in the cup of vinegar. Store in a clean bottle or mason jar until ready to use.

For a classic shrub, combine 1 part shrub syrup with 2 parts distilled or sparkling water. Serve on ice and enjoy. If you prefer a shandy, combine 1/2 cup of shrub syrup with your favorite light ale. Other alcoholic options include: 1/2 cup of shrub syrup with 1/2 cup white rum and 1/2 cup seltzer finished with a twist of lemon, or 1 part shrub syrup with 3 parts white wine and a splash of club soda. (Makes 12 ounces)

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