Spring has sprung, and there’s so much beauty in the air. Birds are singing, the sun is shining, and all of winter’s snow has melted away—summer is on the horizon. Quarantine, however, has canceled school early for most students and thrown everyone’s life out of whack, and we have no clear answers as to what will happen when fall rolls around. It can get pretty anxiety-inducing, which is why it’s so important to focus on the here and now . . . and that includes staying hydrated! Here are five delicious springtime drinks you can easily make from the safety of your home to enjoy with your favorite YA reads.
This thirst-quenching half-and-half classic is perfect for sipping all spring and summer, and best of all, it takes just minutes to make! You can either mix together 5 fluid ounces of pre-made lemonade with 5 fluid ounces of unsweetened ice and serve over ice, or you can get a little fancier by making your iced tea from scratch and mixing in lime juice, lemon juice, and sugar.
Here’s how to make iced tea and lemonade from scratch, if you don’t have a pitcher with a strainer:
- Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup lemon juice, and the juice of half a lime in a saucepan, and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate until chilled.
- Tie 4 tea bags together and attach to the handle of a large glass pitcher.
- Bring a kettle of water to a boil, then pour the hot water into the pitcher. Let steep for 5 minutes.
- After your tea is finished steeping, pour it over a class of ice, then add the lemonade!
Pair this classic drink with another classic like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Healthy Honey Lemon Ginger Tea
This simple recipe is perfect for staving off colds or just keeping yourself feeling good each day. Both lemon and honey are known to help fight infection, as is ginger, which is rich in antioxidants that help boost your immunity.
- Cut two medium lemons and 1/4 cup fresh ginger into slices, or grate the ginger for finely shredded pieces.
- In a pint-sized Mason jar, layer the lemon and ginger slices and add in raw honey until the jar is full. Cover with a lid and let sit for 12 hours. Store in the fridge to keep it cool and fresh.
- After 12 hours is up, your mixture is ready to use! Boil a fresh pot of tea and spoon in 1 to 2 tablespoons of your mixture for a sweet and healthy springtime drink. If the lemon and ginger is too strong, add a splash of orange juice. For a warm spicy flavor, add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.
Pair it with Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye. A sweet rom-com a day keeps the doctor away—and so does this healthy drink!
Springtime Shirley Temple
The cherry trees are all in bloom, so what better time to make one of these syrupy sweet, old-fashioned mocktails? You’ll need:
- A bottle of grenadine or the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries
- A bottle of lemon-lime soda (Sprite, 7UP, etc.)
- Lots of ice
- Maraschino cherries to garnish
The recommended ratio is 1 ounce of grenadine to 8 ounces of soda, though you can certainly experiment!
Simply fill a glass with ice and pour in 1 ounce of grenadine, topping it off with the lemon-lime soda. Stir and add plenty of maraschino cherries!
Pair this sweet summery sip of Americana with American Royals by Katharine McGee.
Spiced Oat Chai
Oat milk is a great alternative to dairy milk. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and has plenty of fiber to keep you feeling full. Since it’s not too hot outside yet, it’s still the perfect time of year to enjoy a warm drink on chilly mornings and evenings while reading a good book.
You can either purchase premade masala chai concentrate and mix it with oat milk (heated on the stove or in the microwave), or you can make your own tea at home with a few key ingredients! To create this from scratch at home, you’ll need:
- 8 cardamom seeds
- 8 cloves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 cups oat milk
- 4 bags black tea
- 1 resealable plastic bag
- 2 cups water
Put the cardamom seeds, cloves, and peppercorns in the plastic bag. Crush them all together inside with a mallet, skillet, or heavy jar. Now you have your spice blend!
This flavorful and soothing tea is perfect for a book with twists and turns. Pair it with We Were Liars by E Lockhart
Put the sliced ginger, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of oat milk, and crushed spices into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let steep for 10 minutes. Pour your tea mix through a strainer into a mug, bottle, or glass. Add sugar or honey to taste.
Perfectly Mixed Kool-Aid
For this tasty warm weather classic, you’ll need a large a juice pitcher, Kool-Aid, both hot and cold water, and a whisk or big stirring spoon.
Put 2 to 3 packages of your favorite Kool-Aid flavor into a 1-gallon pitcher and place the pitcher in your kitchen sink. Slowly add hot water to the pitcher while mixing the water and powder together until the pitcher is about a quarter of the way full. Keep mixing hard until all of the sugar is dissolved!
Next add cold water while continuing to whisk until the pitcher is full. Keep chilled in the fridge. Serve over ice.