Summer is officially here and that means lazy days by the pool, hanging out in the hammock and chasing monkeys through the yard. Yes, the kids are home! I’m not sure just how “lazy” we get with two monkeys at home for the summer, but we sure do enjoy the summer break. One of the things that summer definitely calls for is a great drink to cool off with. You can make the standard kool-aid, or reach for the soda, but here in the KnowitAll house, we like to make our own healthy fruit sodas. I thought I’d share my favorite time-saving tip for great fruit sodas all summer long!
These are really simple to make–combine fruit juice concentrate with sparkling water and you’re done! To make it even simpler, we freeze our fruit juice concentrate into ice cube trays, so that we can just add one or two to the glass and have an instant fruit sparkler! Any fruit juice concentrate will work–from limeade to cranberry. We buy two different flavors of no-sugar added liquid concentrate at our local health food store–black cherry and cranberry. (You can also pick up liquid concentrates on Amazon.) The kids prefer the black cherry, while the adults prefer the tarter cranberry. I pour about a tablespoon into each ice cube spot, top off with water, then freeze. This is what you’ll get at the end–well, maybe yours won’t be heart shaped like ours, but you get the idea.
Simply drop two or three of the ice cubes into a glass, then top with sparkling water. Voila! You’ve got homemade fruit sodas! No added sugar, no added chemicals, just refreshing deliciousness. As the sparkling water hits the fruit cubes, I find it will foam up a bit on top, giving the feeling of a really satisfying summer treat. You can use any fruit concentrate that you prefer. As the ice melts, it releases the juice into the sparkling water. It works really well. If you want to skip the freezing step, you may, by pouring a tablespoon of concentrate right into your glass. I prefer the ice cubes, because the pre-measured cubes makes it simple enough for the monkeys to make their own, and it chills the drink down at the same time. If your kids prefer the sweetness of sodas, you can add a tablespoon of sugar to the glass–but I don’t think it really needs it.
A bottle of liquid concentrate is between $8 – $10 at most stores, and will make 40-50 drinks before it is gone. It is so much cheaper than buying those sweetened fruit sodas, and doesn’t have all the added ingredients they carry with them.