Fresh Squeezed, Yes Please

It doesn’t take much for the summer heat to become unbearable. There comes a time in when your skin is always soaked and your throat is always parched. Luckily, there are remedies to these summer maladies and for most there is no better cure than a glass of fresh squeezed juice.

Citrus fruits are generally considered the go-to fruit for juicing. Start the day with freshly squeezed orange juice and sip on a tangy lemon shake-up in the afternoon. Every glass is like a little taste of sunshine, a mini-vacation to a warm and sandy beach. There is nothing quite the freshness of a bright citrus fruit.

Sure you can buy yourself a carton of orange juice or a bottle of lemonade, but once you’ve had the real thing, it’s tough to settle for “juice from concentrate” and “natural and artificial flavors.” Making the drinks yourself using fresh ingredients ensures a tastier, healthier product. And unless you’re mixing drinks in a chemistry lab, your freshly squeezed creations will be nothing but natural.

Orange juice needs no addition other than perhaps a splash of cold water. To make lemonade, it’s as easy as squeezing out the juice of a lemon and adding chilled water and sugar to taste. Agave nectar or honey can be used as a sugar substitute and will give your drink a richer flavor. Always serve with plenty of ice and in true James Bond fashion, lemonade is always best served shaken, not stirred.

Of course, there are easy variations on this simple lemonade recipe. Many restaurants are adding other fruits to the mix, such as strawberries, mango, and kiwi. These colorful and thirst-quenching drinks are as practical as they are beautiful when served at outdoor picnics or as the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Equally delicious drinks can be made other citrus fruits along with lemons and oranges. Experimenting with flavor combinations can yield unique creations- such as creating a lemonade using both lemon and lime or squeezing a little grapefruit juice into your morning OJ.

But why stop there? Try using limes instead of lemons. Limeade is just as flexible in flavor and usage as its cousin. It can be served traditionally with just a little added sugar or made into a spirited party mix by adding a rim of salt and a shot or two of tequila.

Freshly squeezed juices are unparalleled in their bright and bold flavors. Store bought juice or lemonade can be convenient, but they will always pale in comparison. So as long as you have fresh-squeezed, it doesn’t matter if you serve it as is or spice it up with other fruits or a little booze.

It’s summer. Drink yourself a little sunshine.