The drink: It's most likely Coco-Cola, maybe Pepsi or 7-Up; providing sugar, coloring and not much more.
Hot-weather coolers, however, can serve up vitamins A and C if you start with natural fruits and juices and take off from there.The combinations are limited only by your imagination: Strawberries team well with orange juice; melons, blended to a soft froth, are particularly well suited to pineapple or apple juice.
Armed only with a blender -- the food processor isn't as successful, because it leaves bits of fruit -- you can whip up these refreshing beverages in seconds.
This nutritious drink is from the "Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Cooking" by the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago.
FRUIT MEDLEY PUNCH (Makes 1 1/2 quarts) 1/2 cup sugar Pinch salt 2 cups water 1 large ripe banana, peeled and cut in chunks 1/2 cup orange juice 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 can (12 ounces) apricot nectar 1/2 cup each nonfat dry milk and water
Blend sugar, salt and 2 cups water in a saucepan, Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Cool and chill. Put mixture in a blender or food processor along with banana and orange juice and blend until smooth. Add lemon juice and nectar and blend again. Mix milk and remaining water and chill.Before serving, combine both mixtures and stir well.
CANTALOUPE-PINEAPPLE DRINK (2 servings) 1 cup cubed cantaloupe; (about 1/2 a melon) 1 cup pineapple juice 1 lime Mint leaves
Blend cantaloupe and pineapple juice in blender or juicer until smooth. Add juice of 1 lime and blend again briefly. Pour over ice in tall glasses and garnish with mint.
In "This Tomato Book," author Yvonne Young Tarr suggests serving the traditional Bloody Mary with a fresh clam or oyster slipped into each glass. She also offers this twist on tomato juice tht provides 125 percent of the U.S recommended daily allowance for vitamin C and 120 calories per serving:
MINTED TOMORRANGE-ADE (Makes 1 quart) 2 cups tomato juice 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried 2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lime juice
In a medium-sized saucepan, bring tomato juice a to a boil; and sugar and mint leaves. Remove from heat and let mixture cool. Stir in orange and lime juices. To serve, pour over ice and garnish with lime slices.
RUM 'N SHERBET (1 serving) 1 scoop orange sherbet (about 1/2 cup) 1 ounce rum Club soda
Blend sherbet with rum until smooth. Pour into a stemmed glass and top with club soda. Garnish with fruit.
Sangrita, a spicy tomato drink you sip with tequila, is from Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz' "The Book of Latin American Cooking," Knopf.
SANGRITA (18 to 24 servings) 3 cups tomato juice 1 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lime juice 1/2 small white onion, chopped 1 teaspoon each sugar and salt 2 teaspoons seeded and chopped fresh hot green or red peper or 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper White tequila, limes, salt
Combine tomato, orange and lime juices, onion, sugar, salt and hot pepper or cayenne in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain into a jug and chill throughly. Serve in small, straight-sided 1 1/2 to 2 ounce tequila glasses along with lime, salt and a glass of tequila.
CARROT-ORANGE-ADE (makes 4 servings) 2 cups orange juice 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 tablespoon honey 1 cup crushed ice 1 orange
In blender or juicer, blend orange juice, carrots, lemon juice and honey until smooth. Add ice and blend again briefly. Pour into tall glasses and garnish with sliced orange.