Unsweetened Summer Beverages


We are getting our first taste of summer heat here in the Pacific Northwest, and that means it’s time for cold refreshing beverages! This is my first summer in recovery from food addiction, and so when I felt myself starting to mourn the beverages that were popping up around me that I no longer drink, I turned my sights towards the world of herbal iced teas, flavored water, and cold sparkly waters. YUM!

Here are some ideas for living happy, healthy, COOL, and free of food obsession this summer!

Cucumber, Lemon/Lime, & Herb Infused Water


Images from Google 

I just got myself a glass drink dispenser (they are cheap to buy new but there are also almost always some at thrift stores) and I have been making a batch of delicious flavored water every few days and keeping it chilled and ready in the fridge. Try adding any combination of the following to a big jug of water. Wait a few hours for the flavor to come out before drinking or serving.

  • Cucumber slices
  • Lemon slices
  • Lime slices
  • Strawberry slices
  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh ginger
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh thyme

Sparkling Water w/ Lemon or Lime

When you want that satisfying carbonated fizz, go for sparkling water and add a twist!


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Most brands of seltzer or sparkling water, including flavored ones, are totally fine. Be sure to double check for sneaky sweeteners, but mostly the ingredients lists consist of sparkling water and natural flavor. Add a wedge of lemon or lime and you’ve got yourself a festive, fancy glass of bubbly!


Images from Google 

Also try adding any of the flavorings in the list above, for example, fresh mint, rosemary, cucumber, and ginger are delicious in sparkling water.

Iced Herbal Tea

There are lots of great herbal teas that are wonderful iced. I learned how to brew iced tea from this post.


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Here are 2 methods I like to use:

Pour Strong Hot-Brewed Tea Over Ice:

  • In a large container like a teapot, heat-proof pitcher, or french press (or in a single-serving mug), make a batch of strong, concentrated herbal tea with multiple tea bags and a smaller amount of water. Experiment with different numbers of tea bags to find the strength you prefer.
  • Pour over a glass of ice and dilute with cold water. Add other flavorings if desired.
  • Don’t do this with caffeinated teas or they can become too bitter.

Cold-Brewed Herbal Iced Tea:

  • Fill a pitcher with water and optional other flavorings and brew your tea overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Works better with some types of tea than others. Experiment!

Here are some flavor combinations and brands of herbal tea to play with:

Try any herbal brands of fruity tea. Hibiscus is great for bright color and punchy flavor. I like the “Zinger” brands of Celestial Tea, and also my normal brands of peppermint and lemon ginger. I also love trying loose-leaf blends from my local tea shops. Be playful and have fun!


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NOTE: Be careful of sweetened brands of iced tea, and of bottled iced tea. Some brands of herbal tea that market themselves for iced tea contain stevia. Always check the ingredients list!

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  1. I’ve enjoyed experimenting with infused water, too, and one of my favorite discoveries was orange and grapefruit peels with a sprinkle of ground cloves! I have a fine-mesh infusing setup with an iced-tea pitcher.

  2. Sue Gavin

    In south Florida the Presidente supermarket carries passion fruit herbal tea from Brazil. Tastes like the one I used to drink at the Cheesecake Factory. I brew and keep in the fridge so it’s ready when I want it.

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