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Summer..Refreshing Drinks to Chill With…

Posted in aperitifs, Caro Diario.(dear diary..), Country House Living, cucina, cucina povere, entertaining, La Dolce Vita, recipes, slow food, the Mediterranean diet, Uncategorized, and Upcoming Appearances

Guest Blogger: Brianne Wetovick

copyright 2012 Art of Living,PrimaMedia,Inc

The unofficial start to summer has come and gone. With it brought longer days, hotter weather, and maybe a more adventurous spirit for some. Maybe you even broke out your grill, pulled out the hammock, and dusted off the yard games. With the warm weather comes the search for things to cool off with, including luscious drinks and sweet treats.

To kick off summer, why not try some Italian treats for the long hot days?


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Why save this amazing lemony delight for one specific time of the day or night? It’s summer! Drink it chilled whenever you feel like….because it’s summer.

Italian Screwdriver


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Because you can’t just drink a regular screwdriver! For your summertime pleasure, mix 1 and ¼ oz. of citrus-infused vodka, 3 oz. of orange juice, 1 and ½ oz. of grapefruit juice, and a splash of ginger ale (really however much fizz that you’d like). Pour everything in a tall glass and stir well. Add ice and enjoy!


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First appearing around the 30’s, this drink continues to make people happy. Who wouldn’t like the wonderfully peachy drink? Make it for your next summertime brunch.

And it’s so simple! For you and your friends, you’ll need 2 large white peaches (or regular if you can’t find white). Pit and chop them, then toss in a blender. Puree, then strain into a sieve to make about a cup of peach puree. Put the puree into a large pitcher, and add one bottle of chilled Prosecco or sparkling white wine (or for non-alcoholic versions, use sparkling fruit juice or seltzer water). Stir to mix everything together. Serve in tall glasses, or those beautiful champagne flutes that you barely ever use. What are you waiting for, anyway?

And if you’d like a Bellini just for you, you’ll only need 2 oz. of the puree along with 4 oz. of Prosecco.

Granita al Limone (or Italian ice)

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For those days that are so unbearably hot, or you’re just craving something really sweet, this is your recipe! Get your friends or family together, because this is one for six to eight people. You can make this for dessert, eat it more as a slush, or just have it for a cool treat.

Place one cup of water and 1 and ½ cups of sugar in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil while stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue boiling the mixture for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and let it all cool down.

Stir in 2 more cups of water and 1 cup of lemon juice. Pour this mixture into a glass baking dish and put it in the freezer about one or two hours, or until it gets slushy.

Stir it around with a fork, and break up any larger chunks that start to form. Stir every 20 minutes until your granita is completely frozen.

Now you’re ready to eat! Scoop into your prettiest dessert bowls and wow your friends and family! You can even make this recipe using other fruit juices.

So there you have it- a quick list of some cool, refreshing treats to make the heat a little less unbearable. Grab a book, and a glass of one of these drinks, and go sit in that hammock you pulled out for just this sort of occasion.

For more recipes get your copy of the Gourmand World Award Winning book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions-2nd edition


*June 18th- Davio’s Restaurant Philadelphia, Pa –Celebrity Chefs Dinner..see you then. For more info email:

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