Summer drinks just below par

Honeydew, cucumber and mint cooler
HANDS-ON TIME: 15 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME : 50 MINUTES
SERVES 8

Peel and chop one honeydew melon and half a cucumber. Puree the melon and cucumber together with and one cup of fresh mint leaves in a blender until smooth. This may have to be done in increments, unless the blender is large.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large pitcher — this is very important.

Next, add half a cup of fresh lime juice and the other half of the sliced cucumber. Chill for 30 minutes.

Stir well, and then serve over ice, garnished with lime slices. A splash of gin is optional.

This cooler might have been different had I owned a fine-mesh sieve, but the taste would have been the same.

Though bluntly, this drink was not as good as it sounds. The honeydew flavor, which I was looking forward to the most, seemed to be a pushover to the cucumber and mint, which both played the lead role in the flavor.

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That said, this drink has potential. After learning from experience, I advise cutting down the mint to 3/4 cup and using only a fourth of a cucumber. The drink would also benefit from using a different, more flavorful member of the melon family, like watermelon or cantaloupe.

All in all, the idea is there, but the execution of the drink was not.

Pineapple, lime and coconut spritzer
HANDS-ON TIME: 10 MINUTES
TOTAL TIME: 45 MINUTES
SERVES 8

Combine three cups pineapple juice, two cups coconut water and a half-cup of fresh lime juice in a large pitcher. Chill for 30 minutes. Just before serving, add two cups of club soda. Pour over ice and garnish with pineapple. A splash of rum is optional.

Pineapple and coconut are a perfect combination on a hot summer day. This bright drink is a tart refresher for the tongue, but it has its downfalls.

When the drink first hits the tongue, all that can be tasted is lime. Then the spritzy undertone comes in, followed by a hint of pineapple. While the flavor of this drink was unexpected, it was rejuvenating and light.

Two culprits bring the drink down. Firstly, the recipe called for way too much lime juice. I would recommend adding the lime juice to taste. Secondly, coconut water has a similar taste to dirt. Sure it is healthy, but it doesn’t inspire the sweet taste of coconut. Just dirt.

Therefore, I don’t think the coconut water is a good ingredient for this drink.

This drink is definitely worth a repeat with a different coconut flavoring, like coconut snow cone syrup or coconut rum.

Just anything but coconut water.