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Boozy drinks as pretty as a pitcher

This is six on the beach.
This is six on the beach. TNS

The heat index is 143 degrees. The humidity is, oh, at least 120 percent. It’s nuts out there. Maybe not quite that nuts, but it is hot.

What could be more cooling, more refreshing, than a tall, icy pitcher of drinks? Can’t you see the drops of condensation rolling slowly down the side?

A pitcher of drinks means fun, it means companionship and camaraderie. It means spending time with old friends and making new ones. It means laughter; it means love. A pitcher of drinks is a clear indication that you’re in for a good time. Bring it to the beach and set it in the sand. If you’re lucky enough, mix one up on a boat. Have it on the front porch or the back porch or out in the courtyard.

Good times guaranteed.

Best of all, they don’t take much time or effort to make. You can whip up a batch and be back to your guests before they know you’re gone. Or you can get a pitcher or two ready even before they arrive.

On to the mixing

Six on the beach

Yield: Four servings.

▪ Two cups orange juice, see note.

▪ One cup mango juice, see note.

▪ One cup pineapple juice.

▪ Three-quarters of a cup to one cup rum, depending on how strong you want it.

▪ Ice cubes.

▪ Four tablespoons grenadine.

Note: Orange-mango juice is an acceptable substitute for the orange and mango juices, if you can find it.

In a pitcher, mix together fruit juices and rum. Fill four glasses with ice, and add drink. Pour one tablespoon of grenadine over each glass and allow red color to sink to the bottom before serving, about one minute.

Per serving: 275 calories; no fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; 1 g protein; 43 g carbohydrate; 31 g sugar; 1 g fiber; 10 mg sodium; 29 mg calcium.

Basil mojitos

Yield: eight servings.

▪ 32 leaves of basil.

▪ Three-quarters of a cup fresh-squeezed lime juice.

▪ Third of a cup superfine sugar, plus more for coating glass rims, see note.

▪ One and a half cups lime basil vodka.

▪ One lime wedge.

▪ Two cups club soda or seltzer.

Note: To make superfine sugar, place sugar in a blender and blend for 10 seconds.

Place the basil, lime juice and one-third cup of the sugar in a pitcher. Crush the basil leaves with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the vodka and stir vigorously to combine and dissolve the sugar. If drinking quickly, stir in the club soda or seltzer.

Pour more sugar on a plate. Use the lime wedge to wet the rim of each glass, and place glass upside-down on the sugar. It will adhere to the rim. Add ice to the glass. If club soda or seltzer was added to the pitcher, pour drink over ice. If pitcher does not have club soda or seltzer, pour about two and a half ounces from pitcher into a glass, top with club soda or seltzer, and stir.

Per serving: 107 calories; no fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; no protein; 11 g carbohydrate; 10 g sugar; no fiber; 13 mg sodium; 10 mg calcium.

Pina colada sangria

Yield: 20 servings.

▪ Two bottles moscato wine.

▪ One 20-ounce can crushed pineapple.

▪ One and a half cups coconut rum.

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Refrigerate overnight, and serve chilled.

Per serving: 101 calories; no fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; no protein; 6 g carbohydrate; 4 g sugar; no fiber; 4 mg sodium; 11 mg calcium.

Recipe from wineandglue.com

Margarita pitcher

Yield: About 16 servings.

▪ One and a half cups fresh-squeezed lime juice.

▪ One and a half cups superfine sugar, see note.

▪ One and a half cups triple sec or Cointreau.

▪ One bottle tequila.

▪ Coarse salt.

▪ Lime wedge.

Note: To make superfine sugar, place sugar in a blender and blend for 10 seconds.

Place lime juice and sugar in a pitcher. Stir with a long spoon until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add triple sec and tequila, and stir to combine. Chill, or shake with ice before serving.

To serve, pour salt onto a plate. Wet the lip of each glass with the lime wedge and place the glass upside-down onto the plate. The salt will adhere to the glass. Pour drink over ice or not, depending on your taste.

Per serving: 182 calories; no fat; no saturated fat; no cholesterol; no protein; 21 g carbohydrate; 19 g sugar; no fiber; 1 mg sodium; 6 mg calcium.

Recipe adapted from liquor.com.

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