Summer Drink Recipes 2014 with Calories and Exercise Equivalents

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Drink 2014 with and Exercise Equivalents

Cucumber Agua Fresca

Healthy recipes from Cooking Light Chill: Smoothies, Slushes, Shakes, Juices, & Ices (Oxmoor House, 2013) by the Editors of Cooking Light magazine (

Makes 2 Servings

2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
13/4 cups peeled cucumber slices (about 1 medium cucumber)
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 large limes)
11/2 cups crushed ice
2 cups lime-flavored sparkling water, chilled
Cucumber ribbons (optional)

Combine sugar and 3 tablespoons water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at high for 2 minutes or until mixture boils, stirring every 1 minute. Cool.

Place cucumber slices and 1/4 cup water in a blender; process until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl to measure 1 cup liquid; discard solids. Combine cucumber liquid and sugar syrup in a small pitcher. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled; stir in lime juice.

Place 3/4 cup crushed ice in each of 2 glasses. Pour 1/2 cup cucumber mixture into each glass. Add 1 cup sparkling water to each glass. Garnish with cucumber ribbons, if desired.

Nutrition per serving: 44 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 11
Bike: 6
Run: 4.5
Swim: 5.5
Yoga: 15
Dance: 7.5

Summer Wind

Healthy recipe from 101 Tropical Drinks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013) by Kim Haasarud

Makes 1 Serving

10 ripe blueberries, plus extra for garnish
2 ripe strawberries, plus 1 strawberry half for garnish
11/2 ounces fresh orange juice
11/2 ounces pineapple juice
11/2 ounces Jamaican rum
1 ounce coconut cream (such as Coco Lopez)
Pineapple leaf, for garnish

Combine all ingredients except the garnishes in a blender cup. Blend on high for 10 seconds. Add 3/4 cup of ice. Blend on high for 10 to 15 seconds until smooth. Pour into a tropical cocktail glass. Garnish with the pineapple leaf, strawberry half and a few blueberries.

Nutrition per serving: 273 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 70.5
Bike: 39
Run: 29
Swim: 33.5
Yoga: 93.5
Dance: 46.5

Cantaloupe-Grapefruit Agua Fresca

Healthy Recipe from Fresh Grilling: 200 Delicious Good-for-You Seasonal Recipes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens magazine

Makes 6 Servings

1 medium cantaloupe
Juice of 2 ruby-red grapefruits
3 cups cold water
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil
Small basil sprigs (optional)

Cut the rind from the cantaloupe; discard rind. Cut cantaloupe into cubes; you should have about 6 cups.

In a blender, combine cantaloupe, grapefruit juice and 1 cup of the water. Cover and blend until smooth (blend half of the melon at a time, if necessary). Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher; discard solids.

Stir in remaining water, lime juice, honey and snipped basil. Chill until ready to serve. Strain to remove snipped basil if desired. Serve in glasses over ice and, if desired, garnish with small basil sprigs.

Nutrition per serving: 97 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 25
Bike: 14
Run: 10
Swim: 12
Yoga: 33
Dance: 16.5

Note:  Agua fresca means “fresh water” in Spanish, and the magical combination of fresh fruit, water, sugar and lime refreshes like nothing else. Made with a variety of fruits such as watermelon, mango, guava and passion fruit, agua fresca is the perfect alcohol-free party drink.

(Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.)

Sparkling Basil Lemonade

Healthy Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Quick & Healthy Book: More Than 400 Low-Cal Recipes with 15 Grams of Fat or Less, Ready in 30 Minutes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens magazine

Makes 16 (8-ounce) Servings

4 cups water
3 cups sugar
2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 11/2 ounces)
2 1-liter bottles club soda, chilled
2 cups lemon juice
Ice cubes
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, sliced*
Fresh basil leaves

Basil Syrup: In a large saucepan combine the water, sugar and the 2 cups basil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Strain syrup and discard leaves. Cover syrup and place in freezer for 10 minutes or chill for 2 to 24 hours.

Lemonade: In a very large punch bowl, combine chilled basil syrup, club soda and lemon juice. Serve over ice. Garnish with chile pepper slices and fresh basil leaves.

*Because hot chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition per serving: 155 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 40
Bike: 22
Run: 16.5
Swim: 19
Yoga: 53
Dance: 26

(Reprinted with permission from the publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recipes from Better Homes and Gardens The Ultimate Quick & Healthy Book.  Copyright 2014.)

Ultra-Light Shandy

Healthy recipe by Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., co-editor of website and co-author of 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions (Penguin, 2013)

Makes 1 Serving

6 ounces Diet Sprite or 7UP
12 ounces ultra-light beer
Lemon or lime wedge for garnish

Combine the soda and beer and garnish with the lemon or lime wedge.

Nutrition per serving: 95 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 25.5
Bike: 13.5
Run: 10
Swim: 11.6
Yoga: 32.5
Dance: 16

Refreshing Mango Iced Tea

Healthy recipe by Julie Upton, M.S., R.D., co-editor of website and co-author of 101 Fat Habits & Slim Solutions (Penguin, 2013)

Makes 4 Servings

3 cups iced green or black tea
1 cup fresh mango cubes
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
4 fresh mint leaves or mango slices for garnish

Combine and puree all the ingredients except the garnish, and pour over ice into four 16-ounce glasses.
Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint or a slice of mango.

Nutrition per serving: 76.5 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 20
Bike: 11
Run: 8
Swim: 9
Yoga: 26
Dance: 13

Photo:  Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, from 101 Tropical Drinks  by Kim Haasarud. Photography by Alexandra Grablewski. Copyright

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