Margaritas, June Bugs, and Tea

The BEST Margaritas Ever | Brittany's PantryMmmmm.  There is nothing like reaching for an ice cold beverage when its a million degrees outside.  And trust me.  Right now, in central Illinois, its about that hot.  Personally, I like a nice strong, sweet tea.  In fact, sweet tea is one of my favorite all time drinks.  I suppose I developed a taste for it when I was young.  My parents used to make sun tea in a pickle jar.  Remember those enormous glass pickle jars with the green lid?   They were huge!  A gallon.  We had several, scrubbed clean, filled with water, and about 5 plain Lipton tea bags floating at the top.  We would set the jar out in a sunny spot and and heat from the sun would warm the water.  I used to love to sit and watch the dark, red-brown gold color seep from the top to the bottom.  I’m not sure how long we let it steep like that (I remember several occasions when we forgot and left it out all day) but after awhile we brought it in and mixed in lemon juice and sugar.  The sugar dissolved easily because the whole jar was pleasantly warm and with five other siblings, we easily polished off a jar in one meal.  Its been years since I’ve made sun tea-and even longer since I bought my pickles in a gallon jar-but I remember the flavor of that drink with such fondness, I measure all sweet teas against it.  Of course grilled hamburgers, sun bleached hair, and dirty toes add to the memory, but I stand by my taste buds.

So there you have it.  My drink of choice.  But after all that, I’m not giving you a special iced tea recipe.  No sir, far from it.  Instead I’m posting three drinks that I have come to fall back on when I need a classic, or just need something everyone likes.  I rarely drink so two out of the three are non alcoholic, but if you choose to spike them, I won’t tell anyone.  As usual, these are collected from various sources.  Until this moment I guess I never realized how un-experimental I am with beverages, but I know what I like and am passing my research on to you.
Note: All beverages taste better outside in a lawn chair with your feet up.  Dirty toes are optional.

Jane’s Margaritas
This recipe comes from my sister-in-law’s mother.  I don’t know if she created it or not but everyone who drinks them seems to say the same thing.  “These are the best margaritas I have ever had!”  You be the judge.

6 oz (1/2 can) frozen limeade concentrate
1/4 c triple sec
3/4 c tequila
12 cubes of ice, about half a blender full
Blend in a blender until smooth and frothy.

June Bug Punch - A refreshing drink the whole family can enjoy! {Brittany's Pantry} June Bug
I came across this recipe just a few months ago in the June edition of Better Homes and Gardens.  I made it for my daughters 4th birthday party and it tastes AWESOME.  It quickly became a favorite of kids and adults alike.  Seriously, soooo gooood.

3 c ginger ale
1/4 c grenadine
1/4 c orange juice
3 scoops orange sherbet
Blend together all ingredients.  Pour into ice filled glasses.  (To make a version with alcohol, add a splash of white rum to individual glasses or a 1/2 c to the pitcher.)

Herbal Iced Tea | Brittany's Pantry - No added sugar makes this as healthy as it is refreshing. Herbal Iced Tea
This is a recipe from the cookbook Barefoot Contessa, Family Style, by Ina Garten.  Even though this recipe is one of her most simple, the woman is a food genius.  I know it sounds crazy, but follow the directions.  No sugar needed.

4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 c pure apple juice

Steep the 8 tea bags in 4 c of water for 10 minutes.  Remove the tea bags and add the apple juice.  Chill till cold.