Jul 20, 2010

10 Sweet Summertime Ice Treats

Welcome to another Megalicious post. As promised, today will be Part 2 of our summer time blog. We'll explore 10 sweet ice treats inclusive of refreshing iced Teas, Mexican Paletas, childhood favorite - Slush, Sorbet versus Sherbet and will round off with tasty Smoothies.

1. Mango Lassi
Sweet lassi is an Indian yogurt-based beverage that is absolutely delicious. It is easy to make and you'll feel full when enjoyed at breakfast or at lunchtime. Any mango can be used however, I recommend Julie or Hayden mangoes as they provide a balance of tart taste, color and texture.

Grocery List:
  • 2 Julie mangoes
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • few cubes of ice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
Method: Put plain yogurt in blender. Add a teaspoon of honey along with cubed mangoes with a bit of ice and blend well. Pour into your serving glass and garnish with mango fruit.

Iced Teas
While doing research, I stumbled on the most delightful iced tea with a very peculiar name - 'Jamaican Flower' that is said to have been a preferred drink of pharaohs. I delved deeper.

2. Jamaican Flower Iced Tea
In Egypt and Sudan, wedding celebrations are traditionally toasted with a glass of Jamaican flower also called hibiscus tea. On a typical street in Cairo, one can find many vendors and open-air cafés selling the drink. In Egypt, karkadé (alternate name) is used as a means to lower blood pressure if consumed in high amounts. Hibiscus tea is often flavored with mint or ginger in West Africa. So people & lovers of Jamaica would you believe this iced tea - hibiscus, karkadé or flor de Jamaica - is RED SORREL!!!

Grocery List:
  • 1/2 cup dried hibiscus flower (Jamaican red sorrel)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup sugar (or more to taste) Source: On the House

Method: Steep hibiscus (Jamaican sorrel), with hot water for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain flower. Add sugar to the deep-red liquid (tea) stirring to dissolve. Let cool. Serve over ice.

Note: At Christmas time in Jamaica, white rum, ginger and spices are added to the above recipe to give holiday celebrations an extra 'pep'.

3. Amaretto Iced Tea

There are many different ways to enjoy hot or iced Amaretto tea. Adding flavored honey sticks, amaretto syrup or sugar cubes will produce a delicious brew. You may even add a touch of milk or cream for extra smoothness and to enrich taste. If you prefer to use Amaretto liqueur, you can mix it with brewed tea and top with whipped cream for a special treat. Amaretto tea offers versatility and enjoyment to suit every individual preference.

It has a unique taste that provides almost a silken touch to the palate. The rich brew also makes Amaretto flavored tea an unbeatable choice as a thirst quencher on a hot afternoon. Give it try.


The simplest beverage to offer guests this summer is an ice-cold glass of home-made lemonade. But I often wonder how something so simple can be so inconsistent at restaurants, cafes and homes? With some, you immediately gaffe at its exceedingly watery imbalance or impose a 'lemon' attack on one's central nervous system while others 'suffer' from the absence of a sweetener. I believe the following recipes will offer a good balance and invite you to try. p.s Remember to tell us how this works in your kitchen :-)

4. Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Master the right balance of tangy lemon with sweet and you'll be seen as a Goddess :-).

Grocery list:

  • 3 cups quartered strawberries
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, undiluted
  • 2 cups sparkling water, chilled
Preparation: Combine the first 3 ingredients in a blender, and process until smooth. Combine strawberry purée and lemonade in a pitcher and stir until lemonade dissolves. Add sparkling water; pour over ice. Yield: 6 servings

For an adult version of this refreshing drink, substitute champagne for sparkling water.

5. Indian Lemonade

Also called Panaka, this recipe is very simple and the flavor is sublime.

Grocery list:
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • a teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups of cold water
Method: Combine all of the ingredients, making sure the sugar dissolves. Add the cold water. Serve in glasses, filled with ice. Enjoy! [Makes 2 servings]

Pet Peeves: 1) The most unsightly thing is to serve a glass of lemonade with seeds! Save your guests. Strain them PLEASE. 2) When someone is offered lemonade no one expects to be blind-sided with a rancid taste from spoiled lime. It is therefore very important to do a taste test before serving or worse 3) Have you ever been given lemonade but come to find your host was short on lemon and instead used a Seville orange? Ugh. So not cool people. So uncool.

For the next deliciously sweet ice treat, let's journey to Mexico.

6. Paleta
With translation "little shovels", paletas are Mexican fruit bars. Some are milk based (paletas de leche or paletas de la crema) and others are water-based and are referred to as "paletas del agua". Both are equally enjoyable.
Spicy Cantaloupe-Cucumber Paleta Pecan Paleta (milk-based paleta)

Photo: LA Times by Carlos Chavez

7. Slush

Closer to home, Dairy Castle in Manor Plaza, St. Andrew had good slush at least from a child's perspective. To update this childhood favorite, I discovered classic lime and mint mojito flavors pair beautifully with sweet watermelon to create a refreshing and light slush.
Source: Foodie with Family

Really. Just look at it!

These days, on a really long and hot day I say "Cheers to Slush!". What flavors will you experiment with?

8. Sorbet and Sherbet
Ever wondered about the difference between a strawberry sorbet and sherbet?
L-R Sorbet Sherbet
Here are 5-quick distinguishing factors: -
  1. Sherbet has been derived from the Turkish word 'serbet’. Sorbet has been derived from the Persian word 'sharbat’.
  2. Sorbet is made of water, iced fruit and in come cases, wine. Sherbet is simply a cold drink which is made from spices, rose hips, cherries and licorice.
  3. Whereas sherbet contains milk or some other type of fat, sorbet does not contain any type of diary product.
  4. Sherbet and sorbet can be termed a diary-based dessert and fruit-based dessert, respectively.
  5. Because of its icy nature, sorbet is synonymous with granular texture. On the other hand, sherbets look creamy, as they have added fat in them.
In addition to being a refreshing drink, in Turkey, sherbet is believed to have healing effects. It is usually given after childbirth or circumcision!!! [2 'serbets' stat!]

9. Ginger Blueberry Smoothie
Source: Ginger Blueberry smoothie
For the ninth sweet ice treat, MEG recommends smoothies. A great breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up esp. for people who are 'on the go'. With a ginger-blueberry mix there is some oatmeal for fiber and antioxidant-full blueberries. The addition of Jamaican ginger gives it some zing! Plus, the ginger is warming and eases a queasy stomach.

Grocery List:
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen unsweetened blueberries
  • 2 tablespoon of freshly chopped local ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey

Method: Put all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

10. Banana Strawberry Smoothie
We wind down our blog with this all-time popular smoothie.
Grocery list:
  • 2 bananas, broken into chunks
  • 2 cups of fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (can also be replaced with vanilla or strawberry yogurt)
  • 2 tsp sugar for sweetness (this is optional - the fruits contain sugar)
Directions: Clean the strawberries and remove the tops. Cut the banana into small pieces and put both the fruits in a blender along with the milk, yogurt and sugar (if desired). Blend until smooth. Serve with your favorite garnish.

On your next grocery shopping trip be sure to add to your trolley some of the above ingredients to make one, two or all of these recipes. Have fun and most of all, smile awhile :-)

Food News: Observer Food Awards - Jamaica
As a friendly reminder, Thursday July 22 will be the Observer Food Awards at Devon House - East Lawn. It is slated to be a great evening and personally look forward to sampling innovative fare - a fusion of Caribbean cuisine with international sensibilities. We are aiming to have pictures for next Wednesday's post. So definitely stay tuned.

Thank You's
A big shout out to everyone who took the time to share feed back on last week's post. Being a newbie Blogger we thrive on constructive criticism and interaction from our followers. A special 'big up' to Dmitri Dawkins and Loi Laing who have given some excellent technology tips and use this medium to say "Dmitri & Loi - You rock!" The Twitter I.D for Dmitri and Loi are utenjm and loilaing, respectively. I recommend everyone to follow these 2-stars this Friday (#FF).

- Megaliciously yours


  1. LOVE this post! :) Keep 'em coming!

  2. Awesome post! Love the recipes and will definitely try some! You are the a fantastic source for all things cool!

  3. these are absolutely great!

  4. @Loi - Thanks a mil!

    @Sachimi - How very kind of you to say. YOU ARE MEGALICIOUSLY COOL

    @Tao - Thank you for your feedback. Stay tuned for next week's post

  5. Awesome post! and thanks for the bigup!

  6. They sound yummY! I am going to try some of them.


Thank you for your comment. Have a Megalicious Day!