We are having a warmish spring in my part of Texas, hence the title of this post. Drinks like the ones below are great for any time you want a refreshing cool down, be it spring, summer, fall, or winter (if you live in Texas!). They have been popular on quiet mornings out on the porch, and lazy evenings when the sun starts to set.
The recipes below have been built from several sources and my personal preferences. The notes on substituting ingredients are from my own playing around with the recipes.
Prep time: 30 minutes
2 cups ice
1 cup strong coffee (brewed double-strength and chilled in advance)
1/3 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup chocolate syrup
Whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a pretty topping
Place all ingredients (not the toppings) into a blender and blend until smooth, adding more ice if needed.
Serve in glasses with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
NOTES: This mix is way too sweet for me, though it is definitely richly decadent.
I prefer ice cream to the ice, or coffee frozen into cubes instead of ice of plain water. This increases the richness of the mocha frappe without watering it down.
I also prefer to use the heavy cream with no sweetened condensed milk or sugar. While this may decrease the overall sweet taste of the drink, it will also pull down the calorie and carbohydrate counts significantly.
The whipped cream and/or chocolate shavings are up to individual preference, of course. Personally I don’t care for them (piling on more calories), though they do make an attractive presentation.
MIXED BERRY SMOOTHIES
Prep Time: maybe 10 minutes
¾ cup cranberry or cranberry mix juice (cranapple, crangrape, etc)
¾ cup frozen mixed berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, etc)
6 oz yogurt, berry or vanilla
½ medium banana, sliced
Combine all ingredients in a blander and on high until smooth. It won’t take long, probably just a few seconds.
Pour into large glasses and serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
NOTES: Once again I like to freeze the juice in an ice tray if I have time. This adds extra chill to the beverage without any watering down.
Yogurt may be replaced with sherbet or ice cream for a variety in textures and flavors. For example, substitute the yogurt for lime sherbet, add lime juice to taste, and garnish with a slice of lime for a bitter-sweet alternative. A mellower alternative uses cranapple or cran-blueberry juice, blueberries, and vanilla ice cream. Experiment and find the flavors that suit you best.
In any of the ice cream variations, there are “carb control” ice creams available that may help those on low carb diets to enjoy these beverages.
I hope you have fun with them, and enjoy many happy moments with a cooling drink!
– Ann Cathey