Delicious Drinks To Quench Your Thirst This Summer In Chicago

By Lisa White in Food on Jun 20, 2014 3:30PM

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(Lemonade at Bang Bang via Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits Instagram)

As the mercury starts to climb even more and our old friend humidity decides to visit again for the season, I’m desperately reaching for something refreshing. One of the most delicious drinks you’ll ever enjoy is an ice cold beverage after spending some time in the July or August sun, parched and in dire need of something replenishing.

As much as I love a chilled martini or a frosty pint, alcohol sometimes makes the heat seem just a bit hotter around the collar and the air a bit heavier. Thankfully Chicago has some wonderful non-alcoholic sips to quench your thirst after a long hot summer day. Here are some of my favorites to enjoy and please share your own because everyone is going to need all the thirst quenching help we can get this summer.

Lava Juice at Irazu
Although the name might seem piping hot this drink is truly a cool down. Lava juice is Irazu’s nickname for fresh watermelon juice. Ice cold watermelon is a favorite summertime treat but sometimes you get a lackluster melon or spend a good amount of time spitting out seeds. Lava juice is seedless, you still get a bit of the pulpy melon texture even though the juice is completely smooth, and it has that bright and sweet taste that when served icy cold makes us forget about the sweat dripping down our forehead.

Irazu is located at 1865 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Lemonade at Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits
Lemonade is one of those classic summer drinks that is perfect for pleasing all sorts of palates. You can keep it tart, make it sweet, mix it with tea, fruit or sparkling water. It has that perfect zesty lemon flavor that is so cooling in the heat. Although there are many places in Chicago who serve up a wonderful glass of lemonade, our most recent favorite find is the seasonal offerings at Bang Bang. They start with a very lovely lemon base and add a variety of fruit options, from a tart cranberry or cherry to a juicy blackberry. On my visit the lemonade and fruit base were kept separate and mixed together when ordered, which made sure neither flavor diluted or overpowered the other. I enjoyed their cherry option and can’t wait to see the other flavors they offer this summer.

Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits is located at 2051 N. California Ave.

Horchata at Taqueria Moran
If you love horchata chances are you have your favorite go-to spot, and for me that special place is Taqueria Moran. Nestled under the California Blue Line station, Moran serves up delicious food but I stop by more often during the summer just to grab their creamy horchata. Even with ice the water never dilutes the flavor, which is nutty and smooth. Some horchatas are too watery or have too much or not enough cinnamon, but Moran gets it just right.

Taqueria Moran is located at 2226 N. California Ave.

Mango lassi at Tahoora Sweets
Lassi are great for cutting through the spice in Indian cuisine, but they also help you cool down on a warm summer day. Rich mango blended with yogurt isn’t as heavy as a milkshake which is what I want to sip when it is sweltering outside. Tahoora also offers falooda and kulfi, which are both perfect cool down treats. The shop has a variety of sweets as well to grab while enjoying your drink, including my favorite, a delicious jalebi.

Tahoora Sweets is located at 2345 W. Devon Ave.

Grenadine at Medici on 57th
Medici is an excellent place to grab a bite and something delicious to drink but their float section is what I love most for a drink on a warm day. They have a few options but during the summer I want something fruity, so I enjoy their Grenadine which is a mix of pomegranate soda with rainbow sherbet. I’ve had my fair share of baby shower sherbet infused punches but this is like a more refined version of the classic sugary sweet treat. The sherbet is a bit lighter than regular ice cream which pairs perfectly.

Medici on 57th is located at 1327 E. 57th St.

Iced Coconut Black Milk Tea at Saint’s Alp
There are a variety of frosty frozen and iced drinks at my favorite quick service tea shop in Chinatown, but no matter what season it is I always end up ordering coconut black milk tea. In the winter it is a soothing, rich and creamy defense against the bitter cold. But in the summer poured over ice it is light with just the perfect hint of coconut. Pair it with their condensed milk toast and you have the perfect afternoon tea time treat.

Saint's Alp is located at 2131 S. Archer Ave

Greyhound Soda at The Dawson
I’ve already had some delicious cocktails at the cozy patio at the Dawson this summer, but they also have a refreshing selection of sodas made in house to enjoy as well. Currently they have a Greyhound soda, which is a play on the classic cocktail and includes grapefruit, pineapple gomme, bergamot and juniper. You’ve got a nice amount of tart, sweet and then the juniper brings a little depth and a more herbal flavor to the drink. It’s the perfect non-alcohol take on a typically alcoholic cocktail.

The Dawson is located at 730 W Grand Ave


Seedling Farms Smoothie at Green City Market

This Michigan farm is known for their fresh quality and juicy ripe fruit as well as their delicious apple cider. So it isn’t any surprise that if you blend said cider and delicious fruit together you get one of the best smoothies in the city. Once again it is a prime example of a simple drink but the quality of excellent ingredients really make it shine. The options change depending on the season since Seedling Farms is at Green City Market all year round, but summer has a real bevy of delicious options when it comes to fruit. Since the market is only open Wednesday and Saturday, your smoothie enjoyment is limited so plan your schedule now in order to enjoy this chilly treat.

The Green City Market is located at the south end of Lincoln Park between Clark and Stockton Drive during the summer season and at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (2430 N. Cannon Dr.) during the fall and winter Check here for exact date information and times.