Mid-Summer Beverages and Appetizers for Celebration 

We have finally shaken off the last vestiges of winter and are in full swing of the summer season by the old calendar, in the modern one we are but at coming to the threshold of summer when pagans once again celebrate Litha.  Litha, St. John’s day, Mid- Summer or the Summer Solstice as it is known is celebrated from around June 20- 23, most often falling on the 21.  In the pagan calendar is the middle of the season, Summer beginning on May 1st with Beltane and concluding on August 1st with Lughnasadh, which marks the beginning of the harvest season. It is the celebration the sun’s power as the longest day of the year blesses us with its bright disposition and we respond well into the evening with bond fires and festivities. The Goddess and Mother Earth are in full bloom with their verdant offerings of abundance and fertility.  It is often a time of hand-fasting and merriment as the joys of year are fully upon us.  Again the veil is thin between the worlds, the portals to other realms open and most often the fey are recognized as this is their time to frolic and commune with us if we are also open.  Abundance, protection and divination opportunities abound as we feast and make merriment in this time of the year.

The color of the season is greens for sure, but also yellows and reds, the brightness of the sun. Some crystals for this time include tiger’s eye and other yellow stones, jades, emeralds and all of the green stones you can imagine.  It is a time of rich herbs like mint, lavender, basil, and also pine, rose and surprisingly cinnamon with its warmth.

Having said that, there are wonderful ways to incorporate these emblems of the season; here are some recipes to get you started in the celebration and cool off for the summer.

Now I generally don’t add alcohol to these, but if you are so inclined you can add whatever alcohol you’d like.  It’s up to you, but some ideas for blends are light wines like whites, roses, champagnes, or harder choices like plain or flavored vodkas, tequilas, rums or even a gin might be nice.  You can try experimenting with craft brews, many these days have citrus notes or even all of the fancy ales like apple, elderberry and other fruity flavors might be nice in a blend if you are looking to add a kick.

I love a great summer drink to cool off or even spice it up a bit and here are some fun ideas.

Fizzes:

To make any drink a fizzy drink, simply add seltzer to the recipe.  I love some fizz on a hot summer’s day.  Here are some ideas for different fizz recipes.

For a basic fun fizz recipe I mix equal parts of:

  1. Tea (your choice) fresh herbs or from dried like in bags
  2. Juice
  3. Seltzer water (flavored or unflavored, your choice)

Add ice to your liking

That’s it.  It’s that simple.  Here are some combinations you can try.  They are really fun and tasty.

Use your coffee maker to make one pot of tea. I put 4 tea bags in the filter area per one pot and just let it brew like I would when making coffee.  Try these for bases:

Ginger, Hibiscus, Lavender, Rose Petal, Orange Spice, Lemon, Mint

OR any other type you like.

If you want to make tea from fresh ingredients, I follow these guidelines:

Roots, I slice thinly and add a few 4-5 slices into the coffee pot and let the hot water steep with the roots.  Ginger is a good example of this.

Herbs, I bruise heavily with my mortar and pestle several stalks of whatever herbs I want to make tea with and steep them in the coffee pot.  Mints, citrus peels, basils are all good examples of this.

Flowers, I bruise lightly with my mortar and pestle and add to the coffee pot to steep. Usually around ten flowers or large petals are good.  For flowers that are tiny I measure about a tablespoon.  Jasmine, rose petals and lavender are all examples of this.

Ginger-Pear Fizz :

Mix equal parts of Ginger tea, pear juice, seltzer and ice.

Ginger-Apple Fizz:

Mix equal parts of Ginger tea, apple juice, seltzer and ice.

Orange Hibiscus Fizz:

Mix equal parts of Ginger tea, hibiscus tea, seltzer and ice.

Mango Lime Fizz:

Mix equal parts of Mango juice, ½ the amount of lime juice, seltzer and ice.

Orange Cinnamon fizz:

Brew one pot of cinnamon or cinnamon orange peel tea and allow to cool in the refrigerator.  Combine with equal parts orange juice and seltzer. Serve over ice.

Pineapple Coconut Fizz:

Mix equal parts of Pineapple juice, Coconut water, seltzer and ice

Chocolate Mint Coconut Fizz:

Combine Coconut water and several stalks of bruised chocolate mint. Allow to steep together for several hours before serving. Add equal parts seltzer and serve over ice.

Apple Mint Ginger Fizz:

Mix equal parts of Ginger tea, steeped apple mint, seltzer and ice. A variation on this it to mix:

equal parts of Ginger tea, apple juice, seltzer , two bruised stalks of fresh mint and ice.

Herbal Teas:

Herbal teas are great on their own just over ice.  If you want it sweetened try honey, agave nectar or even maple syrup.  Just make sure that they are all real and unfiltered.

Hibiscus Orange peel:

Brew one pot of tea and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.

Green tea with lavender and rose petals:

Brew one pot of tea and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.

Rose petal orange peel:

Brew one pot of tea and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Serve over ice.

Lemonades:

Honey Ginger Lemonade:

Combine one pot of ginger tea with one container of fresh lemonade made from honey and real lemons.

Lavender Lemonade:

Combine one pot of lavender tea with one container of fresh lemonade made from honey and real lemons.

Basil-Thyme Lemonade:

With a mortar and pestle bruise several stalks of basil and several leaves of thyme, and combine with one container of fresh lemonade made from honey and real lemons.

Icies:

In a blender combine:

Fresh fruit, ice, juice, and / or seltzer

Cucumber mint icy:

Blend frozen cucumber peeled and seeded with fresh or frozen mint and ice cubes, you can use cooled mint tea as well.

Watermelon Lime Fizz:

Blend frozen watermelon and lime juice from one lime, seltzer and ice.

Sangrias:

White Grape Sparking Sangria (virgin)

Combine sparkling or regular white grape juice in a jug with pink lemonade and seltzer. Add chopped up fresh fruit such as peaches, plums, and green grapes.  Keep it light in color and taste.  You add white wine or a rose if you like or even some wine coolers to make it an adult beverage.

Spanish Sangria (sparkling) Virgin or not:

This recipe comes from the beaches of Spain and is a favorite there to sip in the afternoons.

Combine Pink lemonade with sparkling dark grape juice and sliced fresh fruit such as blood oranges, regular oranges, cherries and even apples.  The idea is to use the darker fruits.

For an adult version which is traditionally made in Spain, combine pink lemonade and a red wine, here you can use a merlot or a cabernet and combine with darker fresh fruit as listed above.  Careful though, this will sneak up on you!

 

While you are sipping your fancy Litha beverages, you might like to munch on some appetizers; here are some ideas for appetizers to tide you over for a bit:

Green Goddess Dip:

Combine an a blender, 1 quart of plain Greek yogurt, 2 ripe avocados, salt and pepper to taste,  1 bunch of cilantro, the juice of one lime, 1 English cucumber, ½ of 1 medium sweet onion, 5-6 shots of Tobasco.  You can use 1 jalapeno instead of the tobacco, but I prefer the tobacco.  Blend well.  Transfer to a bowl.  It’s delicious with cut up veggies, chips, or even beside chicken or fish.  I love it.  Try if for yourself.

Pumpernickel Lox rounds:

Using a round cookie cutter, cut round pieces of pumpernickel bread, give the remaining pieces to the fairies or the birds, they will surely thank you, or simply cut your bread slice into quarters.  Slather each piece with some dill cream cheese and a small piece of lox.  Delicious.

Cucumber Dill rounds:

Do the same thing as above, but instead of lox use cucumber. Top with a small piece of dill or if you really want to be fancy, top with a little bit of caviar or other fish roes.  There is a wide array of varieties and are all delicious as well as decadent.

Mango Salsa:

Mango salsa makes me happy.  It is one of my favorite fruits and it is the color of the sun itself.

Dice 3-4 ripe mangoes, 1 medium purple onion, mince 2 bunches of fresh cilantro, add the juice of 2 limes, and about 6 shots of Tobasco.  You can add one jalapeno instead of tobacco, but I personally prefer the tobacco. Add 1/8 cup of olive oil.  Mix well and serve with chips or over fish or chicken.  It’s amazing and you won’t be able to keep it around for very long.  You can substitute it with other fruits that are sweet and ripe as well.  Try peaches, pineapples, or even plums.

Herb butters:

Herb butters are fun and easy and taste great.  Combine one stick of room temperature real butter, you can use margarine, but it doesn’t taste the same, with herbs of your choice.  Blend together butter with herb combinations until fully incorporated.  Shape into a ball or some other design.  You can find antique butter molds if you like.  Chill in refrigerator until hard.  Serve with bread or other things.  Try some of these combinations:

Rosemary- Lemon Zest, Cracked pepper-garlic and thyme, Lemon zest and thyme, honey-lavender or just plain honey and butter.  These are all delicious, just experiment and see what you like.

So that’s it.  It’s gonna get you started in the festivities.  Look for my other articles on Litha recipes and activities.   Here’s a link to one on crafts and one on beauty rituals.  Try some of these.  They are fabulous!

https://wordpress.com/post/witchpetals.wordpress.com/4348

https://witchpetals.wordpress.com/2016/06/09/beauty-and-self-care-for-mid-summer-celebrations/

2016 copyright by Katie Pifer http://www.witchpetals.wordpress.com

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5 thoughts on “Mid-Summer Beverages and Appetizers for Celebration 

  1. Pingback: Mid-Summer Beverages and Appetizers for Celebration  – hedgecraft

  2. Sangria is a favorite in our house. Also I put pitchers of water with(1) cucumber slices and fresh oregano in the jug or in another jug (2) strawberries and apple chunks, just to make sure everyone is hydrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great idea. Fruit and veggie waters are delicious and a precious delight in the heat of the summer! Thanks for sharing!

      Like

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