Light Summer Drinks from Around the World

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather’s fine
You got women, you got women on your mind
Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

In the summertime by Mungo Jerry

In the summertime, when the weather is so hot that the asphalt melts under your feet there is nothing more relaxing and recreational to do then spend some time in a hammock in the shade and slurp a cold drink while you play your favorite euro palace casino games. A drink, yes, but what drink? The classic lemonade has long ago become boring for me, and I kind of don’t feel like downing a beer when the weather is this hot. So, let’s look around the world to find something light and refreshing to drive away thirst in the summertime.

1. Fröccs (Spritzer) – Hungary

Some say it is a cocktail, others consider it the best drink to consume during the summertime. Fröccs (spritzer) is basically wine (red, white or even rosé) and sparkling water or club soda mixed in various proportions. Hungarians drink either nagyfröccs or big spritzer made using 2 deciliters (about 2 cups) of wine and 1 deciliter (about one cup) of carbonated water, kisfröccs (small spritzer), sometimes called Fütty (whistle) made using one cup of wine and one cup of water. This refreshing drink is healthy, too, as wine (quality wine, of course) is full of vitamins and minerals, and it has few calories and no added sugar.

2. Kvass (Russia, Ukraine)

Kvass is a fermented refreshment, made using black or regular rye bread, water, sugar and often fruit. Being a fermented beverage, it has an alcohol content of about 0.5 – 1%, although it does not classify as an alcoholic drink in Russia and Ukraine (they are used to something much stronger, mind you). Kvass is easy to make: dried rye bread is baked into croutons of fried, sugar, fruits (usually apples, raisins, strawberries), herbs (like mint) and zakvaska (kvass starter) are added, and left to ferment until it starts bubbling. Then it is filtered, cooled and consumed.

3. Frizzanrte (Italy)

Frizzante is a sparkling Italian wine variety, usually with less alcohol and much less bubbles than spumante. The main difference between the two is that while spumante varieties are made using the classic Champagne method (but they are not allowed to use the name), frizzante only undergoes a partial secondary fermentation, resulting in far less bubbles. It is much less casual than champagne, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon or to wash down the barbecue dinners of the 4th of July.