Check It Out: 'Juicy Drinks' a perfect pairing with the season

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Review

"Juicy Drinks: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juices, Smoothies, Cocktails, and More"

By Valerie Aikman-Smith; Weldon Owen, 94 pages

Now that Old Man Winter is on sabbatical (in our neck of the woods, that is), I'm really looking forward to the dog days of summer. Oh wait, summer's "dog days" happen near the end of the summer solstice. I want to be very clear that I am not wishing for spring, which just arrived, or warm, halcyon days of June and July, which may or may not pay us a prolonged visit, to zip on by. So, perhaps I should say I'm looking forward to the "puppy days" of summer.

Okay, now that I've got that all straightened out, the reason for writing about seasonal weather and canines is that I'm ready to move on from hot apple cider days to cool lemonade days. Thus, this week's very refreshing title, "Juicy Drinks" by Valerie Aikman-Smith. From fruits to veggies, fresh herbs to nectars and honey, recipes for tasty beverages are just waiting to tantalize taste buds. Love the flavor of watermelon on hot summer days? Chill out with a super fresh watermelon-lime agua fresca. More of a veggie person?

Be cool as a cucumber when you make chilled cucumber juice; for more adventurous imbibers, turn that juice into a cucumber-jalapeno gimlet.

One of the reasons this thirst-quenching title caught my eye is that the author groups her juicy drinks by color. So, if you wake up one day and have a craving for a purple drink, turn to the Purple Drinks chapter and stir up blackberry punch or a plum and ginger granita. Dr. Seuss may have cornered the market on green eggs and ham, but Juicy Drinks will make you see green — in your drink — when you try a green grape fizz or a honeydew-kiwi frappe. You'll also find chapters on red, pink, orange and yellow drinks, which make this eye-appealing beverage guide a veritable rainbow of liquid concoctions.

In addition to recipes, the author provides information on juicing, including helpful guidelines for using juicing equipment, and which fruits and vegetables make the best juicing candidates.

And budding mixologists will appreciate the author's simple tips for using syrups and garnishes in spirited drinks.

So, take a well-deserved break from hot chocolate and peppermint mochas — you'll taste them again soon enough.

Cherry juice sparklers and peach nectar are knocking on the refrigerator door.

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at readingforfun@fvrl.org.