Beverage

What I Learned Between My First & Fifth Batches of Kombucha — Tips from The Kitchn

I thought about making my own kombucha for a long time. The thing that finally threw me over the edge was seeing Kitchn's recently published videos for making both a scoby and kombucha. I pored over the written instructions more times than I care to admit, but actually seeing someone go through the steps made it seem easy and gave me that extra bit of confidence I needed.

Nevertheless, I approached my first batch with all the uncertainty (and panic) I'm sure first-time brewers feel: Should those floaty things really be in there? Is that brown splotch okay or is it mold? But five batches later, I'm way more laid-back about brewing kombucha, and I learned a few lessons along the way.

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17 Alcohol-Free Mocktails, Punches, and Spritzes for Patio Season — Recipes from The Kitchn

Summer wouldn't be summer without plenty of lazy afternoons and evenings on the front porch and patio potlucks galore. It is your signal to break out the colorful straws and be sure there's plenty of ice at the ready, because if there's one thing these summer gatherings deserve it's cool spritzes, punches, and mocktails that will delight the whole crowd. Go beyond the usual iced tea and lemonade to stir up one of these made-for-summer drinks, destined to be a new favorite.

From a fizzy tea-inspired mocktail to an herby watermelon punch, count on these drinks to keep you and your pals cool.

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Cool Down with These 16 Refreshing Smoothies — Recipes from The Kitchn

It won't be long before the summer sun is sizzling, and what better way to cool off than sipping on an icy, refreshing smoothie? Lean on the fresh fruits of the moment, or start with the convenient selection from the freezer section, and you'll be on your way to beating the heat in minutes.

From tropical smoothies to berry-filled versions to one inspired by banana bread, these 20 smoothie recipes will keep you cool as the summer temps soar.

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Recipe: Bridal Shower Sangria — Recipes from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Christine Han)

Wedding season is just as much bridal shower season, which means in between the actual weddings you're attending, you may have a few showers to pop into to celebrate the bride-to-be. If this is the year you're finally hosting one for your sister or your best friend, you may be sweating a bit. How do you pull this thing off? Well, you need a winning menu that's easy and fun, and a killer cocktail. Here's that cocktail — it's bubbly, floral, and fruity, and comes together in one big pitcher in a flash. That means more drinking and less assembling, which is a good thing at such a festive occasion.

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20 Easy Pitcher Drinks to Make This Summer — Recipes from The Kitchn

Patio potlucks and parties are a rite of summer, and whether I'm hosting or I'm a guest there's one I thing I always contribute to make it complete: a pitcher drink that can be sipped all afternoon and into the evening. The best versions are refreshing, easy to stir together ahead of time, and serve a crowd. From fruity summer sangria to a layered cocktail that's sure to impress, plus a few fresh non-boozy options, here are 20 pitcher drinks to sip all summer long.

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Recipe: Strawberry Mojito Pitcher — Easy Pitcher Drinks

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Strawberries, on their own, are the taste of summer. Add them to a mojito and you have a berry good drink. The red berries leach their sweetness into the pitcher as they're muddled, acting as the ideal contrast to all that mint and rum. Now, batch that recipe up so that it'll fill your favorite pitcher and you have the makings of a fresh and fruity crowd-pleaser. If you thought regular mojitos were refreshing, this one is doubly so.

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