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On steamy days, iced tea trumps coffee as the thing we crave. We order it at lunch, sip it on our porch in the afternoon and swig it while we?re making sexy spaghetti for supper. ?

This summer, we?ve found two new ways--at opposite ends of the lifestyle spectrum--to savor our favorite seasonal bevy. 

Virtuosi-Tea We discovered SporTea in a faraway desert coffee shop after a long hike, and we loved its gingery, clean taste so much, we had to bring it home. After tracking down SporTea at Abe?s Market--a Chicago-based online organic grocer--we now keep a pitcher in the fridge at all times. The citrusy, decaf black-and-green blend contains Siberian ginseng root--used by athletes to build stamina--plus vitamin C and electrolytes. You?ll never guzzle another Gatorade.

Tea Party This cocktail at Uncommon Ground is the perfect excuse to drink at lunch--or breakfast. Made with flowering fruit iced tea and organic Prairie hibiscus vodka and sweetened with a dash of Monin raspberry syrup, the smooth, bright-tasting drink ($8) is a pretty pink color and comes in a tall, ice-cold glass. It?s a million times more refreshing than a Bloody Mary, and we?re copying it for brunch at home next weekend. 3800 N. Clark St.; 773-929-3680 or

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