Portable Summer Sippers
Portable Summer Sippers Erin McDowell

The problem: Playing bartender keeps you from mingling with guests at your Labor Day bash. The solution: Set out a bunch of premade cocktails, like these individual frozen sippers. Basically the grown-up version of a juice box, our custom blends--made of tea, fruit juice and vodka--are poured into little plastic bags and then frozen until you’re ready to serve (with festive straws, of course). It’s a win-win for all. And you might even have a few left over to sip by the pool the next day.

Each combo makes about 8 servings
Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Raspberry-Lime Cooler

3 bags raspberry tea

5 cups water, divided

4 limes, juiced

½ cup superfine sugar

⅓ cup raspberry vodka (optional)

6 lime slices

Lemonade Iced Tea

3 bags orange pekoe tea

5 cups water, divided

3 lemons, juiced

½ cup superfine sugar

⅓ cup lemon vodka (optional)

6 lemon slices

Directions

1. Make the Raspberry-Lime Cooler: Boil 2 cups of water. Place the raspberry tea bags in a glass liquid measuring cup and cover with the boiling water. Steep 3 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags. Add 1 cup cool water.

2. While the tea steeps, stir the remaining 2 cups water with the lime juice and sugar. Add this mixture to the tea mixture and stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove, then stir in the raspberry vodka, if using.

3. Carefully pour the mixture into 6 tall (6-ounce) plastic bags so each is three-quarters of the way full, then add a lime slice to each and seal. Place the bags on a tray and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. Thaw 10 to 20 minutes before serving. (Thaw less time and it will be a slush; thaw longer and it will be a drink.)

4. Make the Lemonade Iced Tea: Boil 2 cups of water. Place the orange tea bags in a glass liquid measuring cup and cover with the boiling water. Steep 3 minutes, then remove and discard the tea bags. Add 1 cup cool water.

5. While the tea steeps, stir the remaining 2 cups water with the lemon juice and sugar. Add the lemon mixture to the tea mixture and stir to combine. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove, then stir in the lemon vodka, if using.

6. Carefully pour the chilled mixture into 6 tall (6-ounce) plastic bags so each is three-quarters of the way full, then add a lemon slice to each and seal. Place the bags on a tray and freeze until solid, about 1 hour. Thaw 10 to 20 minutes before serving. (Thaw less time and it will be a slush; thaw longer and it will be a drink.)

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Many grocery stores and craft stores carry these tall, thin 6-ounce plastic bags. You can also order them here.

  • Want to learn our favorite way to make lemonade? Check out this video.

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