Real Smooth

By Kristen Hoffman

As a child, my friends and I would get so excited about the warm weather of summertime because it meant we could set up our lemonade / Kool-Aid stand. I don’t remember this excitement being driven by an insatiable appetite for big business. Rather, it was driven by the fresh taste of cool, fruity drinks. Not much has changed. I still begin craving fruity drinks around the month of June. While alcoholic cocktails are always fun to order during the warm months, these are not quite as thirst quenching as their non-alcoholic counterparts. I am a regular at smoothie and juice bars during the summer months and luckily Lexington has plenty of places to find great tasting summer drinks. Plus, you can always make them yourself right at home.

There is so much variety at Smoothie King on Richmond Road that you are sure to find exactly what you want. Smoothie King has many recommended combinations, such as the Angel Food smoothie, a blend of banana and strawberries or the Immune Builder, a blend of banana, strawberries and a herbal nutrient. You can also get smoothies specializing in things such as workouts, weight gain or high protein. The café at Wild Oats also carries a line of smoothies and juices. Their organic smoothies are created based on your selection of a base, builders and juices. You can also create your own fresh juice blends by combining fruits and vegetables. Similarly, Good Foods Market & Café also offers organic smoothies and juices. Inquire at any of these locations about the nutritional value of the smoothies and juices they offer. There are also many books that talk about the health benefits of smoothies or juices.

If you have a blender in the house, making smoothies or other fun summer drinks is a snap. Smoothie recipes can be found in cookbooks such as Good Housekeeping’s Blend It. Many smoothie recipes require a lot of fruit so it is helpful to get the recipe first and then go to the grocery store. You can also find smoothie recipes on websites such as Your blender can also make summer drinks such as shakes, slushies, or non-alcoholic cocktails. Many cocktail making books or bartending guides will have non-alcoholic recipes in them. Also, websites such as contain many fun recipes such as the Orange Smile, Florida Cocktail or Virgin Seabreeze. These drinks are great to have at a weekend family lunch, while grilling in the backyard or while lounging at the pool.

Unlike blender drinks, juicing at home requires a large investment. For best results, you should have a high quality juicer, which can run well over $100. Once you’ve made this investment there are numerous resources for the juicing lifestyle. I know because my mom is a juicer and she is always finding new combinations that I never could have dreamed of. One book is The Joy of Juicing by Gary Null. I would only recommend purchasing a juicer if you have researched the practice of juicing, are a regular at the juice bar and are sure you’d like to make juicing a major part of your diet. If not, the juice bar should be perfectly adequate to indulge yourself for the summer months.

Don’t forget the drinks this summer as you experiment with summer foods. Take advantage of the delicious fruits and vegetables available this time of year by trying some smoothies, juices and fruit cocktails. Smoothies provide refreshment on a hot summer day that you can only parallel to ice cream, or some other cool treat. The great thing is that you don’t feel the same guilt while downing a fruit smoothie as you do in line at Dairy Queen.

And get up the nerve to try out a juice bar at least once this summer. They aren’t just for people with dreadlocks, and you don’t have to get a less appealing combination such as asparagus and spinach. I started to love juice bars after getting a juice at Papaya King in New York City. From there I moved to the more trendy juice bars on Madison and even started paying attention to the supposed health benefits of what I was drinking. Experimenting with summer drinks can both a fun and healthy hobby to take on during the warm months. Below are examples of a smoothie and a non-alcoholic drink recipe that you can make in your blender.