Summer Drinks: Which Drinks are Healthiest? (cont.)

If you don't want to heat up the house, make sun tea. Put a clean glass jug full of water and tea bags in the sun for half a day. Be sure everything is clean, because this never gets hot enough to kill organisms. But it also is never so hot it melts the ice.

Pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants. It goes well with fruit, club soda, and if you must, any clear alcohol.

Any full-sugar soda is a poor summer choice, Cross says. A soft drink can contain 16 teaspoons of sugar -- and that sneaky corn sugar, at that. Sugar makes you thirstier. All sodas, even diet, she says, contain a lot of chemicals that do nothing for you. "I do like soda for cleaning stuck-on pots," she says. "Just soak overnight!"

"Summer drinks," muses Blue, "should have plenty of ice, fruit juice, and sparkle."

Cheers to that!

Published June 27, 2006.

Star Lawrence is a medical journalist based in the Phoenix area.

SOURCES: Anthony Dias Blue, author, Complete Book of Mixed Drinks: More Than 1,000 Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Cocktails; and wine and spirits editor, Bon Appetit magazine. Audrey T. Cross, PhD, nutrition professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York City. National Institutes of Health web site: "What is a standard drink?"

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