Summertime in Virginia means one thing: big hair. Even that's a bit of an understatement... HUGE -humidity-newswoman hair is more accurate. The last thing I want to drink in the summer is something warm or heavy. I was excited to see the Recipe Redux theme for July, summer beverages, and I knew exactly what to whip up.

Seltzer water is my go-to base for any drink, including the after 5 pm variety. While both tonic and soda water provide the bubbly base, soda water is calorie free while 8 ounces of tonic tops off at about  75 calories. If you're having 1 tonic water a day, it can easily fit into your discretionary calories, but when you're downing tonic as  a water replacement, you've got a calorie surplus on your hands.

I wanted to keep this recipe light and clean tasting using ingredients that I could mostly find in my back yard. I also wanted an excuse to use the newly potted Stevia plant and pick the blackberry abundance.  But the best recipes come from certain constraints and so we begin...

Mint Berry Seltzer

  • 3 stevia leaves, chopped -or the sweetener of your choice
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 C berries (Raspberries, Blackberries, Wineberries work best)
  • 8 oz seltzer water
  • 1 palmful mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3 ice cubes

We had help from the lawn tiger, of course.

When mixing your drink, I suggest adding the berries, stevia, mint, and lemon juice to the glass first. Next, slowly pour the seltzer over the top and mix with a spoon.

Summer chill in a glass. To muddle or not to muddle? That's YOUR decision!

The berries and stevia add sweetness while the lemon and mint brighten your beverage. Much more refreshing than a can of soda with the benefit of antioxidants and clean ingredients. Looking for a cocktail? Try adding vodka or gin to the mix.

Here are more beverage recipes from Recipe Redux-ers:

Stay hydrated!