7 Stay-Cool Foods

These are our favorite picks to eat when it's hot outside.

Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

Randy Mayor

Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

Gin and tonics are great, but they're a bit staid for an exuberant Fourth of July celebration. So, we added watermelon, lemon, cucumber, and mint to create this sweet, refreshing, and gorgeously pink cocktail. It'll be a hit at any outdoor party, and you can always leave out the gin for a virgin version.

View Recipe: Watermelon and Cucumber Tonic

For more watermelon tips and recipe, click to In Season: Watermelon.

Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries

Limoncello is an Italian liqueur that can be mixed in a refreshing spritzer, but it truly stands out in this sorbet when paired with aromatic mint and fresh blackberries. “We made this for a five course gourmet dinner,” explains Peggi. “We used it for an intermezzo instead of a dessert. All our guests raved. It certainly cleared their palate for the next course!”

View Recipe: Limoncello-Mint Sorbet with Fresh Blackberries

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

This dish looks super-summery: It's just a heaping helping of fresh vegetables mixed with delectable crabmeat in a lovely light dressing. Show off your own garden by adding other fresh veggies like zucchini or green beans. If you don't like crab, try chopped chicken or canned tuna or salmon instead.

View Recipe: Crab, Corn, and Tomato Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Fruit Medley with Mint and Lime

Becky Luigart-Stayner

Fruit Medley with Mint and Lime

Summer is the best time of year for fruit salads; fruit is sweeter and fresher when it's in season. All this dish needs is a little mint and lime to highlight the natural freshness of grapes and stone fruits. It makes an excellent side for nearly every main dish in this gallery, and you can always add whatever other fruits look best at the market, from watermelon to raspberries.

View Recipe: Fruit Medley with Mint and Lime

Strawberry Margaritas

Photo: Howard L. Puckett

Strawberry Margaritas

“Yum...This is really good. I was surprised at how authentic a margarita flavor it had―expected it to be far more fruity,” says chelliel. For a festive impromptu fiesta, pair this cocktail with Three-Pepper Salsa and crisp tortilla chips.

View Recipe: Strawberry Margaritas

Peach Ice Cream

Peach Ice Cream

This Southern staple is hard to resist when a tantalizing batch requires only five ingredients. CL Fan writes, “This recipe is fantastic, very easy and full of peach flavor. It's simple but not too sweet like commercial ice cream. Would recommend this to anyone who loves a taste of summer.”

View Recipe: Peach Ice Cream

Purple Basil Lemonade

Randy Mayor

Purple Basil Lemonade

Purple basil's mildly spicy flavors―think clove, licorice, mint, and cinnamon―adds a layer of complexity to this super-easy lemonade. For best results, crush the basil with sugar in a mortar and pestle to release its fragrant oils. Or, if you don't have a set, process the basil, sugar, and about 1/4 cup of the water in a food processor or blender.

Works best with: Purple basil

View Recipe: Purple Basil Lemonade

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