When the weather is like it is today in Washington, it feels like nothing can go wrong. We should all play hookie and pack a picnic basket with enough Rosé for the whole gang. The question, though: Can we afford to be snookered on a Tuesday afternoon?

Oh, all right, I'll behave. Still, we need something cool to drink when that throat gets parched, at that imaginary picnic or out on the back porch after work.

Did you get a look at the details for the rosemary lemonade that was featured in last week's Food section? I love the idea of infusing herbs into lemonade, and if you've got a run on rosemary in your garden like I do, this may be the ticket. You'll need to make a simple syrup, which is a cooked sugar-water solution that needs to cool before using; it's a good idea to make a large batch, particularly if you make lemonade or iced tea on a regular basis.

If the idea of simple syrup gives you a headache, make blue lemonade instead. Pureed blueberries get whizzed with sugar, which eliminates the need for syrup. Combine the dreamy indigo-hued berry puree with the juice of several lemons, and stir. The result - a gorgeous magenta-colored elixir loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C. Best of all, blueberries are arriving from neighboring North Carolina, and soon, from the metro area.

Iced Tea fans, I'm not ignoring you, really. Check out "The New Tea Book" by Sara Perry for tasty sipping ideas. My most favorite tip of all from Perry's book: Make ice cubes from tea (instead of water) so that your cold tea doesn't get diluted.

Got a fave iced tea recipe or trick to share? Or another way to do the lemonade thing? Share your goodies at noon when I take questions during What's Cooking, my weekly live chat.

By Kim ODonnel |  June 13, 2006; 11:35 AM ET  | Category:  LIquid Diet
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Hi! The discussion about Soda Water and sodas today got me thinking about a great contraption I bought at the Annapolis boat show last year, but that you can buy at Boater's world or online. It is a soda maker - I drink a lot of soda water - and this allows you to make lots of it, for much cheaper than buying the bottles that, for me anyway, inevitably go flat before you are finished. Plus, they sell lots of different soda flavors if you want to mix in. Though I just drink it straight or with some fruit juice. http://www.sodaclubusa.com/

Posted by: Sailor | June 13, 2006 01:24 PM

Thanks Kim for the blog on lemonade and iced tea. I love the idea of making iced tea cubes for my iced tea.

My boyfriend and I tried to make ginger lemonade over the weekend but I think he used too much lemon juice. I was steeping ginger with the simple syrup and he added fresh lemon juice and lemon peel. I never did taste the ginger. I sliced ginger into the drink but it didn't help either.

I am going to get this tea book. I love iced tea. I am not to fond of just brewing a bag and adding ice. I want more flavor and creativity.

Thank you for this blog.

Posted by: Elle | June 13, 2006 04:07 PM

I want to buy a good quality pressure cooker under 100 dollars. Any suggestions?

Posted by: Pressure Cooker question | June 13, 2006 04:51 PM

Elle, for a strong ginger flavor in your beverages, do this: grate the fresh ginger on the fine holes of your grater over a bowl, until you have at least a couple of tablespoons of ginger mush. Put this mush into a square of 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth, or use a linen tea towel, and squeeze the dickens out of it into your batch of tea. That should zip it up

Posted by: | June 13, 2006 05:33 PM

I've become a green tea fan this summer, and it's great iced. Even better in a 2-to-1 mix (tea:juice) with limeade: refreshing (not too sweet), but oddly addictive - I drank the whole pitcher-full!

Posted by: reine de saba | June 15, 2006 08:33 AM

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