Style on ice

When thirst rages, cool off with these fruity, alcohol-free concoctions


Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2005 at 11:06 a.m.

Holly Scorpio grew up in the Keys, just a short walk from Holiday Isle - home of the World-Famous Tiki Bar, where the Rumrunner was created.

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Holly and Domenic Scorpio relax on the front porch with daughter Emiliana Nicole and a round of the family's specialty drink called a Scorpio Sangria.

ROB C. WITZEL/Gainesville Magazine

So, it's no surprise Holly has become a tropical drink connoisseur and the inventor of several of her own fruity concoctions, says her husband, Domenic Scorpio.

The Hollyrita, a variant of the Margarita made with limeade, non-alcoholic beer, Sprite and orange juice, put her on the map, Domenic says.

"There aren't many drinks that people will just decide to name after you," he adds.

Most Gainesville residents don't have drinks bearing their names, but that doesn't mean Holly is the only resident trying to beat the heat with original summer beverages.

Wanda de Paz-Iba-ez, co-owner of Emiliano's Cafe, says she cools off with a traditional treat from her homeland of Puerto Rico: Horchata, made of ground nuts or seeds, sugar and wellchilled water or milk, is a sweet drink to die for she adds.

Her mother's favorite is made from sesame seeds and called Horchata de Ajonjol', she says. "Give that to my mother, and she cries."

Although Emiliano's does not currently serve Horchatas, Wanda de Paz-Iba-ez says she is considering adding them to the menu this summer.

Holly says many of her warm-weather beverage recipes also have been passed down from family members. But personal modifications have developed during years of entertaining. "Whenever I run out of something, to me, it's almost exciting because I think, "What kind of variations are we going to come up with?" she says.

New drinks are created all the time - during small dinner parties, company get-togethers and even mommy-group gatherings, Domenic says. Since their friends started having children, they've transformed beverages that traditionally include alcohol into alcohol-free versions, he says. "We had to do a lot of modifying when Holly was pregnant."

So now, even Emiliana Nicole, the Scorpios' 1-year-old daughter, can partake, Holly says.

In addition to the nonalcoholic Hollyrita, an obvious favorite, Holly says other tasty libations include the Mojito, a drink made from mint leaves, sugar, lime juice and club soda, and the Scorpio Sangria, a combination of grape juice, orange soda, lemon or lime seltzer water and fresh fruit.

But, no matter which drink is being prepared, never underestimate the importance of a little garnish, she says. "You could drink club soda in a pretty glass with a lime twist, and that seems special," she says.

Drinks always taste much better when someone else makes them, Domenic adds.

And Beverly Guice has made a business out of doing just that - for children. As the owner and originator of Tea Parties and Glamour, Guice spends her weekends throwing tea parties for girls ages 4 to 8 and hosting fashion/karaoke shows for girls 8 to 12. She says she often serves the children pink lemonade mixed with raspberry seltzer water. Tossing a sugar cube or two into the tea cups makes the treat extra special.

"Little girls really like it," she says. "They drink it up. It's so simple; I think moms will like that idea." And for the moms, Guice suggests an alternative iced tea made of lemon juice, tea, cranberry juice and cinnamon sticks.

Special drinks add an element of fun to any party or occasion, Domenic says.

"If you're just sitting around the pool drinking a Coke on ice, it's not near as exciting as drinking a blue frozen drink," he says.

HOLLYRITA

12-OUNCE CAN OF FROZEN LIMEADE (CONCENTRATE)

12-OUNCE BOTTLE OF NON-ALCOHOLIC BEER

12-OUNCE CAN OF SPRITE

4 OUNCES OF ORANGE JUICE

From Holly and Domenic Scorpio

DIRECTIONS

  • Blend all ingredients with ice in blender or serve over ice in a sugar-rimmed Margarita glass. Garnish with lemons.

    SCORPIO SANGRIA

    2 PARTS GRAPE JUICE

    1 PART ORANGE SODA

    1 PART LEMON OR LIME SELTZER WATER

    TEASPOON CINNAMON

    From Holly and Domenic Scorpio

    DIRECTIONS

  • Stir in pitcher with one sliced orange, one sliced lemon, one sliced lime, Maraschino cherries and ice. Serve in wine glasses with more fruit slices and ice.

    MOJITO

    3 FRESH MINT LEAVES, CHOPPED

    2 TEASPOONS SUGAR

    JUICE FROM LIME

    CLUB SODA

    From Holly and Domenic Scorpio

    DIRECTIONS

  • Grind mint leaves, sugar and lime juice with mortar and pestle. (Sugar will release the mint flavor in the leaves).

  • Pour over crushed ice and top with club soda.

  • Use mint sprigs as garnish.

    CRANBERRY-LEMON ICED TEA

    8 CUPS WATER

    4 REGULAR-SIZED TEA BAGS

    CINNAMON STICKS

    1 CUPS SUGAR

    4 CUPS CRANBERRY COCKTAIL JUICE

    CUP FRESH SQUEEZED LEMON JUICE

    From Beverly Guice, owner of Tea Parties and Glamour

    DIRECTIONS

  • Bring water to a boil.

  • Pour water over tea bags and one cinnamon stick.

  • Steep five minutes.

  • Remove tea bags and cinnamon stick.

  • Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

  • Stir in cranberry juice and lemon juice.

  • Place over medium heat until heated through.

  • Chill.

  • Serve with cinnamon sticks and lemon wedge.

    HORCHATAS DE ALMENDRAS

    1 POUND PEELED ALMONDS

    1 QUART (4 CUPS) LUKEWARM WATER

    1 CUP SUGAR

    ICE

    From Wanda de Paz- Iba-ez, co-owner of Emiliano's Cafe

    DIRECTIONS

  • In a saucepan, mix almonds and hot water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain.

  • Crush almonds in a mortar. Add lukewarm water to almonds, mix, and squeeze through a muslin cloth into a pot.

  • Add sugar, mix and set in refrigerator in a glass jar. Serve chilled with ice.

    TEA PARTY DELIGHT

    1 PACKET OF CRYSTAL LIGHT SUGAR-FREE PINK LEMONADE

    2 QUARTS WATER

    2 CUPS RASPBERRY SELTZER WATER

    From Beverly Guice, owner of Tea Parties and Glamour

    DIRECTIONS

  • Mix and chill. Add sugar cubes for garnish.

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