Sign up to receive a weekly peek inside our kitchen.

Sweetening Cold Drinks with Fruit Juice

Debra Redalia


This tall cool drink is made from iced tea with mango juice. Frozen mangos work just fine for this.

Fresh fruit juice can make a cool summer drink on its own, or be used to sweeten lemonade or iced tea.

One of the most refreshing drinks I’ve ever had was on a hot summer day at a New York restaurant, sitting at a sidewalk table. The waiter brought fresh lemonade sweetened only with plum juice. Heaven!

Another memorable sweet fruit drink was a tall glass of strawberry juice mixed with ice water with a sprig of fresh basil. Amazing!

If you are going to use juice as a sweetener, it’s best to use fresh-squeezed, as juices in bottles or cartons have been cooked, raising the concentration of sugars.

I like to drink fruit juice diluted. I’ll put a splash of fruit juice in a whole tall glass of water—so I get the flavor and sweetness of the fruit without the blood sugar spike. Remember, even fresh-squeezed juice is more concentrated sugar (albeit natural) than in the whole fruit, so use it sparingly.