Summer Cuisine

Here’s to the summer season, full of longer days, warmer nights, rising humidity, swimming pools, summer vacations, and, don’t forget, National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, which is Friday, August 2. There are many reasons to look forward to the warmest season, and also many ways to celebrate it through food holidays, and respectively, holiday-themed foods.

Summer foods can cater to a number of tastes, ranging from spicy to smoky to sticky sweet. Today’s brands are promoting the warmer season with a bold array of flavors, colors, and limited-edition offerings to tempt us into celebrating summer as a culinary occasion. Here are a few examples of featured summer food and drinks that we’re watching:

  • Krispy Kreme is offering a selection of three Patriotic-themed donuts through July 4. The “Let Freedom Ring” collection is decorated in red, white, and blue frosting and sprinkles resembling icons such as the American flag and fireworks.
  • Chili’s Margarita of the month for July is the Southern Back Porch, a drink which also celebrates National Tequila Day scheduled for Wednesday, July 24. This boozy concoction features—you may have guessed it—Southern Comfort Whiskey, mango puree, unsweetened iced tea, fresh sour mix, and Lunazul Blanco Tequila.
  • Sonic is releasing new flavors for summer as part of its Sonic Slush menu. The featured flavors include Strawberry Daiquiri, Piña Colada, and Reaper Spicy Margarita. Modeled after popular cocktails, these frozen drinks are alcohol-free, and the margarita is made with Carolina Reaper Peppers for a spicy kick.
  • CREAM San Francisco is offering mini ice cream sandwiches for a penny each, on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, August 2, at participating locations.
  • PJ’s Coffee is releasing a new line of decadent coffee drinks for summer with over-ice and blended options. The Southern Wedding Cake flavor features almond and vanilla flavors, and the Affogato is blended with vanilla ice cream and topped with PJ’s smoky espresso.
  • 7-11 is continuing its annual tradition of giving away a free 12 oz. Slurpee to anyone who comes in between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on July 11.

The summer season traditionally creates images of cook-outs, picnics, and ice cream socials—in my head, at least. Today there are more food and beverage options being touted as summer-inspired than you can shake a Roman candle firework at. We will continue to watch the seasonal influence on menus, and you might find some of us chasing that ice cream truck down the street in search for the next summer flavor.