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How our readers keep their cool

Your own suggestions for the best summer drinks
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Appears our readers are a thirsty lot.

We got a ton of responses when, along with our own newsroom picks for summer thirst-quenchers, we asked you what you like in your glasses when the sun's out and the mercury's rising.  Lots of rum and beer drinkers out there, but also plenty of folks who like something cool and refreshing — without a kick.

What's being served in your backyards?

Strong and sweet"Amaretto and lemonade. Lemonade for lovers! So refreshing! So simple (as everything should be in HOT weather)! and goes down so easily!" -Pam, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

"Happy Juice: Cola, Jim Beam, grenadine, and Maraschino cherries. Make just like you would a whisky and coke and add the grenadine and cherries. Deeee-licious. Refreshing, and the cherries add a nice twist to a classic drink." -Jim, Grand Haven, Mich.

Purely refreshing
"Limeaids - cherry, strawberry or my new favorite watermelon! Refreshing and made with fresh summer fruits - limeades are the best part of summer!" -M. Hall, Sachse, Tex.

"My favorite summer drink is peach iced tea because it is more refreshing than pop and it quenches my thirst better than water because it had flavor to it...." -Tammy, Hebron, Ind.

"Faygo Red Pop ice cream float. When I was a child in Indiana, Faygo was sweet, very fizzy and cheap. My mother would put two scoops of home-made vanilla ice cream in a tall glass and pour the red pop in. It stretched the ice cream and satisfied a bunch of thirsty hot children for quite awhile." -Jan, Indianapolis, Ind.

"My favorite drink is strawberry lemonade. Mostly because in the summer I am not a big drinker and strawberry lemonade really hits the spot." -Samantha, Hartford, S.D.

"My mother used to make punch from orange juice, purple grape juice and ginger ale. People think it sounds weird but it's actually quite good. You can vary the proportions to suit your taste, I usually mix it up as one part each." -Nancy, High Bridge, N.J.

Comme en Paris
"A personal favorite summer drink of mine is a pastis in the classic French style. 1 part Pernod or Ricard to 5 parts icy cold water. The strong anise flavor is not for everyone but I love it." -Barry, Montpelier, Vt.

They do rum, rum, rum
"Gold Rum and tonic. garnished with fresh lime. A slightly sweeter version of the more traditional gin and tonic. I prefer Mt. Gay Rum for this summer treat, but it actually works with any gold, or light rum. Don't use dark rum." -Brent, Boston, Mass.

"I invented this drink with a spiced rum I've not been able to find anywhere but Spencer Spirits in Spencer, WV. I call it Pirates 'n Petticoats. In a tall glass filled with ice cubes add 3 fingers of Calico Jack spiced rum, 1 finger water and top off with cream soda. Stir & sip." -Pam, Spencer, W.V.

"Island Orange - Coconut rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine for a little color." -Lindsay, Lawrence, Kan.

"A Dark And Stormy made with Black Seal rum and ginger beer. Very refreshing and not as heavy as a Long Island [iced tea]. Yummee!" -Jada, Alameda, Calif.

"Summer Breeze, a Caribbean drink made of green crème de menthe liqueur, blue Curacao liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1.5oz white rum (Bacardi preferable). Fill glass with ice(8 oz. highball) pour above ingredients first, then full up w/club soda or ginger ale and float a dash of grenadine syrup add a slice of lime and maraschino cherry for decoration. This is a nice long refreshing drink and it can be made w/out the white rum if one wishes." -Phillippa, Mead's Bay, Anguilla

"Scooby Snack. Can be as a shot or sweet fruity drink. Couple of ounces of both Midori melon and Malibu coconut rum with a generous splash of half and half. Finish off with as much pineapple juice as the glass will hold. Serve cold or with bit of shaved ice. If using shots, toast to "Rutt Ro!" I love this because it just taste good and summery. Copied it from a bar in Austin!" -Charlotte, Arlington, Texas

"My favorite summer drink is a Green Dolphin. Sitting on my patio with the sun on my shoulders it's a very refreshing treat. Here goes the recipe: 1 shot Malibu Rum, 1 shot Midori, 2 oz. pineapple juice, 6 oz. 7-Up. Pour these over ice, mix and enjoy." -Patty, New Berlin, Wisc.

Beer plus ..."The shandy gaff or shandy -- made from equal parts ginger ale and beer -- served over crushed ice-very refreshing." -Jackie, Paoli, Pa.

"Summer Brew: 6 12 oz. Bottles of Light Beer 1 can Frozen condensed Lemonade 1 can vodka (place in Lemonade can to measure) Serve over ice and enjoy. This is a great drink for parties and is easy to make. In no time you'll feel the kick..." -Andria, Menifee, Calif.