Hot enough for you? Then dive into a cool, tall drink, the kind they serve in the tropics because, hello, lately that's what it feels like outside.

And -- no surprise -- these drinks are made with the fruit of the tropics, the sweet (and colorful) purees of papaya, watermelon, mango and banana. Add them to the juices of freshly squeezed oranges, lemons, limes and pineapple and you have a summer sipper that will keep you cooler than a sun-dappled pool. Whether made with alcohol or without, these drinks spell R-E-F-R-E-S-H-I-N-G.

(If you don't want alcohol in the drinks, simply substitute sparkling water.)

Maybe you need a break from fruit drinks. Then consider an ice cream float made of stout beer (the operant word here is "ice"). Do your tastes lean toward iced tea (there's that "ice" word again)? This time it gets a lemon-infused punch (there's that fruit essence) with flavored rum.

Such decisions. It's almost too much to ponder on a sweltering day. Guess I'll have to do my thinking poolside.

TRIPLE CITRUS PUNCH (X)

Makes 7 cups.

Use low-calorie and sugar-free versions of the lemonade and soda to add sparkling citrus flavor without too many calories. From the Beverage Institute.

11/2 c. orange juice

1 1/2 c. prepared lemonade

2 c. prepared limeade

2 c. Sprite Zero

Lemon, lime and orange slices for garnish

Chill all ingredients. Combine in a large pitcher or punch bowl.

Add fruit slices as garnish.

BLUEBERRY LEMONADE (X)

Serves 4.

Note: From general manager Jeff Peterson of the Hazellewood Grill and Tap Room in Tonka Bay. "It's a very popular drink with our customers," said Peterson. "We serve it as long as we can get fresh berries." Peterson suggests adding 1/4 cup Stirrings Blueberry Martini Mix (available at Cost Plus World Market) or POM pomegranate-blueberry juice (available at Cub Foods and other supermarkets) for an extra color and flavor boost. For something stronger, Peterson suggests a 11/2-oz. pour of Ketel One Citroen vodka.

21/4 c. water

3/4 c. sugar

11/2 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Rose's Lime Juice

Superfine sugar

1 c. fresh blueberries

4 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish (optional)

Ice

In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Strain lemon juice through a fine-mesh sieve into water. Mix well, cool and transfer to a tightly sealed glass jar or pitcher and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, rub rim of a 16-oz. tumbler with Rose's Lime Juice and dip rim of glass into superfine sugar.

In a cocktail shaker, combine 1/4 cup blueberries and 1 mint leaf and muddle until mint is broken down but berry skins remain intact.

Transfer mixture to prepared glass, fill with ice, top with lemonade (and martini mix, pomegranate juice or vodka, optional) and stir. Garnish with mint leaf (optional) and serve, repeating with remaining glasses.

PAPAYA DAIQUIRI (X)

Serves 1.

From "Calypso Coolers."

2 oz. light rum

1 oz. fresh lime juice, plus 1 full-moon lime slice, for garnish

1 tsp. superfine sugar, or to taste

3/4 c. diced ripe papaya

1/2 c. ice cubes

Combine rum, lime juice, sugar, papaya and ice cubes in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a chilled wine glass, garnish with the lime slice and serve.

CREAM STOUT MILKSHAKE (X)

Serves 1.

From chef David Burke, on behalf of Samuel Adams.

1 c. good-quality vanilla ice cream

1 c. milk

2 tbsp. superfine sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla malt powder

Samuel Adams Cream Stout

In a blender, process ice cream, milk, sugar, malt powder and beer until smooth.

ECCO FREDDO (X)

Serves 1.

From Ecco Domani wines.

1 small slice of watermelon

1 tsp. sugar

1 oz. pineapple juice

21/2 oz. pinot grigio

Ice

Wedges of watermelon and fresh pineapple, for garnish

Muddle a slice of watermelon with the sugar. Add the pineapple juice and wine. Pour with ice into a shaker and shake vigorously.

Pour into a highball glass and garnish with watermelon and pineapple.

ORANGE MANGO COOLER (X)

Serves 1.

From the Beverage Institute.

1 c. orange juice

1 c. fresh or frozen mango chunks

Combine juice and mango in a blender and process until smooth.

HIGH TEA(X)

Serves 1.

Spiked sweet tea, from the new "Southern Cocktails," by Denise Gee (Chronicle Books, $14.95, 120 pages). Any fruit-flavored rum would work.

2 oz. lemon-infused rum

2 oz. chilled iced tea, sweetened

Lemon wedges

Pour the rum and tea into a highball glass filled with ice and mix well. Add the garnish.

JAMAICAN BANANA COOLER (X)

Serves 2.

From the new "Calypso Coolers," by Arlen Gargagliano (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, $16.95, 120 pages)

2 oz. light rum

1 oz. clear creme de cacao

1 oz. half-and-half

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

1 very ripe banana (the riper, the better)

1 c. ice cubes

1 tbsp. shaved dark chocolate, for garnish

2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Combine the rum, creme de cacao, half-and-half, ice cream, banana and ice cubes in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into two chilled wine glasses. Sprinkle the chocolate on top, add the cinnamon sticks and serve.

DERBY COOLER (X)

Serves 2.

From "Southern Cocktails."

2 oz. bourbon

1 oz. light rum

2 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice

1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dash of grenadine

Ice

Slice of star fruit or orange, for garnish

Pour bourbon, rum, juices and grenadine into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into 2 cocktail glasses filled with ice. Add the garnish.

LEMON SPARKLER (X)

Serves 1.

From Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee.

11/2 oz. limoncello

11/2 oz. fresh sour mix

Ice

3 oz. sparkling wine

Lemon twist

Fresh mint leaves

Combine the limoncello and sour mix in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with a long lemon twist and mint sprig.

SONTES STRAWBERRY-BASIL MARTINI

Serves 1.

Note: Simple syrup is a solution made of 3 parts water and 1 part sugar cooked over low heat until clear, then boiled for a minute or so. From Sontes restaurant in Rochester; the drink was developed by owner Tessa Leung and bar lounge manager Eric Notch.

4 fresh basil leaves

4 fresh strawberries

Freshly cracked black pepper (1 turn of the grinder)

1 oz. vodka

2 oz. dark rum

1.5 oz. peach schnapps

1/3 oz. simple syrup (see Note)

3 oz. pineapple juice

Splash of fresh lemon juice

In a blender, combine basil leaves, strawberries, black pepper, vodka, rum, schnapps, simple syrup, pineapple juice and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Serve in a martini glass.

EQUIVALENCIES

Ingredients for alcoholic beverages are usually measured in ounces rather than in the cups and teaspoons typical of other recipes. Here are their equivalencies:

1/3 ounce = 2 teaspoon

1 ounce = 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons

2 ounces = 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons

(X) - Recipe has been tested.