I was searching for something that I did not know for sure exists. Well, I knew it did exist but the specific characteristics that I was looking for, those I wasn’t sure existed. It’s funny but it used to be pleasurable to browse gift or kitchen stores looking for an exact item and low and behold to actually find it. Nowadays, I hope I’m wrong and would love to hear a contrary opinion, the stores are not as full as they used to be with selections of different items that although similar have different details and features that makes each item unique. I don’t know if you are an internet surfer nor did I ever imagine myself as one, but I find that I don’t have much choice in the matter when I am looking for a very specific item.
For example, this is what happened to me this summer when I envisioned my home with some classy glass beverage jars that I have come across in summer additions of food magazines that I seem to fortunately get subscribed to for free or almost nothing. These magazines keep me busy with my iced coffee in the morning and my iced tea in the afternoon. Yes, I love cold icy beverages in the summer, and I like to give my family and guests access to delicious and refreshing drinks all summer long. The problem was that although I did have a beverage dispenser, I wanted to update it desperately and get a few more so that I could have a variety of cold drinks at everyone’s disposal at all times of the summer days or nights.
Besides the fact that my beverage dispenser was too small, it was Lucite plastic which after several years had lost its shiny clean look. Also, I wanted something larger yet graceful to keep not only in my kitchen, but I imagined beautiful dispensers on the round table in my grand hallway so that when people come in from the heat the drinks are ready and waiting. I hate it when someone asks you when you come in from the heat if you want a cold drink, “No thanks, I’m good,” is a usual comment. Sometimes a person does not even realize that their body needs replenishing, but this answer is generally given because people don’t want you to bother.
In some traditional cultures, the drink is put in the hand of the guest, not giving them a choice to say yes or no. In the Jewish religion, it's a good deed to give a drink since the person makes a blessing on the beverage bringing good fortune to your home.
What Type of Beverage Container Did I Want?
Some folks may answer this question with, “I wish I knew there are so many options.” This was not the case in my search for the perfect beverage container because I had seen one in an exclusive hotel in Manhattan. The trouble was, first, how would I purchase two or three beverage containers from a wholesale hotel distributor that would only sell a bunch together? Second, even if they would agree to sell two or three the price would be out of reach, yet I was determined to find the right piece.
These were the specifications that I was looking for:
1) It must be made of glass and not plastic.
2) It must be a sturdy glass that was both durable and pretty at the same time.
3) I figured out based on my hallway table that I could only fit two nice size ones.
4) I wanted exactly two- two-and-a-half-gallon glass beverage dispensers.
5) The spigot from my old dispenser did not wear well and was leaky so I only wanted a stainless spigot.
6) Isn’t it so annoying when you want to put your glass or plastic cup under a beverage spigot only to find that the spigot is too low and your cup too high? To get to the beverage without spilling you must move the beverage container out till it is over the edge of the table or counter. I love my kids and like my neighbors and relatives' children as well, but it would be upsetting when a glass beverage container would land shattered on the new area rug in my hallway and the drink could be something more colorful than water and then what? A sorrowful guest and an unhappy hostess, who needs that when summer is the time, we are supposed to be unstressed out?
7) Therefore, my next requirement was an elegant stand that would assure any thirsty person that they could dispense their drink seamlessly.
8) To reinforce my need for cleanliness and leakiness, another criterion was a drip tray that comes with the dispenser.
So began my trawling the internet for the perfect cold 2.5-gallon glass beverage dispensers with stainless steel spigots, elegant stands and drip trays. Yes, the internet was kind to me, and it did bring up several options for me to investigate. Some reviews were less than favorable claiming calamities of easily broken shards of glass or leaky spigots. Some of the reviewers claimed they were not applicable for hot beverages, which was not at all my concern since I wanted these beverage dispensers for cold drinks only and the colder the better. Other dispensers that had favorable reviews did look like the Manhattan hotel one and with the price tag to match.
It took me a while, but I finally found just what I was looking for at a reasonable price with great reviews to boot. My next step was to find the right recipes for the drinks that I would put into my new dispensers. After instructing my children to the rules and regulations of those said dispensers namely, DON’T TOUCH!, I began looking for easy and colorful recipes that would be exotic enough for some of the streamers into my home and also simple enough for those arrivals of simpler taste. This was not so easy as I made a few small tries of different concoctions realizing soon that it would be difficult to satisfy everyone’s taste simultaneously and I would have to revamp my ideas and use less adventurous recipes.
I’m sure you can guess by now that I revised my specifications for standard cold drinks such as lemon water and iced tea but don’t judge me too harshly yet since you will be surprised as to how I supplemented these waters with some enticing additions that also look lovely on the table in a variety of smaller containers that were quite inexpensive to purchase.
There are various opinions of what constitutes a good glass of iced tea starting with the type of teas you would use. I personally take a few tea bags of quality ordinary tea, put them in a cup of boiling water and let them seep for a while. The hot tea will be mixed with bottled water with ice cubes added (also made with bottled water). There are some people who like using ready teas such as Snapple or Arizona, but the sweetener is already added, and I try to keep the tea neutral.
To spice up the tea, you simply have to place spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and ginger on your table along with the sugar and artificial sweetener packets. Other options I take the liberty to offer are small honey candies and mint leaves and there you have it, a tea treasury with little effort. For those who want a really delicious touch of sweetness a cute non- drip maple syrup dispenser is a great finishing touch.
No one makes lemon water as good as my son-in-law but since I cannot give away his recipe you will have to figure it out on your own and no, you do not necessarily have to use real lemons, bottled lemon juice is fine. As far as some nice additions, place a small bowl of blueberries near the beverage dispenser and any other small fruits that will not get mushy staying in the bowl. The spices mentioned before are perfect for the lemon water as well as the iced tea.
No beverage dispenser drink would be complete without sliced lemons and limes. These should be frozen in ice many hours before so they will keep your tea and lemon water nice and cold.
There is nothing as refreshing on a hot summer day as iced tea and lemon water. Sugary drinks are usually not recommended to quench a hot weather thirst. Besides being beautiful and gracious, glass beverage dispensers save money for the hostess yet still have an elegant look and taste. Individual seltzer cans and water bottles might be the rage, but beautiful 2.5-gallon glass beverage dispensers will give an old-world elegance to greet friends and family in a welcoming way. A dispenser is also the perfect place for people to socialize, being a more upscale version of the office water cooler where many social and business associations take place. Thank goodness that we are back to socializing and don’t have to have our individual water holders that were a must during the pandemic. Beverage dispensers are sanitary, practical and user friendly.