After a long academic year, we all deserve a fun and refreshing summer break! In this blog, ESN Rotterdam presents you with all the best summer locations in the Netherlands, as well as recipes to make amazing drinks to cool off this “hot student summer” ahead of us. Enjoy!
Best summer activities in the Netherlands
- Relax on one of the multiple Dutch beaches: Yes! There are multiple beautiful beaches in the Hague, Zeeland, and Haarlem and many more cities. Grab your swimsuits, have an old-school beach day, and pretend you are on a tropical island. Trust us, it works.
- Kayaking on a canal: Enjoy the beautiful canals of pretty much any city close to you! Kayaking or canoeing on the canals will give you the peace you have been looking for!
- Going to festivals: In the Netherlands, everyone is up to celebrate life by joining at least one festival every once in a while, especially during summertime. Apart from the best music festivals, there are festivals for anything you might wish for: food, books, and fireworks. Explore some of these amazing festivities and have the time of your life!
- Visiting some authentic Dutch villages: The summer break is the perfect time to explore the Netherlands. Discover the authentic Dutch architecture and many beautiful landscapes in villages such as Giethoorn and Zaanse Schans.
- Rotterdam edition – Going acrobranching in Kralingse Plas: This is a challenge for adrenaline lovers! If you are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary activity in Rotterdam, besides enjoying the lake view, you can participate in acrobranching through Fun Forest Rotterdam!
Minted Orange and Strawberry Coolers
Coolers are perfect for a summer picnic or BBQ and the best part is they have so many variations and options. But for now, we give you this minted orange and strawberry recipe.
- 2 1/2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
- 4 cups orange juice
- 2 lemons
- 1 handful fresh rose petals (optional)
- 1 cup vodka (optional)
- sparkling water, for topping
- In a bowl, combine 2 cups strawberries and mint leaves. Using a muddler (or even the end of a rolling pin), gently push the strawberries down until they release their juices and become mashed. Strain the mix into a large pitcher. Add the orange juice, lemon juice, and vodka, if using. Stir in the rose petals and remaining 1/2 cup sliced strawberries. Serve or chill until ready to serve.
- To serve, pour over ice and top with sparkling water. Garnish as desired with fresh mint, strawberries, and rose petals. Enjoy!
This typical Mexican drink is truly unique. Why not give it a try and tantalize your taste buds!
- 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
- 1/3 cup honey or real maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 cups canned coconut milk or whole milk
- 1 cup cold coffee or espresso
- 2-8 ounces dark rum or Kahlua (optional)
- cinnamon sugar, for rimming (optional)
- Combine the rice and 2 1/2 cups steaming hot water in a large bowl. Soak at room temperature for 2 hours, the rice will not be completely soft, this is OK. Alternatively, you can use room temp water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.
- Pour the rice and water into a blender. Blend until creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the honey or maple syrup, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Blend until combined. Pour the mixture into a large pitcher or jar. Add the milk and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Stir well before serving.
- To serve, rim each glass with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Fill glasses with ice. Add the horchata, then pour over the coffee, using an amount to your liking. Add the Kahlua, if using, and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!
Tip: try adding coffee to make it a special summertime iced coffee.
Coconut Lime Mojito
Although delicious all year round, mojitos are definitely the ultimate summer drink. Here is a recipe for a mojito with an exotic twist.
- 1 lime, quartered
- 8 fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 teaspoons granulated sugar (optional)
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) white rum
- 1/2-ounce (1 tablespoon) coconut rum
- 1/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk well stirred
- ginger beer for topping
For the lime sugar:
- zest of 1 lime
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Flaky sea salt
- To make the lime sugar. Combine the lime zest, sugar, and a pinch of salt on a shallow plate. Rim your glasses in sugar, then fill with ice.
- In a cocktail shaker or glass jar, muddle the lime, mint, and sugar (if using) together, squashing everything to release the juices. Add the white rum and coconut rum. Fill with ice and shake until combined. Add the coconut milk and shake.
- Strain into your prepared glass. Slowly top with ginger beer, then gently stir to combine. Enjoy immediately.
Watermelon Rose Paloma
What screams summer more than watermelon? A watermelon cocktail of course! Here you can find a recipe to experiment with.
- 2-3 cups cubed watermelon
- 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 3-4 ounces Rosé wine, chilled
- 1/4 cup sparkling water for topping
For the chili lime salt:
- 1/4 cup flaky sea salt
- 2 teaspoons Tajin or 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pinch granulated sugar
- zest from 1 lime
- To make the watermelon juice, blend 2 cups cubed watermelon in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To make the chili lime salt. Combine all the ingredients on a shallow plate. Rim your glasses in salt.
- To your cocktail glass, add 1/4 cup watermelon juice, the tequila, lime juice, and the Rosé, gently stir to combine. Add ice, then top off with a splash of sparkling water. Garnish as desired with watermelon and thyme. Enjoy!
What this year brought (some of) us…
As this is our last blog post for a while, we asked a couple of students that were part of the ESN community to shortly tell us what this academic year brought them.
1. Liene: What was it like to have your first year of Uni during Corona? What challenges and opportunities did you encounter?
“Having my first year of uni during Corona has made it unbelievable to grasp how student life looked like before zoom. It has made the boundary between a face-to-face interaction and a video call extremely apparent, as meeting people in real life has now become a bit weird and surprising on what the person is like and what they have to offer. My biggest challenge this year was being torn between living at home and in Rotterdam, since I never felt 100% settled in either place. However, this brought about a great opportunity to both spend a lot of time with my family as well as to meet new people at uni, which wouldn’t have been possible during a normal study year.”
2. Gehna: Despite COVID-19 affecting your university life, what good things came out of it in 2020/2021?
“Spending time with family because after my brother graduated, I never thought we could all be together again. I got super close to my grandparents as well. Overall, I would say it completely changed my outlook on life. In terms of university life, it definitely was a challenge, but I still got to spend time with my closest friends.”
3. Sienna: What was it like to be a CM in times of Corona? And how was your student life this year?
“This year was just as busy as it was in my first year, if not more, because of being a committee member. We got to be more creative with thinking of ways to promote the events and come up with new ideas to expand ESN. My student life this year was not ideal, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless. Instead of going to parties, my friends and I would organize other things we could do which honestly was just as enjoyable!”
4. Andreea: What was it like to be a board member in times of Corona? And how was your student life this year?
“Being a boardie, this year has been a one-of-a-kind experience. There is no excitement without some challenges in the mix, so I truly enjoyed being part of the ESN Rotterdam community and helping students by promoting our events and creating amazing promotional materials together with my teams. However, the downside was that I did not have the opportunity to interact with so many students in real life, so I am looking forward to more of this in the next couple of months.
Regarding my student life- I tend to take a lot on myself so besides my Board position I followed my Master courses as well which was really exhausting from time to time but whenever I look back, I cannot help but smile that I was able to achieve so much in so little time.”
We would really like to wish you a great summer and see you again soon for MORE awesome content! Stay healthy and happy!
The Content Committee 2020-2021