Some of the fondest memories of my childhood days include visiting my granny’s place. My grandparents were not city dwellers. They had a large farmhouse in the heart of a village. Every visit was fun-filled as there was so much independence to do anything and in the true sense have a ball. That’s where all my summer vacations were spent.
The high temperatures of Indian summers never dissuaded me and my siblings from having all the fun and frolic. A bunch of sweaty and thirsty brats came back home every evening and were happily greeted with the natural and refreshing cool drinks made by my grandmother and her house help. Those non-carbonated drinks, made with natural ingredients, refreshed us instantly and gave us the energy to have more fun.
Let’s take a look at six such drinks which are a must try in the summers.
#1 – Lemonades
Lemonade is nothing but glorified traditional Nimbu Paani. Did you know, it has been used for generations as one of the most potent natural oral rehydration solutions – especially when mixed with salt and sugar in the right proportions. It is a rich source of vitamin C and also replenishes the sodium and potassium levels in the body. The tanginess of the lemon also has a cooling effect on the internal systems thus reducing the excessive body heat.
You can try some cool variations, for example, mixing it with mint leaves and preparing an iced drink. Some people also mix tulsi/ basil leaves instead of mint to give it more flavour.
#2 – Chaas/ Buttermilk/ Lassi
Chaas/buttermilk is another traditional drink that has a wonderful cooling effect on the body. It is widely used in the Indian subcontinent and mostly in the regions where summers see extreme temperatures. It also has a number of health benefits. It is easy on the stomach and helps in reducing the digestive disorders that are common in summers.
Lassi is another favourite of the Indian subcontinent. It is made from curd and when mixed with sugar and water, it is very nourishing and soothes the body. It also reduces body heat, which in turn controls pimples and oily skin. Nowadays there are many variations of lassi available in the market. One can go the extra mile and can make it easily at home as well. Masala lassi or various fruit flavoured lassis are very refreshing during these scorching summers.
#3 – Watermelon Juice
During summers, with a lot of perspiration and lack of hydration, the body starts to get weary. Freshly pressed watermelon juice is a source of instant energy. It is full of electrolytes, mainly potassium which is very helpful in maintaining a good balance of fluids in our body. Since watermelons have high water content, the juice also works in rehydrating the cells. Watermelons also have anti-ageing properties as they contain agents which help to reduce free radicals and hence work as antioxidants.
#4 – Tender Coconut Water
This is probably the easiest to procure and consume directly without any hassle. Coconut water is another naturally available rehydration solution. It works like an energy drink while keeping the taste close to water. If you want you can chill the drink to make it even more refreshing and to cool down body temperature. Some of the other health benefits include diuretic properties which keep our kidneys healthy and keeps the problem of kidney stones at bay.
#5 – Iced Tea or Coffee
Freshly brewed tea or coffee when chilled can be great summer soothers. They not only beat the summer heat but also provide a healthy and fresh alternative to the carbonated drinks. They are great energisers and with the multitude of variations available, they can turn from a refreshing drink to a great after meal accompaniment too.
#6 – Aam ka Panna (Raw Mango Juice)
This is the king of drinks in the summers. Made from raw mango pulp, it needs a bit of work for preparing the concentrate. However, once the concentrate is ready, it is easy to prepare the drink. A couple of spoons of the concentrate along with chilled water and mint make this drink heavenly. A personal favourite for many even where raw mangoes are not available, but otherwise it is a common drink at places where mangoes grow in abundance. It helps in reducing body heat and protects from heat strokes caused by the strong, hot and dry summer afternoon wind. The drink is also rich in vitamin C and iron.
So enjoy these healthy cool drinks this summer. Do let us know your personal favourites in the comments.