As the temperature soars and the sweltering heat becomes unbearable, there’s nothing like a refreshing, cold drink to help you cool down and rejuvenate. India, with its diverse culinary heritage, offers an array of delicious and unique summer beverages that not only quench your thirst but also offer a taste of the country’s rich cultural traditions. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to some of the most delightful Indian summer drinks and provide tips for making them at home. [ NOTE : For a change, we decided to feature these delicious delights in their original, non-alcoholic form. However, you are free to use your imagination to create your own concoctions]
So, which are best drinks for Indian summers?
Let us dive in and pick the winners from around the country!
Aam Panna is a tangy and refreshing summer drink made from green mangoes. Known for its heat-resistant properties, this delicious beverage is packed with vitamins and essential minerals. To make Aam Panna, boil green mangoes until tender, then remove the pulp and blend it with water, sugar, black salt, and roasted cumin powder. Serve chilled with a sprig of mint for added freshness.
Jaljeera is a popular North Indian beverage that combines the cooling properties of mint with the digestive benefits of cumin. To make this zesty drink, blend together mint leaves, coriander leaves, ginger, green chilies, and cumin seeds with water. Strain the mixture, add lemon juice, black salt, and chaat masala, and serve over ice for an invigorating summer refresher.
Lassi is a traditional Indian yogurt-based drink that comes in various flavors, from sweet to salty and fruity to spiced. A classic Punjabi beverage, lassi is known for its cooling effect and is often enjoyed during the hot summer months. For a simple sweet lassi, blend yogurt, sugar, cardamom powder, and water until smooth. For a salty twist, replace the sugar and cardamom with salt and roasted cumin powder. To make a fruit-flavored lassi, add pureed mango or another fruit of your choice to the basic sweet lassi recipe.
Nimbu Pani, also known as Indian lemonade, is a simple yet flavorful drink that instantly hydrates and revitalizes. Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water, add sugar or jaggery, a pinch of salt, and some crushed mint leaves. Stir until the sugar dissolves and serve over ice for a quick and easy thirst-quencher.
A popular street-side beverage in India, sugarcane juice is both delicious and highly nutritious. Rich in antioxidants, iron, and electrolytes, it’s the perfect summer drink to replenish lost nutrients and beat the heat. While it’s challenging to make sugarcane juice at home without specialized equipment, you can enjoy this natural refresher at roadside stalls or juice centers across the country.
Coconut water is nature’s very own sports drink, packed with electrolytes and essential nutrients that help maintain proper hydration levels during the hot summer months. Widely available across India, enjoy fresh coconut water straight from the source or purchase packaged versions for a convenient and refreshing option.
Shikanji is a North Indian twist on the classic lemonade, with an added kick of spices and herbs. To make shikanji, mix lemon juice, water, sugar, black salt, roasted cumin powder, and crushed mint leaves. Serve chilled with ice and a sprinkle of chaat masala on top for a refreshing drink that’s bursting with flavor.
Chaas, also known as buttermilk, is a popular cooling beverage made from yogurt, water, and spices. To make chaas, blend yogurt, water, salt, and a pinch of roasted cumin powder. For added flavor, you can also include chopped green chilies, grated ginger, and fresh coriander leaves. Chaas is not only refreshing but also aids digestion, making it a perfect accompaniment to heavy Indian meals.
Falooda is a delicious, cold dessert beverage that is popular across India, especially during the scorching summer months. This visually stunning drink is made with rose syrup, vermicelli, basil seeds (sabja), milk, and a scoop of ice cream. To make falooda at home, layer the soaked basil seeds, cooked vermicelli, and rose syrup in a tall glass. Pour chilled milk over the layers and top with a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Enjoy this indulgent treat with a long spoon and a straw.
With its high water content and natural sweetness, watermelon is the perfect fruit for making a cooling summer drink. To make watermelon juice, simply blend chunks of seedless watermelon with a squeeze of lime juice and a few fresh mint leaves. Strain the mixture if desired and serve over ice for a refreshing and hydrating beverage.
India’s diverse and flavorful summer drinks not only offer a delicious way to stay cool and refreshed, but they also provide a taste of the country’s rich culinary traditions. By making these beverages at home, you can enjoy the unique flavors and health benefits that Indian summer drinks have to offer. So, the next time you’re looking for a way to beat the heat, try one of these refreshing Indian drinks. Experiment with different ingredients and flavors to find your favorites, and share them with friends and family at your next summer gathering. Stay cool, stay hydrated, and dive into the wonderful world of Indian beverages. Cheers to a refreshing summer!