15 summer drinks you must try to beat the heat this summer (2022)

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 Summer is officially here and temperatures already hovering around 40 degree C leaving everybody feeling fatigued, sweat-soaked and untidy. You must remain hydrated for your wellbeing as your body tends to lose water at a faster pace because of the sweltering heat. While water is the most important drink to quench your thirst, you can try a few summer drinks that can act as agents to keep your body cool. 

As we invite summers, let us rejuvenate and recharge our body with the absolute best summer refreshments to beat the heat. Here I recommend a few meticulously chosen summer drinks that you should not pass up. They are not only great stuff for your taste buds, but also lend a cooling effect to your body. So, stay away from the carbonated bottled drinks and go for these drinks which are readily available in the streets and can also be easily prepared in homes.

Summer drinks
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1. Ganne Ka Ras or Sugarcane Juice

This is probably one of the most popular drinks sold by street vendors which have great demand during the summer. The seller usually put the sugarcane in a machine which presses and squeezes out the sugarcane juice.  The juice is then served with a dash of lime, ginger or masala. It is not only tasty, but also a good coolant. Though you can find this popular drink anywhere in India, but it is in Uttar Padesh and especially in North India where sugarcane is mainly cultivated that you find in plenty. Make sure that the drink is prepared under hygienic conditions as in most cases they are not.

Summer drink
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2. Lassi

If you are travelling in summer and in India, you are bound to encounter this drink.  This is one of the most loved drinks in the country. Though available throughout the year, its demand skyrockets during summer.  Lassi is a creamy yoghurt based drink  that is relished in the summers and it has amazing cooling properties.

While Lassi is found and enjoyed all over the country, it is the Punjabis who have epitomized the drink as a part of their everyday life and culture. They are known to consume a good quantity of Lassi  everyday.  There are sweet Lassi as well as the salted one and the drink takes different forms in different regions. While the basic ingredients like the yoghurt and cream remain the same, the add-ons keep changing from place to place. For example in my state Odisha, they add a lot of fruits, both dry and raw with a topping of either Horlicks or Bournvita.

3. Phalsa Sharbat

Phalsa sherbet is a healthy chiller that you can slurp on all summer long and is nothing short of spectacular. For those who are unfamiliar, phalsa (Grewia asiatica) is a blueberry-sized fruit that briefly appears in summer. It has a deliciously tart flavour that is beneficial for digestion and dehydration. The tiny tangy delight is also a low glycemic index fruit, so diabetics can enjoy it as well.The Sherbet is usually seasoned with salt, roasted cumin powder and some black salt to tantalise your taste buds.

Summer drink
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4. Thandai

As the name suggests Thandai is a drink to beat the summer heat. It is a traditional Indian drink and is prepared using a number of nuts, dry fruits and spices such as almonds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, saffron, milk and sugar. The drink is very popular in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and is prepared on the occasion of Hindu festivals like Holi and Maha Shivaratri.

5. Ragi Ambali

Ragi (Finger millet) or Madua as it is called in North India is a well known summer coolant. Though this drink is exclusive of Karnataka, it is prepared all over the country with some twists in its preparation. This traditional beverage is loaded with numerous health benefits and can provide an instant energy boost.

Summer drink
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6.     Jal Jeera

This is another popular summer drink that offers amazing health benefits. Jal Jeera literally means a blend of water and cumin. The refreshment structure is basically lemonade and jaljeera powder and apart from being an appetizer it is proposed to surprise your taste buds. 

Jaljeera powder for the most part comprises cumin, ginger, dark pepper, mint, dark salt, some organic product powder (as a rule either mango, or some sort of citrus zing), and bean stew or hot pepper powder. Its main health benefits include its role as a digestive agent as it fights the intestinal gas and helps in digestion.

7.  Taal Sharbat

Ice apple, also known as Taal in Bengal and Odisha, Targola in Maharashtra, and Nongu in Tamil Nadu, is the juicy fruit of the palmyra tree and can be used to make a thirst-quencher with an abundance of tender flavours. This traditional cooler is super healthy and tasty for such a simple creation, and it’s one you shouldn’t miss!

This simple drink is prepared by adding milk to the crushed kernel of the ice-apple and boiling it. Then it is allowed to cool before use. You can easily find this drink in the streets during summer.  

Summer drink
Photo Credit: Subhashish Panigrahi, CC BY-SA 3.0

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8.     Bel Sharbat or Wood Apple juice

While this drink has hardly found recognition as a street summer drink, yet it is one of the most popular summer drinks. It is also known for its many health benefits, the most important being it fights the viral and bacterial infections. Most of the houses in India have Bel trees in their courtyards as it is associated with Hindu religion and regarded as a holy tree. Bel leaves are considered sacred and used in the worship of the Hindu gods.

Wood apple sharbat can be seasoned with salt, pepper and menthol or just sugar and lemon juice.  In Odisha, the Baishakha Sankranti which falls on 13th or 14th April is celebrated as Panna Sankranti  and on the occasion, Bel Panna or spiced up wood apple juice is prepared in every Oriya household on that day.

9. Gondhoraj Ghol

This is Bengal’s very own version of buttermilk. Ghol is a light and frothy Bengali style Buttermilk that is known for its cooling properties and is popular during the hot summer months in Bengal. It can be sweet or salty, and you can even add spices to spice up the flavours. You can incorporate the famous ‘Gondhoraj Lebu,’ or West Bengal King Lime. Its fragrance and flavour are unrivalled, lending this Ghol a truly royal touch.

Summer drink
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10. Nannari Sharbat

If you happen to tour South India in summer, you are sure to come across this wonder herb drink in the streets and even in supermarkets. Made from the roots of Nannari or Ananthamoola as it is called in South India, it comes in handy during summer, with its cooling properties and fight against your common summer ailments.

This Ayurveda drink is prepared by crushing the Nannari roots and soaking it overnight in cold water. The water is then drained  and sugar added to it.  lime juice is the added to the crushed roots and brought to boil. After boiling for some 30 minutes it is then kept in an air tight bottle. You can keep it in the fridge for many days. You can feel the natural aroma of the herb in this summer drink.

Summer drink
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11. Aam Panna

Aam Panna is a popular Indian drink known for its ability to withstand heat. It is made from raw mangoes and ranges in colour from yellow to very light green. It is consumed as a tasty and healthy beverage to combat the intense heat of the Indian summer. Mint leaves are commonly used to enhance the green colour.

Aam panna, made from raw mangoes and adding cumin, and some other spices not only quenches thirst but also prevents excessive sodium chloride and iron loss during the summer due to excessive sweating. Though it is hugely popular in North India, you can find it in the streets of any other Indian cities during summer.

Summer drink
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12. Chaas or Buttermilk

This is a perfect drink in summertime and probably the best coolants among all the summer drinks. This is a curd based drink like Lassi. While Lassi is prepared from thick curd, Chhas is prepared using the thin curd in which the cream is removed. It has different names in different states. While in North India it is popular as Chhas, it is known as Ghol and Ghola dahi in West Bengal and Odisha respectively.

Buttermilk, also known as Shambaram, is equally popular in South India as it is in the rest of India. While it is lightly spiced with Jeera powder, mint leaves or coriander leaves in most parts of India, it is a lot more spicy in the South with mustard seeds, black pepper and green chilly being the main ingredients. It is hugely popular as a street drink. It is also available bottled and poly-packed  and is consumed after food for its digestive properties.   

Summer drink
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13. Mango Mastani

Mango Mastaani, Pune’s very own culinary creation, is a luscious street drink that will remind you that mango is the true king of the fruit realm. It’s essentially a velvety mango milkshake topped with fresh fruit chunks, crunchy nuts, succulent cherries, and whipped cream. Yes, the drink is named after Mastaani, the beautiful princess of Bundelkhand who stole the heart of the mighty Peshwa Bajirao.

14. Chandan Sharbat

Chandan or Sandalwood has always been a natural coolant apart from many other health benefits. This bottled drink is prepared by adding sugar to water and then adding milk to it.Cook till the solution skim off. Then add lemon juice and continue to cook. Finally add the Chandan powder and your Chandan Sharbat is ready. It is infused with kewra extract and rose or mogra petals, not only has distinct flavours, but it also has a stunning colour and heady aroma. A must try!

Summer drink
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15. Coconut water

Last but not the least, a list of summer drinks is never complete without this drink. Coconut water is the most revered drink which is available all over the country. You can easily discover the bunches of young coconuts in the streets, haats and with fruit vendors. 

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