When the lockdown period was announced, it brought with it a wave of anxiety & panic which immediately took a toll on my body. It is the onset of summers, So, I kept telling myself, to keep calm and hydrate! To mantra is to keep sane & hydrated but water doesn't always fit the bill, that's why I fall back on my favourite summer drinks.
From ice creams to shakes to juices, we're constantly looking for ways to satiate our tastes buds. Homemade recipes sound so boring and tedious. Nobody wants to spend their time in the kitchen, sweating over what to drink. But, here are some quick and easy lockdown summer drinks that need absolutely no fuss at all to make. And it's reason enough to call for a toast!
So, sit back and sip on.
1.) Coconut Water
If you're thinking that this one is a no brainer, then you're right! This naturally sweet drink that is full of electrolytes is one of the best ways to hydrate during summers. Also, if you're a morning person, consuming coconut water with basil seeds or popularly known as Sabja helps keep the stomach cool. It is one of those healthy summer drinks that is tasty, refreshing and also the one that quenches my thirst for better drinks in life. I usually tend to eat for my tongue and this is my go-to recipe that can be made with as little as 4 ingredients only.
1 cup Coconut Water
1 tbsp Basil Seeds (Soak it overnight in half a glass of water)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sugar (Optional)
Stir well and drink up!
2.) Nimbu Paani
Lemonis the perfect way to add flavour to any existing dish. Its zingy, tasty and acidic properties help beat the brutal summer heat. Consultant Nutritionist Dr.Rupali suggests lemon juice with salt as an oral rehydration solution for the summers and thinks it's a king of summer drinks.
And, what better way to consume lemons than in a Nimbu Paani? It is loved across India by children and adults and is super easy to make. My version is a little different than other recipes found online but you can mix and match according to what your palette enjoys most. I love making it in bulk, chilling it in the refrigerator, and keep sipping it throughout the day. Heard of fresh lime soda? It is yet another version of the same drink that let's you sail away from the summer heat. All you have to do is replace water with soda for all things zingy and fizzy.
For a 1 litre Jar:
3 Lemons (Juice) or more if you're fond of a sour taste
It's just like a masala chaas or taak but with kokum and coconut in it. This refreshing Konkan dish is best for summers as it aids in digestion. With summers being unbearable, the eating capacity in a human decreases and the need to quench one's thirst is high on priority. Sol Kadhi comes to the rescue with a hint of chillies that elevates this coconut infusion to another level. So, here's my recipe.
12 Kokum (Malabar Tamarind)
1 cup Freshly Grated Coconut
1 Green Chilli
1 Tsp Asafoetida
2 cloves Garlic
2 tablespoon Coriander Leaves
1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
Salt, to taste
The fresh coconut, chillies and garlic along with some water need to be ground together in a mixer, to form a spiced coconut milk.
When I think of lassi, all that comes to mind is the tall, clay pot in which it's served in the northern parts of India! I always wondered why the lassi I make at home doesn't come anywhere close to the ones we get in the market? After trying and testing a few times, I've come up with a recipe that comes close to that. I like my lassi in a thick consistency so if you're not a fan, add water until the consistency is right. You could also use any fresh seasonal fruit available in the market.
2 cups of Curd
4-5 tsp of Sugar (or more depending on how you like it)
1 cup of fresh seasonal fruit (if any)
2 Tbsp of Fresh Cream
Masala Chaas is a staple in any Gujarati household and no meal is complete without either a plain chaas or masala one. The masala chaas has the right amount of saltiness, pungency and coolness and beats the heat in the best possible way. It's watery in comparison to a lassi.
When life gives you watermelons, make watermelon lemonade! The markets are flooding with this beautiful fruit and relishing it in the form of lemonade is the best option I've found till date. There are so many other ways to make a watermelon recipe shine through but this one is the easiest and tastiest way to make your summers better. All you need is:
2-3 cups Watermelon
4-5 Ice Cubes
4-5 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Sugar syrup or Honey
Mint leaves for garnish
6.) Virgin Mojito
Of course, the non-alcoholic one because you don' want the liquor to give you a terrible headache when it's so hot already! It is one of my favourite recipes to make as summers do call for something icy cold! Everyone has a different take on it but mine is the one where Monin Lemon syrup is involved. If you don't have it, don't worry, you can make sugar and lime syrup right at home.
1 Lemon (2 if small in size)
10-12 Crushed Mint Leaves
1 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tbsp Monin Syrup
(If you're not using Monin syrup, mix a Tbsp of honey in lime juice and dilute)
250 ml Aerated soda (I use Kinley or Dukes, whatever is available)
7.) Aam Panna
How can we talk about summers and not mangoes! It is the most devoured fruit across the country, although each region has its significant version. It is made with raw, green mangoes that are boiled or roasted to get pulp which can then be crushed to make a liquid version. I prefer boiling the mango rather than roasting it. However, roasting raw mangoes brings an underlying note of smokiness, which reflects strongly on the drink.
Coffee in any form can save the day but on a hot summer day, it's iced coffee that comes to the rescue. So, decadent, so chilled and so yummy; a perfect way to beat the heat in more ways than one. And, the best part is every time you crave one, the solution is right at home with this delicious recipe.
1 1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp Instant Coffee
1 Tbsp Sugar
3-4 Tbsp Chocolate Sauce
1 scoop of Chocolate/Vanilla Icecream (If you prefer a thick iced coffee)
If you're health conscious and sugar is not what you have in mind then opt for agave nectar or honey instead. Not all summery drinks need to be overloaded with sugar. So, in case you're looking for recipes that make awesome summer drinks, then here are some exceptional recipes that won't make you overdose on sugar.
Think of her as a delicacy. She could be a red sauce penne pasta or refreshing strawberry smoothie. A little sweet, quite tangy and unapologetic on the palate. Her soul is that of a gastronome, mind of an illustrator and heart of a writer. She uses these ingredients to plate up tasty stories about food at India Food Network as an Associate Editor. Be it her blogs, articles, reviews or food shows; she promises a wholesome affair.