Beat The Heat In Desi Style: 5 Refreshing Indian Drinks You Must Try

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Summers are here and with the mercury rising we keep reaching for cool drinks to stay hydrated throughout the day.While the easy options are aerated drinks, premixed ice teas, canned juices and sugary powders that are mixed for an instant cool drink, all these options are packed with sugar.

Here are some desi healthy drinks that have been a part of Indian household for ages to help you stay cool during summer months:

1 . Kokum Sharbet

Kokum ( garcinia indica) is a fruit commonly used in the Indian household for dal & curry flavouring. It is known for its medicinal properties.  It combats indigestion, acidity, constipation, and helps regulate body temperature.

How To Make:

For home brewed kokum sharbet, take ½ a cup of dried kokum, and soak in a bowl of warm water (1 cup) for 30 mins, blend this mix well and then strain it to get rid of any seeds or peel. Cook the strained liquid for 3-5 mins with sugar, cumin powder and black salt. The ready liquid is a concentrate that can be mixed with cold water for a refreshing summer drink.

2 . Aam Panna 

The king of fruits makes an appearance in summer, and a drink made with raw mangoes has been enjoyed across the country for centuries. The drink is packed with Vitamin C, anti oxidants that help fight cancer, helps keep the stomach cool, combats diabetes and iron deficiencies; in short it’s a super drink for summer.

How To Make:

To prepare aam panna, dissolve 1/3 cup of sugar in a cup of water, cook a cup of raw mango cubes in this sugar water mix for 3-5 mins or until the pieces of raw mango are soft. Once this mix has cooled add a handful of mint leaves, black salt and cumin powder and blend until smooth. This mix can be stored in the fridge and mixed with cold water for a tasty tangy summer drink.

3 . Barley Water (Jau)

Barley (Jau) is a grain that is packed with iron, vitamin B, magnesium, amino acids, anti oxidants, zinc, & protein, and a great way to enjoy the benefits of this grain is to make barley water. Regular consumption of barley water helps prevent UTI’s, regulates the kidneys, prevents and breaks down kidney stones, helps digestions and controls diabetes. Most importantly it helps remove toxins from the body and keeps one cool and hydrated through summer.

How To Make:

Barley grains are easily available in the market and can be used to make Barley water. Rinse the grains well before use and soak for 3-4 hours. Pressure cook 1/3 cup of barley grains with about 3 cups of water, 7-8 whistles until the pearls are soft. Cool this mix, strain and add lemon juice, rock salt and a pinch of sugar. And just like that you have a have a healthy summer drink.

4 . Lemon Shikanji

Another traditional favourite is the North Indian version of the lemonade. Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, are anti bacterial in nature, boost immunity, eliminates toxin via sweat, maintains health of the respiratory tract, clears skin problems and hydrates and maintains electrolytes in summer.

How To Make:

To enjoy this drink, squeeze two lemons in a litre of cold water, add sugar, cumin powder, black salt, and a pinch of black pepper powder and stir well. Add mint leaves for extra flavour and sip this drink to enjoy all the benefits of fresh lemon juice.

5 . Butter Milk (Chaach)

Curd a staple in Indian homes is a must have to maintain a healthy digestive tract. Butter milk helps aid digestion, reduces acidity, replenishes calcium, rehydrates the body, prevents vitamin deficiency reduces cholesterol and high blood pressure and tastes delicious.

How To Make:

In a vessel add half a glass curd, one glass cold water, black pepper, rock salt, cumin powder, coriander and mint leaves. Use a hand blender and blend until there is a layer of froth covering the mix. Enjoy butter milk with this froth, as it is the healthiest part of buttermilk; it lubricates the stomach, regulates bowel movements and has been known to give relief to patients with stomach ulcers.

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So go ahead, enjoy this summer with some cool drinks that are healthy, easy to make and pack a whole lot of benefits. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!

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