These 7 refreshing healthy drinks to beat the summer heat or cool summer drinks will keep you calm in the hot summer of May to August. I envy people living parts of the world where summer is the most awaited season of the year. When they say ‘Oh, summer!’, there is an unmistakable romantic charm to it. We, on the other hand, are more like ‘Ohhh! Summer’. The atrocious heat can sap the life out of the most energetic people and lasts an unbearably long time. Add to it the milieu of insects, excruciating power outages, skin troubles and seasonal ailments, and it is really hard to have a favourable view of summer is our part of the world. While there isn’t much we can do about the climate we are ‘blessed’ with, we can definitely do our bit to stay replenished and hydrated. Here are some refreshing and healthy summer drinks that do just that for you:
Some of the best antidotes to all our troubles come from nature, and the humble coconut water is a befitting example of that. It acts as a natural coolant, and is packed with electrolytes and essential nutrients that our body losses in the process of sweating. Consuming at least one portion of naturally sourced coconut water is a great way to reduce body heat and stay hydrated. Reach out to your neighbourhood nariyal-pani-wala already to keep the supply of coconut water coming.
Summer is also a time when your appetite takes a beating and you prefer to drink stuff rather than eat. A lot of people turn to fruit juices in such scenarios. However, fruit juices have long been written off by health experts as carriers of empty calories, sans the nutrients. A great alternative to keeping up your fruit intake without having to eat them is to whip up fruit slushes. Take the pulp of one mango or some pieces of watermelon and blitz them up with some ice, and you have a nourishing, cooling drink to sip on.
Made from raw mangoes, this tangy, mildly spiced drink with an unmissable hint of sweetness is one of the most sought after summer delicacies in India. Perhaps due to the short window of availability of its core ingredient – raw mangoes. Apart from being uber refreshing, Aam Panna also helps in keeping the core body temperature low and prevents dehydration and heat strokes.
Fruit Bubbly is traditionally made by topping crushed fresh fruit with chilled Prosecco, an Italian white wine. But you can make one with your twist by replacing white wine with club soda, and topping it up some crushed ice. Grapes, strawberries, oranges are some of the preferred choices of fruit for this home-made fruit bubbly.
Orange-Infused Iced Tea
Instead of relying on packaged iced tea that often comes loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar, you can try making your own exotic orange-infused iced tea at home. Add a tea bag or a spoonful of loose tea, along with orange peel, to boiling water and let it sit for about five minutes. Strain this liquid, let it cool and then add in sugar/honey to taste, you can also add a small amount of freshly pressed orange juice if you want a distinct hint of orange flavour. Refrigerate until chilled and treat yourself to refreshing iced tea.
Buttermilk is one summer drink that our elders swear by. Also known as chaach, buttermilk has inherent cooling properties that kick in almost instantly, making it an ideal replenishing punch after an outing in the scorching heat. It is also a healthier, all natural alternative to all those bottled, sugary drinks. If you are not a fan of original flavour of buttermilk, you can spike it up with spices and salt.
Why settle for nimbu paani when you can treat yourself to a jazzier, tastier Mojito. The addition of ginger ale and crushed mint leaves uplifts the flavour of the humble lime juice in water concoction several notches. If you prefer your drinks sweet, you can add sugar or sugar syrup. If not, then just top it up with some club soda or sparking water for that characteristic effervescent effect.
Cucumber is yet another indispensible summer delight known for its cooling properties that help in soothing down the stomach. Besides adding cucumber to your plate of salad, you can also use it to make a simple glass of water more revitalizing and replenishing. Just add a few slightly crushed slices of cucumber to a pitcher of water and refrigerate until cool, and you have a no-frills summer drink that is as refreshing as they come.
Most of these drinks can be prepared from scratch in no time and with minimal effort, giving you a good reason to ditch those sugary variants and drink your way to a healthier, hydrated body.