21 Summer Drinks To Beat The Heat

21 coolers to beat the heat
By : Purple Kaddu Posted on :

It’s that time of the season when you bathe more than often  and  just cannot live without the air-conditioner. Heat strokes, skin rashes and the unwanted tan are common, keep aside profuse sweating. The ice-cream seller and colas make big business. Your electricity bill hikes ( thanks to AC usage ) . You dread this season but your child loves it ( it’s vacation). It’s time for hot summers.

Summers leaves us ranting about the unbearable heat. We curse the nature for being so unfriendly to us. But, the same nature provides you with remedies - remedies (foods) to beat the heat and up the cool quotient. These foods act as coolants. They dilate the blood vessels thus increasing blood flow and improving thermoregulation ( movement of heat from core to surface). 

Let’s explore these desi and natural summer coolers

  1. Sarasparilla root 

    Sarasparilla plant’s most valued part are the roots. They are said to act as natural coolants, promote sweating and help dispel toxins out of the body. Sarasparilla root extract is a famous summer remedy in Southern India. The root extract is used to make nannari sherbet. These words may sound alien to you . But, don’t worry we have the recipe of nannari sherbet sorted for you.

    Next time your kid comes in running home after a great play, instead of offering fridge-cold juices and sodas, nannari sherbet should be your choice.

  2. Raw mango

    King of fruits, mango is here to steal your heat. Kacchi Kairi, a good source of potassium, helps replenish electrolytes which you lose through sweat. You can eat is as ( if you can bear the sourness) or juice it. Read how to make panna using raw mango.

  3. Pearl millet / finger millet

    For those of you who don’t know, the above are scientific names of bajra/ragi. You are aware of the various millet preparations such as dosa, thalipeeth and idli. But, these millets can also be used to make Kambu Koozh / kamban kool. These words are out of your dictionary but very common on the streets of Tamilnadu. These are coolers made of bajra/ragi and curd and sold on southern streets. But, it can be made in your kitchen too ( It’s really easy). Read how to make Kambu Koozh / Kamban Kool

    On days when its too hot to cook and eat a meal, try kambu koozh.

  4. Rose petals

    Rose petals have more to offer than just beautification. Rose petals are used to prepare gulkand i.e. Rose petal jam. Having two teaspoons of gulkand before venturing out can protect you from heat stroke. Gulkand is commercially available, but if you prefer making it yourself - here’s the rose petal jam recipe. Splashing rose water on skin helps hydrate the skin too.

  5. Fennel seeds

    You eat variyali / fennel seeds as a mouth-freshener. But, these seeds seem to freshen you up especially during hot summer noons. Variyali / saunf / fennel seed sherbet is what it takes to cool you down. This too is available online or in stores , but making your own stock of variyali syrup isn’t too tough.

  6. Sandalwood

    You must have heard of sandalwood soaps and oils. But, apart from beautification, sandalwood can act as a coolant too. Edible sandalwood powder can be converted into syrup and used to make sherbet

  7. Kokum

    Kokum is a certified ayurvedic cooler. It protects you from mouth-ulcers during summer. You can use kokum in gravies to impart sour taste, but chances of you eating kokum are less. Instead try kokum sherbet, whose instant recipe is revealed for you.

  8. Khus

    If your thinking of the white seeds used to coat ladoo, let me clarify those are khus khus(poppy seeds). What I am referring to is khus(vetiver) - an ancient fragrant grass. Khus helps quench your thirst and provide relief from burning sensations. You don’t need to eat grass for that, ‘Potlis’ of khus roots/vetiver can be made and kept in earthen water pot, to add a refreshing herbed taste to water. 

    You can also make an extract of it. Read how to make khus sherbet.

  9. Wood Apple(Bael)

    You are aware of the green leaves offered to Lord Shiva. The same bilva tree also bears bael/wood apple fruit. Wood apple helps cool down during summers. How to indulge ? Try this cool bael sherbet

  10. Thandai

    This holi special drink is a great summer drink too. This drink requires many ingredients, is available at stores but can be made at home too (do yourself some favour, make it yourself). Here is the Thandai recipe

Many of the above syrups are available commercially, but we stress on making it yourself to save on consuming extra unwanted sugars, chemicals and colours. Besides, the syrups ain’t difficult to make. Go through the recipes of the traditional coolers, select which you perceive to be easy and make one. 

If you still don’t have the time to prepare summer coolers or the sugar in the above syrups is bothering you, we have few quick coolers jotted down for you.

11 Popular Cooling Fixes

  1. Buttermilk / Thick Yoghurt

    Your out of home or even at home , you can easily lay hands on a glass of buttermilk preferable with mint leaves/ thick yoghurt

  2. Cucumber

    Cucumber is 95% water. It helps you stay hydrated. Cucumber juice helps regulate body temperature. Add in some freshness through chopped mint or celery.

  3. Watermelon

    Watermelon is 91% water, again helping you stay hydrated. Chop watermelon and refrigerate. Cold watermelon will be apt as summer noon snack. Watermelon contains citrulline , an amino acid which gets converted to arginine in the body. Arginine helps dilate blood vessels which facilitates blood flow and thus better temperature regulation. 

  4. Coconut Water

    Rich in potassium , sodium and chloride, coconut water helps replenish electrolytes which are lost in the form of sweat. Coconut water is best suited post morning jog.

  5. Nimbu Paani

    Walk down streets of Mumbai especially near local railway stations and your sure to come across a roadside stall of nimbu paani. These drinks help daily local commuters not only quench their thirst but also hydrate and refresh themselves. 

  6. Shikanji

    The Nimbu Paani can be made even more refreshing. Add in jaljeera, mint leaves and few shredded ginger strips - shikanji is ready. 

  7. Chilled Herb tea

    Instead of having warm cup of tea, switch to chilled lemon grass drink to cool your noon. It’s damn easy to make. Boil water, add in lemon grass, ginger, mint leaves. Let the flavour of herbs and spices set it. Cool,strain the water and add honey. Refrigerate this water. Enjoy as is. 

  8. Water

    Needless to say, you sweat and lose water - so drink enough to make up for the loss. Avoid refrigerated water. Instead buy an earthen pot, fill it with water and let that be your water-bank . Besides, these matkas add a unique taste to water.

  9. Sabja seeds

    Sabja seeds/takhmaria/sweet basil seeds are quick coolers. You need to soak them for 5 minutes. These seeds absorb water and swell. Better stock on these seeds because they can be used in many ways. Take any sherbet - kokum, rooh afzah, sandalwood or plain water - and add soaked sabja seeds to up the cool quotient. 

  10. Audumbar jal

    The Indian fig tree also called as Audumbar tree is an ayurvedic coolant offering relief from excess body heat. The audumbar figs are extracted and then processed to form Audumbar jal. Such products are easily available in ayurvedic stores. 

  11. Rooh afza

    The most easy to make and age old summer cooler - Rooh afza contains extracts of various flowers, fruits, vegetables, roots and herbs. When buying rooh afzah syrup, see it to that it does not contain artificial colours and flavours. To enjoy the drink, Rooh afzah syrup just needs to be diluted in water. You can add in some chopped mint leaves too.

Apart from the above mentioned DO’s , there are a few DON’Ts that we request you to abide by 

  • Avoid spicy food - they increase body temperature making you restless.
  • Let the frying pan enjoy the summer vacation - give it a break. What we meant to say is avoid fattening food, it puts extra burden on the digestive system and heart.
  • Reduce intake of tea and coffee - they dehydrate you !
  • Minimize the consumption of non-vegetarian food - they increase your body temperature.
  • Avoid aerated drinks and ice creams - they do not act as coolants. And why would you open up fizzy bottles. Your fridge should be filled with desi coolers.

Summers call for floral prints, aviator sunglasses , round hats , khadi fabrics...and after reading this blog..I am sure you will add to the list...traditional summer coolers. It’s time to relish some home-grown foods.

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