Summer simmer: Try these cool beverages to beat the heat, build immunity and more...

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Home / Health / Summer simmer: Try these cool beverages to beat the heat, build immunity and more this season

As the outside temperatures soar higher with each passing day, it’s time we found ways to beat the heat with cool attires, a skin and hair care regime, diet choices and more, even as we continue to stay home amid the coronavirus-led lockdown and subsequent work from home needs. Staying well-hydrated is key in the sweltering heat to stay in the pink of health.

Our bodies tend to lose water, salts and essential minerals at a rapid pace due to excessive sweating in the summer season. Water is undoubtedly the most important drink to quench one’s thirst and balance your system. But the options don’t just stop there. Enjoying your favourite beverages not just helps you stay hydrated and healthy, but also helps to beat the heat. However, be mindful of the sugar and high calorific content in your beverages. A few additions or tweaks to recipes can also be beneficial to build the body’s immunity. that’s also the need of the hour for global denizens.

ALSO READ: Why you need 10 glasses of water a day

Simran Shaikh, a homemaker, swears by basil seeds in lemon water for the summer months for herself and her family. She soaks basil seeds in cold water, with a whole lemon squeezed into a jar with a few torn mint leaves; honey or sugar may be added to this drink for added flavour. The basil seeds help you feel full and the other ingredients have a nice cooling effect.

WHO guidelines recommend that adults and children should reduce their daily intake of free sugar to less than 10 per cent of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5 per cent or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would also be beneficial for health.

Read on for a few summer coolers to try this season and keep the cool quo on from within:

Coconut Water/Nariyal Paani

Coconut water is a highly recommended drink by fitness experts and nutritionist for its electrolytes, vitamins and minerals properties. The tropical drink is a go-to summer cooler that is easily available, eases the heat and keeps a check on your calorie intake. Try pre-packaged coconut water from Del Monte and other brands in case fresh coconut is unavailable near you.

ALSO READ: 5 reasons why you must trust coconut water to get you through the scorching summer


A glass of chaas/matha (buttermilk) is a great accompaniment for lunch or brunch and also works well as a welcome drink. The preparation may vary slightly depending on where you’re located in India. Use pudina (mint leaves), roasted crushed cumin seeds (bhuna jeera), and finely chopped green chillies to spike its flavour.

Rooh Afza

The drink’s name loosely translates into a “soul refresher” and is one of the best summer drinks, almost one to take everyone down memory lane as soon as the rose flavour hits one’s tastebuds.

Rooh Afza gets its signature taste from a blend of rose water and kewra. The drink, launched over 100 years ago, continues to serve its purpose even today across the summer season and occasions.


Panna, a raw mango drink, has been a household recipe for years before its commercialisation and popularity. Raw mango pulp is mixed with sugar to taste, mint leaves, crushed roasted cumin powder and water according to the consistency you desire. Top it with crushed ice and serve chilled.

Kokum Sherbet, Sol Kadhi

Kokum or Garcinia Indica, is a multi-purpose fruit that is used for cooking, make summer coolers and also has medicinal purposes. While kokum concentrate can be store-bought, it’s better to use dried kokum for cooking or for making sherbets. Kokum sherbet and sol kadhi (eaten with rice and is a great accompaniment for the generally hot seafood from Malvan) is refreshing and is also a great digestive drink.

Green Rush

Cucumber is a great source of antioxidants and provides hydration to the body. Celery contains a plant compound called apigenin, which acts as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant agent. Spinach is a great source of iron and vitamin A and Green Apple provides both vitamins A and C. Use red apples in case the green variants are unavailable and replace celery with fennel in case of non-availability.


75gms cucumber

75gms Green Apple

75gms Spinach Leaves

50gms Celery stick

10ml Lemon juice


Blend all the ingredients until smooth with crushed ice

Garnish with a celery stick and serve chilled

-- Recipe courtesy Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Charcoal Lemonade

Lemon, a rich source of vitamin C, helps in dealing with respiratory disorders and helps in curing throat infections due to its well-known antibacterial properties, antiseptic and natural medications. Activated Charcoal helps in trapping toxins and chemicals in the gut, preventing their absorption in the body.


100 gms Lemon Juice

1 lt Water

15 gms Activated Charcoal

120 ml Hot Water

10 gms Sugar


Combine the activated charcoal and hot water, mixing until well combined

Make lemonade out of lemon juice, water and sugar

Combine the activated charcoal mixture and the lemonade

-- Recipe courtesy Oberoi Hotels & Resorts

Jal Jeera

Jal Jeera is made of water (Jal) and cumin seeds (Jeera) essentially, and is perfect for the season and any gastric issues it might bring along with it. Apart from crushed cumin seeds, the beverage comprises mint leaves, coriander leaves, black salt, and lemon juice making it tangy and refreshing. Gol gappas, pani puris or phuchkas use jal jeera for the water as a tasty filling too.

Feni and Urak-based cocktails

Feni, available in two variants - coconut and cashew - is a popular drink in Goa and southern India. The word feni is derived from the Sanskrit word phena meaning froth. Cashew Feni is distilled from handpicked, tree-ripened and fallen cashews, stomped on gently to express the juices from the fleshy fruit, much like the winemaking process.

In the first stripping run of the distillation, a cashew wine is distilled into a light alcohol called Urak. Goans drink Urak right through the summer months until the first shower of the monsoon rain. Urak is the first distillation of the cashew apple and the second distillation gives us Feni.

Ingredients and method of a Urak-based cocktail

Pour the Urak into a wide bottom or old fashioned glass. Fill half the glass

Add some ice cubes

Pour Limca (and this is part of the tradition – no substitutes!) up to the next quarter of the glass or as desired by your tastebuds

Put in a pinch of sea salt.

Place a lemon wedge into the glass after a gentle squeeze.

To make a Feni-based cocktail,

Shake 60 ml of cashew Feni, 20 ml of lime juice and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar over ice in a cocktail shaker. Serve over a green chilli and ice.

-- Urak and Feni cocktail recipes provided by The Postcard Hotel, Goa

Pineapple cocktail

Pineapples are packed with nutrients, antioxidants and other helpful compounds, such as enzymes that can fight inflammation and disease. Pineapple is also a symbol of the hospitality industry, as the pineapple motif implies “Welcome”.

To make a pineapple cocktail use,

Bacardi rum white 45ml

Malibu 15ml

Pineapple chunks 9 -10 pcs

Cardamom 4_5 pcs

Pineapple juice 60 ml

Take 9 -10 chunks of fresh pineapple and 4-5 pieces of green cardamom. Put them in a cocktail shaker. Muddle gently. Add Bacardi white rum 45 ml and Malibu 15 ml. Add pineapple juice 60 ml. Top up the cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake well, strain and serve in a chilled martini glasses. Garnish with a pineapple cone.

-- Recipe by Executive Chef Prem K Pogakula, The Imperial, New Delhi

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