Summer is that time of the year when you need to focus diligently on keeping yourself hydrated. But merely drinking water may not be enough. My grandmother often advises drinking sorbets and juices during the summer to make up for the electrolyte and minerals lost due to sweating. So, taking a few leaves out of her book as well as being inspired by the drinks served by my friends and family, here are 51 refreshing drinks that are nutritious and energizing to power through the harsh summer.
Table of Contents
Tender Coconut Juice
Coconut water is refreshing without a doubt. But, if you want it to be filling too, then tender coconut juice is the best way to go. To make tender coconut juice, remove the thin layer of coconut (malai) from the shell and blend it together with the coconut water. You needn’t necessarily pass it through a sieve as the coconut piece will be something you can chew on while drinking the juice. For best results, use coconut that is thin like malai. If it is too thick, the juice will be of grainy consistency. Add sugar depending on the sweetness of the water and coconut.
Summer is that time of the year when you get mangoes in abundance. Mango slush is an easy drink you can rejoice during the summers. To make mango slush, blend together 1 cup of chopped mangoes, 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon of sugar ( optional) and 1 cup of ice. You will need at least a 750-watt mixer grinder to crush ice into the consistency required for making slush.
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Tea is the most popular drink in India. During summer, you can enjoy iced tea instead as it cools down and refreshes your body.
To make ice tea, prepare black tea using just half the quantity of tea powder you usually use, so that you get light tea. Then, add a tablespoon of lime juice per cup of tea. Strain and chill the tea.
Kiwi is a fruit that is becoming popular in India due to its exotic taste and health benefits. Kiwi punch is a simple drink in which the flavour profile of Kiwi is enhanced with mint.
To make the drink, boil 3-4 mint leaves, a tablespoon of sugar( optional) and a cup of water so that the taste of mint gets infused in the water. Then, blend together a medium-sized kiwi peeled and sliced, 2-3 ice cubes and a tablespoon of lime juice. Mix with the boiled and cooled mint water and serve with ice cubes.
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Lemon punch is a twist on regular lime juice. To make lemon punch, add a tablespoon of lime juice, 1 finely chopped chilly, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoon sugar ( optional), a few mint leaves and stir thoroughly. Serve chilled with ice cubes. If the chilly is too spicy, remove the seeds and add them to the drink.
Cucumber punch is a fizzy drink made using cucumber, ice, lime and 7-up. Slice half of a cucumber thinly and cover it with ice cubes. After 2 hours, add a tablespoon of lime juice and a glass of 7-up into it. Cucumber Punch is ready to serve.
Mango lemonade is a simple, yet delicious drink to relish the king of fruits. To make the drink, peel and chop 2 mangoes, then, add a tablespoon of lime juice, sugar ( optional) and water and blend thoroughly. Pass it through a strainer and enjoy the drink chilled. Garnish with mint.
Mango Colada is a twist on Pina colada that tasty and refreshing. To make Mango Colada, blend together a cup of mango peeled and chopped, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon lime juice and crushed ice. Adjust the quantity of coconut milk depending on how thick or thin you want the consistency to be.
Pineapple punch is a drink inspired by Western chefs. To make the drink, blend a pineapple ( peeled and chopped), a handful of strawberries, sugar ( optional) and pass it through a sieve. Add cold soda and serve.
Pineapple lemonade is an apt choice for those who need a bit more tartness to cut through the sweetness of pineapple. The recipe calls for blending two cups of chopper pineapple with water and 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice. Optionally add sugar. Pass through a sieve and chill before serving.
Papaya Orange Juice
Papaya and orange have flavour profiles that complement each other. To make the drink, blend together papaya and orange ( after removing the seed) in a 2:3 ratio. Add water if you want the drink in a thinner consistency.
Apple Mint Cooler
Apple Mint Cooler is an excellent thirst-quenching drink that is refreshing during the summers. To make the drink, blend together 500 ml apple juice, 3-4 tablespoons of lime juice and 15-20 mint leaves. Strain the mixture and chill before serving.
Apple Iced Tea
Infused with the flavour of apple and mint, apple iced tea is a refreshing drink that tea lovers will enjoy. To make apple iced tea, boil water with mint leaves and make black tea. Refrigerate it. While serving, fill the glass with equal quantities of iced tea and chilled apple juice. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
Virgin Pina Colada
Pina Colada is a popular cocktail. Avoid the liquor and you get a refreshing drink for summers. To make the drink, blend together 100 gm pineapple with a cup of coconut milk and sugar. Ensure that the pineapple is blended to a smooth consistency without any chunks. Serve cold.
This is a variety of Amla limeade that my FIL makes for our family every day. To make the drink, cut an amla and 1/2 inch of ginger into small pieces. Then, add 2 cups of hot water and a few mint leaves to it and store it overnight so that the water absorbs the flavour and nutrients from the ingredients. The next day, squeeze juice from 1 lime, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Strain and serve. The drink not only cools down your body but also alleviates any constipation, which is common in summers due to dehydration.
Lemonade is a simple and easy-to-make drink that refreshes and helps maintain electrolyte balance. To make lemonade, simply squeeze half of a lemon, add 1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of salt. You can either add water and mix it with a spoon or alternatively, run it in a blender or a mixer grinder to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Instead of lemon, you can also use lime to make limeades. We shall also look at various other variations of lemonades later on.
Buttermilk or chaas is yet another energizing drink to have after spending time outdoors in the summer. Each part of the country has a different type of buttermilk that they are used to making. A simple variant of buttermilk, also known as moru can be made by blending together a cup of curd, 1/2 inch ginger, 1 chilly, 2-3 curry leaves, salt and water. It tastes best when the curd is slightly sour.
In North India, masala buttermilk is made by blending a cup of curd with 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1 tablespoon of coriander leaves, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of chilly, salt and water.
Jaljeera is a North Indian drink that is known for cooling down your body during hot summers. In addition, it aids in digestion too.
To make Jaljeera, blend together a small ball of soaked tamarind ( the size of a small lime will suffice), a handful of mint leaves, 1 teaspoon cumin, fennel, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon dry mango powder, a pinch of hing ( asafoetida), 1/2 teaspoon chat masala and salt. Once you blend it finely, add 2 cups of water. Pass it through a strainer and enjoy refreshing jaljeera after garnishing it with boondi.
Coconut water, being rich in potassium, low in carbs and sugar is comparable to sports drinks as it aids in hydration. If you want to make it more filling, add some coconut milk along with the coconut water.
Nannari, a.k.a, Indian sarsaparilla is a fragrant plant that not only cools the body but also improves overall health, as it is rich in antioxidants. You can make Nannari syrup using 100 gm nannari powder (available online) and mixing it with 1 Kg of sugar, 1-litre water and boiling it to a syrup consistency. Store-bought Nannari syrup has many additives in it, which are not good for health.
To make Nannari sarbath, squeeze half of a lime, add 3-4 tablespoons of nannari syrup and water and stir thoroughly.
Lassi can be made sweet or salty. To make lassi, use a hand blender or a whisk to gently beat 1 cup of curd into a smooth consistency. Then, add 3-4 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of cardamom powder. Add ice cubes and serve. Ideally, use curd or yoghurt that is not sour for making lassi.
Aam Panna is a favourite North Indian drink that everyone loves during the summer. To make Aam Panna, peel and chop unripe mango into small pieces and boil it till you can mash it into pulp. Alternatively, pressure cook it for 1-2 whistles. Add 4-5 tablespoons of sugar, a teaspoon each of cardamom, cumin powder, salt and pepper and blend it thoroughly. Pass it through a sieve and add 3-4 cups of water and chill it. Aam panna is ready to serve.
Badam milk is an excellent treat enjoyed by kids and adults during the summer. To make badam milk, blanch 20 almonds and blend it to a fine consistency. Then, add 500 ml milk, 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, teaspoon cardamom and 1/2 teaspoon rose milk and blend in a mixer grinder. Garnish with saffron strands.
Bel or wood apple is a fruit predominantly found in North India. To make Bel sharbath, peel 2-3 ripe wood apple, add 1-2 tablespoon sugar ( optional) and 2-3 cup of water and a pinch of cardamom powder and blend it all together. Chill and serve.
Piyush is a Maharashtrian drink that is quite similar to lassi. To make piyush, take a cup of Shrikhand, 1.5 cups of whisked curd, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, a pinch of nutmeg and saffron, 2-3 tablespoons of sugar and blend together in a mixer grinder.
Phalsa or black currant is a summer fruit that offers immense health benefits. To make phalsa sarbath, blend together 200 gm phalsa, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 lime, a few mint leaves and ice cubes together.
Mango Mastani is a popular drink from Pune. More than a drink, it is considered a dessert that is refreshing and filling.
To make Mango Mastaani, blend together 2-3 ripe mangoes chopped into small pieces, 2-3 tablespoons of sugar ( optional) and 500 ml chilled milk. If you want the drink to be of a looser consistency, you can increase the quantity of milk. Pour into a glass, and add a scoop of ice cream. Then, garnish with chopped mint and mangoes or with chopped dry fruits.
Thandaai is a drink served during Holi, the festival that marks the harvest of the summer crops. It is made by blending together 30-40 blanched almonds, 15 peppercorns, 3 tablespoons each of fennel and poppy seeds, 2 tablespoon watermelon seeds, 15 cardamoms to make a smooth paste. Add it to 1-litre of milk boiled and cooled down with 100 gm sugar and mix thoroughly. Then, pass it through a sieve. You can garnish it with chopped dry fruits and saffron.
Ragi Ambali is a popular drink in Karnataka. Not only does it cool down the body, but also alleviates indigestion and constipation which are common during summers. To make Ragi Ambali, take 2 tablespoons of ragi powder, add a cup of water, 1 tablespoon jaggery and a pinch of salt and cook it to make a slurry. Once it cools down, add 2 cups of buttermilk to it. Roast curry leaves, cumin powder, finely chopped onion, asafoetida and add it to the ragi buttermilk mixture. Optionally, add 1 teaspoon lime juice too.
Kokum, which has a unique sour taste is an essential ingredient used in fish curries in North Kerala.
To make the Sarbath, soak 100 gm dry Kokum in 2 cups of water for an hour. Then, mash and strain the water. Take the leftover kokum, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 100-150 gm sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom and a pinch of salt and cook it on a low flame for about 10 minutes. Then, add the water you strained and kept away and cook for another 5 minutes. Pass the mixture through a sieve and Kokum syrup is ready. Dilute 4-5 tablespoons of Kokum syrup in water and enjoy refreshing Kokum Sharbat.
Aam Jhol is a drink similar to Aam Panna, which is relished during hot summers. To make aam jhol, first, char the skin of a mango by heating it directly on the stove. Plunge it into ice water and remove the skin. Remove the flesh from the seed and blend it together with a teaspoon of cumin powder, 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, a pinch of salt and some mint leaves. Strain the mixture and dilute with sufficient water. Chill and serve.
Aval milk is a popular drink in Northern Kerala. To prepare the drink, first, soak 1/2 cup of poha ( beaten rice) in 1.5 cups of water for 20-30 minutes. Add it to a blender with a ripe banana, chilled milk and ice cubes. Blend thoroughly. You can change the flavour profile by adding ingredients of your choice. A juice bar in my hometown sells 50 varieties of aval milk by adding a variety of fruits and essences instead or along with the banana.
Arabian Grape Juice
Arabian grape juice is a popular drink in the Middle East. Nowadays, you can find it in most outlets selling grilled chicken and shawarma. The drink is filling and refreshing and you will really love the feeling of pulpy grapes while drinking the juice.
To make the drink, take 500 gm of cleaned black grapes. Boil it with 2 cups of water till the skin of the grapes start to break apart and they start floating on top. Once it cools down, squeeze the grapes to separate the skin from the pulp. Chill the pulp and juice. To the grape peels, add a cup of sugar ( adjust quantity to your taste), 2 cups of water and boil it. Strain the mixture with the skin and add the pulp to it. Serve chilled. If you don’t want to have pulpy grapes in your drink, blend it in the mixer grinder by pulsing. Do not overdo it as you may end up grinding the seeds. Strain and add to the juice extracted by boiling the grapes’ skin.
Watermelon juice can be made either in a mixer grinder or using a juicer mixer grinder. If you are making it in a mixer grinder, remove the seeds and add watermelon to 3/4th of the jar’s capacity. Then, blend and pass it through a strainer. As you are blending the watermelon, fibre loss is minimal. Watermelon juice usually is fairly sweet and you needn’t add extra sugar to it.
Sugarcane juice is yet another favourite drink during summers. You can make sugarcane juice at home by blending sugarcane peeled and chopped into small pieces, 1/4 inch ginger, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice and ice cubes. Once thoroughly blended, sieve it using a muslin cloth. However, it may take a toll on your mixer grinder. So, it may be better to buy it from restaurants or roadside vendors.
Sabja Seed Juice
Sabja seeds or basil seeds can be added to practically any juice or Sarbath to enhance the cooling effect of the drink. Before adding it to a drink, clean it thoroughly and soak it in water for about 1-2 hours. After that, add it to Sarbath or juice of your choice.
Passion Fruit Drink
Once popular in South America, Passion Fruit is now available across the world and relished by all. To make passion fruit drink, extract the seeds and liquid from passion fruit and blend it with sugar and water. Pass it through a sieve and the passion fruit drink is ready to serve.
Smoothies and Shakes
A smooth, creamy and filling drink, Mango Smoothie is something kids and adults enjoy equally during the summers. Blend together two mangoes ( peeled and chopped), a small banana, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup yoghurt to a creamy consistency. Adjust the quantity of yoghurt and milk to achieve desired consistency. Serve chilled.
Strawberry smoothie is a refreshing and filling drink that you can enjoy as breakfast or an evening snack. To make the drink, blend together a cup of chilled strawberries with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup yoghurt. Add sugar if you would like to have it sweeter. If you want a thicker smoothie, you can add a ripe banana along with the strawberries. If milk and yoghurt don’t sit well with you, you could add coconut milk or almond milk instead.
Chikoo or sapota is abundantly available during the summers. Many people don’t like to eat it as it is too sweet. But blending it into a shake will balance the sweetness and make it a delicious drink that adults and kids enjoy alike. To make the shake, blend together 2-3 chikoo peeled and chopped, 1-2 dates and a cup of milk. As the ingredients are sweet, you needn’t add sugar to it.
Carrot milkshake is a favourite drink with which we often welcome visitors during the summer. Not only is it refreshing, but it is also quite filling. To make the drink, steam or pressure cook a carrot till it is soft. Then blend together the carrot, a cup of chilled milk and a tablespoon of sugar ( optional).
Ginger soda or lime ginger soda is a favourite summer drink in India. Simply blend together juice from a lime, sugar, 1/2 inch ginger and add a cup of water. Pour it to fill half a glass and fill with soda.
Citrus cooler is a fizzy drink rich in vitamin C. To make it, simply combine 1 cup orange with 1/2 cup lime juice and sugar syrup. Divide into three glasses and fill with soda.
Orange Mocktail too is a fizzy drink that you will love to have on hot summer evenings. To make an orange mocktail, mix together a cup of orange juice with a tablespoon of lime juice and a few mint leaves crushed. Pour the mixture into 2 glasses with 3-4 ice cubes and add 7-up or Sprite to it.
Pomegranate Fizz as the name suggests is a fizzy summer drink that can be even turned into a cocktail. To make the drink, blend together kernels of one pomegranate, 1 teaspoon lime juice, a tablespoon of sugar with water and strain it. Pour it to 1/2 the level of a glass, add soda and crushed mint leaves.
Virgin Mojito is a drink that regulars at KFC love. To make the drink, crush and boil a few mint leaves in half a cup of water so that the flavour of the mint gets infused into the water. Cool it down. Then, squeeze juice from half a lime into the water, add sugar syrup and soda. Alternatively, instead of sugar syrup and soda, you can use sprite or 7up.
If you want a fizzy drink instead of Arabian Grape Juice, then fill the grape juice to half the level of a glass and add soda to it. Optionally, squeeze juice from half of a lime into it. You may also want to adjust the level of sugar accordingly.
Lime soda is an easy drink with a fizz that you will relish after spending time outdoor in the summer. To make the drink, squeeze juice of half of a lime, add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar syrup, 1/4th teaspoon salt. Mix thoroughly and add soda to it.
Masala Soda is a refreshing summer drink that you can put together in less than 5 minutes. To make the drink, blend together a handful of mint leaves, 1 teaspoon each of ginger, cumin powder, chat masala, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 teaspoon salt and a generous pinch of pepper. Add sufficient water to blend to a thick paste. You can store this in an airtight container in the fridge. To prepare the drink, add 3 tablespoons of this mixture to a glass, 3-4 ice cubes and fill with chilled soda.
Chaas Soda is for those people who like to have traditional drinks with a fizz. To make the drink, prepare buttermilk by adding chilly, ginger, curry leaves and salt in double the quantity you usually use. Fill the buttermilk to half the capacity of a glass and then pour chilled soda. Add ice cubes if you wish to.