Our Summers are hot and dry. Today, as I write it is over 40 C for the third day in a row, and the forecast is for 44. That is around 111F.
But is so quiet in the mornings. There is something about hot weather that subdues noise. Have you noticed? The morning is so peaceful – but still full of joy and expectation for the day.
In those peaceful couple of early morning hours, my thoughts turn to what to drink during the day. Is there ice in the freezer? Spring water available? What flavour of drink for today?
In the evenings, it can be so still, with nere a breath of wind, lit only by the moon. Looking for coolness, we sit outside, but it is only the cooling drinks which bring relief.
Here are some of the beautiful things that are cooling in Summer. Some are simple, some are sweet, some salty and some spicy. Enjoy.
An Important Read
Any herbal tea can be iced for wonderful hot weather drinks.
Simple Lemon, Lime and Mint
Fill a large jug with water. Add two large branches of mint, 2 slices of lemon (no need to peel) and/or lime.
If you have some whole frozen limes in the freezer, it is time to pop one into the jug.
If you have a gorgeous unblemished red chilli, add that as well. It gives the water a lift but does not make it chilli hot.
If you have any around, add a little lemongrass, lemon verbena or kaffir lime leaves.
Chill and drink in the hot afternoon.
Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint
When watermelons are cheap, use your juicer to juice them with some mint. Add some ginger too if you like. Serve over ice.
Add strawberries to the watermelon for a refreshing taste.
Any summer fruit combination through the juicer is wonderful. Herbs that can accompany the fruit are parsley, mint, lemon verbena, kaffir lime leaves, basil. Ginger. Slowly with the herb quantities at first until you are used to the combinations.
Peel oranges and lemons before juicing, also any melon. Everything else goes in skin and all.
One of the surprising of all juices is zucchini juice, either on its own or with other fruits. Cucumber is a great addition too.
Make any herbal tea, make it quite strong, pour it over ice in a large jug and put into the fridge to chill. Serve with mint in the glass.
- Green Gourmet Giraffe has a great Green Tea Cooler. I like to add other cooling elements too – mint, strawberry or cucumber juice, ginger.
To make a hot day drink, simply seep a lot of ginger and some lemon grass in boiling water, add sugar, black rock or sea salt (a pinch), water or sparkling mineral water, jaggery or sugar and the juice of 0.5 – 1 lemon or lime. Chill and sip in the heat.
The black rock salt really does make a difference, but is not strictly necessary. If you have some sea salt add a pinch of that. Salt will help to replace your electrolytes that you lose in hot weather.
You can add to this any fresh tasting herb – mint, lemon verbena, kaffir, basil, even a pinch of fresh parsley will be nice. A fresh unblemished chilli as above.
Or for a twist, add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, even cumin. Star anise, fennel, liquorish root.
A pinch of ground black pepper.
Or just keep it very simple. Ginger. Salt. Jaggery. Lemon.
Back last autumn when the quinces scented my house most wondrously, I made some quince syrup. Now it has come into its own – with tonic water or soda water and a slice of lemon or lime. Luxurious. Pink. Delicious.
Here in Australia everyone knows the Mango lassi, but salt lassi is less known. I love it, and it has grown on me over the years so that I don’t often drink mango lassi any more. I love my salt lassi. This is how you make it.
Take some yoghurt, about 1 cup. If yoghurt in your region is thin, let it sit in some muslin for 30 minutes to drain off some moisture.
To the yoghurt, add a few mint leaves that have been chopped, and blend them together. Add 0.5 tspn of cumin seeds that have been dry roasted in a frying pan. Add salt to tastee, 2 pinches black pepper, 0.25 cup milk and mix. Add ice cubes and serve cold.
Browse other Lassi recipes here.
Take some mint leaves and grind them to a paste.
To 4 cups water, add the mint leaves, a pinch salt, 1 tspn dry roasted cumin powder, 1 tspn garam masala, pinch black salt, pinch red chilli powder, 1 tspn amchoor powder, 1 tspn or more jaggery or brown sugar, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir well. Add ice cubes and serve cold.
Some optional additions to Jal Jeera are green chillies, fresh ginger, coriander leaves (cilantro) added to the mint when making a paste, curry leaves, replace the water with watermelon juice.
browse some more Drink recipes
- A Balinese Ginger and Lemongrass Tea
- An Indian Coriander and Ginger Infusion/Tea
- Chinese Red Date Tea
- Fresh Pink Strawberry Frappe