Seasonal Cooking | Staying Cool in Summer Heat | Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs

How to stay cool on hot days

Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger

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.

Similar recipes include Zucchini Juice Coolers,ย  Beetroot Based Juices, and Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint. Browse our Lassi recipes too, for stunning Summer fruit and yoghurt smoothies.

Browse our Juice Collections:

You can browse our other Drinks here. Or explore our Mid Summer collection of recipes.



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.

Lemon, Lime, Mint Cooler

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.

Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger Add strawberries to the watermelon for a refreshing taste.

Other juices

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.

Summer Fruit Juices

Peel oranges and lemons before juicing, also any melon. Everything else goes in skin and all.

Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger

One of the surprising of all juices is zucchini juice, either on its own or with other fruits. Cucumber is a great addition too.

Zucchini and Fruit Juice

Iced Tea

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.

Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea

  • Green Gourmet Giraffe has a great Green Tea Cooler. I like to add other cooling elements too – mint, strawberry or cucumber juice, ginger.

Green Tea, Apple and Strawberry Juice, and Ginger Cooler


Ginger Cooler

Ginger is so very healthy for you. Cook Almost Anything wonderfully posted a ginger and barley cooler.

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.

Ginger Cooler

Quince Cordial

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.

Summer Cafes

Salt Lassi

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.

Jeera Lassi | Cumin Yoghurt Drink | Vegetarian | A Life Time of Cooking

Jal Jeera

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.

Jal Jeera

browse some more Drink recipes

You can browse all of our Drinks recipes here and here, or try any of these:

This is cross posted with our sister site, Heat in The Kitchen; it appears here as part of the How To series.















Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

11 thoughts on “Seasonal Cooking | Staying Cool in Summer Heat | Cooling Drinks with Juices and Herbs”

  1. Those are good, I made the Lime Mojito recently, and also the Beetroot-Cucumber and Ginger juice:) these drinks are so refreshing, I must say!:)

  2. These sound great. It’s supposed to be the cool season here, but I’m not experiencing any of that here in Bangkok, so will certainly be trying out some of these refreshing drinks suggestions.

  3. You have just made me parched and dry and longing for these drinks! Go to get my hands on some black salt.

    I have a ginger and lemongrass gingerale sitting in my fridge ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have just got back from holiday, part of which I spent in Cambodia. It was H O T there. So I visited the local market (only non-local person there) and bought some ginger, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and limes. I borrowed a (blunt) knife from the kitchen of the hotel, and in our room, cut up chunks of ginger and lemon grass, added half a lime leaf and a slice of lime, put them into a tea cup and poured hot water over it. It was our afternoon drink of choice, and was very very yummy.

    When I got to India and asked for ginger tea, they knew exactly what I meant, and often added tulsi mint to it. Yum.

  4. As a winter-sufferer at the moment, I should resent this post, but I don’t. Thanks for a roundup of great ideas. I’m saving them all for summer when I can appreciate them (the ginger cooler looks especially delicious).

  5. This is my favorite one. Dhaka can hit up to 48 degrees in summer, and there’s nothing more refreshing than a cool drink. Something that i always have in the freezer is my concoction of pineapple extract (with pulp)+lime juice+beet salt+mint leaves+sugar+ice. Its very refreshing. You can even cut up grapes and put them in the drink.

    I absolutely live on fruits. I can never get enough of Bangkok’s Guavas. Amazing stuff I tell you. And something that is very popular in Bangladesh is mango juice. You take unripe mangoes, burn them in the oven. The skin peels off easily. Then you mash them up and put them in the blender. Add green chili paste (to your level of liking) and lime extract. You’re gonna have an olive green substance. Take like 2-3 tablespoons of that for one glass and mix with water, beet salt and sugar. We have festivals for these kinda drinks.

    You should come to Bangladesh soon, mango season starts in a few weeks ๐Ÿ™‚


    I can’t believe it can be 48! That is so H O T. I must investigate beet sugar, because I have not used that before. Your pineapple drink sounds very good.

    Also, I have never heard of burning unripe mangoes and using them as a drink WOW. So glad that you dropped by. I can see that we will have lots to talk about. Do you have a blog?

  6. I do have a blog, but I’m not a blogger. I logged on to wordpress completely randomly, and I have that free blog that you get along with registration. However, if you want, you can email me at [removed].

    This beet salt thing might be otherwise known as black salt, I’m not sure. It comes in large chunks of brownish reddish blackish shade and you have to grind it…you can also get it ground, but I prefer grinding it just before I need to use it so that I get that fresh beet salt taste. It’s much like a tangier version of salt.

    Next time I’ll tell you all about the fascinating date juice and the different things you can do with it ๐Ÿ™‚


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