Nimbu Sherbet | Indian Lemonade or Limeade

Traditionally India has not had a strong culture of alcoholic drinks, except for a few pockets where naturally fermenting products meant some developed a taste for it (and a reputation, no doubt).

Consequently India has such a rich variety of non-alcoholic drinks, a seemingly infinite variety of all types of drinks – hot, cold, juices, milk based, fruit based, yoghurt based, infusions, coffees, chais, with seeds, without seeds, … It is fascinating to those of us who grew up in countries where choices are limited to water, coffee, tea, wine and beer. Perhaps some soft drink and orange juice. Maybe apple juice. But not much beyond that.

Additionally, the weather is hot in India, rivalling our own temperatures of 40C – 45C in Summer, with the additional humidity in India. Right before the monsoon is when the heat is the most unbearable–daily extreme temperatures and 100% humidity. There is no choice but to adapt, and until more recently, electricity was not available everywhere for aircon. So shady houses and verandahs can be common, people stay out of the heat in the mid day, roof tops are used at night for cooler breezes, and refreshing drinks are made in the afternoons.

Also, many drinks contain salt. It makes the drinks very tasty, but there is also a health reason for this – in heat we lose salt from our bodies through our perspiration. So rehydrating drinks in the afternoon provide water, salt and also sugar for energy in the heat. How sensible!

Already we have posted (and made) a range of Indian drinks, especially Lassi (great for Summer mornings!) and Chai (excellent afternoon and evening cold weather cuppas), and a few cold drinks (Summer sipping). Today is definitely a hot weather drink – Nimbu Sherbet, Indian Lemonade (or Limeade).

Similar recipes include Panakam, Jal Jeera, Watermelon Juice with Ginger and Mint, and Cumin, Coriander and Ginger Iced Tea.

Browse all of our Indian Drinks, and all of our Coolers. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Tulsi ka Sherbet | Iced Tulsi Tea

What a powerhouse herb Tulsi is, everyone should have a plant or at least dried leaves in their pantry. We have a few recipes featuring it, and today, another one. An iced tea for the hottest of weathers. We have 40C days in Summer, sometimes hotter, so our minds will be on cooling drinks for afternoons under the grapevines.

Similar recipes include Nimbu Sherbet, Fennel Tea, Tulsi, Mint and Lemon Verbena Tea, Tulsi and Mint Chai with Cinnamon, and Ginger and Tulsi Tea.

Browse all of our Tulsi recipes, and all of our Indian Coolers. All of our Indian recipes are here, and the Indian Essentials Series is here. Or explore our Early Summer dishes.

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Kewra Sherbet | Pandan Cooler

Sherbet in the US has come to mean a sorbet-like iced dish but the origins are from sharbah meaning a drink. Sherbet or Sharbat is a drink made from fruits, flower petals and/or herbs with sugar and lime and diluted with water, milk, coconut milk or evaporated milk. It is generally served over ice. Turkey, India, Afghanistan and other countries in the region all have their versions of sherbet. They are delicious summer coolers.

Kewra, an essence made from the flower of the Pandanus plant (also called Screwpine) has an unusual but pleasant taste. It is used to flavour rice, drinks, and desserts in Northern India and South East Asia. The floral fragrance gives a calming influence and is said to help in mental relaxation. Kewra also combines well with other flower waters such as rose water and orange blossom water, and they can be combined in any recipe that uses one or the other.

You can read more about Kewra and Pandanus here.

Today we flavour a Summer Cooler with Kewra. Such drinks are common in North India, combining the base flavour with water and lemon juice. We use the Kewra Water, but you can use also use Kewra essence. Just add a 1 or 2 drops per glass.

Similar recipes for cooling drinks include Nimbu Sherbet, Tamarind Summer Cooler, Iced Tulsi Tea, Watermelon, Lime, Ginger Soda, Strawberry Frappe, Roasted Green Mango Drink, and Jal Jeera.

You might like to read 40 of our Best Coolers for Summer.

Browse all of our Coolers and Indian Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Aam Ka Panna | Green Mango Drink

India knows how to deal with heat. They have it nailed. Their heat-beating weaponry includes: An infinite number of cooling drinks. Yoghurt dishes galore. Icecreams and cooling desserts. Fruits such as watermelon, musk melon, cucumbers, mangoes, coconuts, limes, fresh kokum. Sugar Cane Juice. Limca. Sweet Lime Soda. Coconut Water.

I saw a recipe for a Punjabi drink made from a roasted green mango and I was hooked. It is Mango Season here and we have an array of different types of sweet, sour, and sweet-sour mangoes. They are all easy to find in our Asian and S.E. Asian shops. This drink is slightly sour and slightly sweet, with a hint of cardamom (or cumin), Indian black salt (which is pink in colour) and black pepper. We make it from roasted green mango, but it can be made from boiled or steamed green mango. The taste is different, though. Roasting gives the drink a slightly smoky flavour.

You can get black salt from any Indian grocery. There isn’t any real substitute, but use sea salt or chaat masala if you can’t find black salt. Adjust the quantities accordingly.

Similar recipes include Tamarind Summer Cooler, Watermelon, Lime, Ginger Soda, Kewra Sherbet, Panaka, Lassi drinks, and Cooling Juices.

You might like to read 40 of our Best Coolers for Summer.

Use any left over roasted mango (or roast 2 of them) to make Mango Rice.

Browse all of our Green Mango dishes, and all of our Drinks. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Jal Jeera | Indian Minty Iced Summer Drink

It took me a long time to find the balance of flavours in Jal Jeera that suited me. Some attempts, carefully following recipes in some books picked up in India, were undrinkable. Knowing those books better now, they do tend to get ratios in their recipes out of balance. This recipe is a cracker and works well.

You do have to love your Indian spices though. Jal Jeera is a cooling Summery drink full of spices, with cumin and mint featuring. Do try it – it is a unusual drink for Western palates, but worth trying in hot weather if you do love spices.

Other cooling drinks you might enjoy are Iced Tulsi Tea, Watermelon, Lime, Ginger Soda, Kewra Sherbet, Mint and Lemon Verbena Iced Tea, Watermelon Juice with Mint and Ginger, Ginger Cooler, and Jeera Lassi.

All of our Cooling Summer Drinks are here, or browse our Indian Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Panaka/Panagam | Indian Limeaide | A Summer Drink

This is a lovely Summer Drink of Indian origin. Panaka is an Indian Limeaide, sweet, tangy and very refreshing.

Similar recipes include Iced Tulsi Tea, Kewra Sherbet, and Mango Lassi.

Browse all of our Coolers and Indian Drinks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

Continue reading “Panaka/Panagam | Indian Limeaide | A Summer Drink”