The phrase “Indian Summers” conjures up a vision of gently swaying in a hammock under a tree, feeling the cool breeze wash over your face! But if you have ever experienced a “true” summer in India, you would laugh at this vision. The moment you step out of the cool air-conditioned interiors, you feel the heat-wave on your face with a blast! The palpable heat and humidity leave you gasping for breath. They settle on you like a heavy, sluggish blanket.
At that moment, the only thing that will be able to rejuvenate you is a chilled refreshing drink! You can pick from a bevy of icy-cold sodas, or do as the locals do! Locals prefer to drink the various lemon/lime sodas, regular lemonades, lassi (flavored buttermilk), mango panna (drink made with raw mango pulp), coconut water, and fresh sugarcane juice.
These trolleys have regular water as well as lemon/lime drinks!
Coconuts for fresh coconut water
Sugarcane being freshly squeezed
These drinks can be sweet, salty, tangy, and even spicy at times depending upon your choice. They not only provide you with much needed cooling, but also replenish your body with necessary electrolytes that your body is losing at a rapid pace due to the extreme heat and sweating. If you use soda/seltzer instead of water, it will help with digestion also. My absolute favorite of these drinks happens to be the Sweet Lime Soda (a tad bit salty) with a hint of mint 🙂
You can see the numerous road side carts with piles of lemons/limes on them, doing brisk business selling this lemonade in the long summer months. Do try this version that we make frequently in our house!
Lemon/Lime – 4T or juice of 1 ½ fresh large lemons/limes
Sugar – 3 ½ T
Himalayan Pink Salt – 2/3 t
Water – ½ cup
Mint – 2 or 3 leaves
• Squeeze the lemons/limes and strain the juice.
• Dissolve the sugar and pink salt in water.
• Finely mince the mint leaves.
• Add the juice to sugar and salt syrup.
• Add some minced up mint.
• Put all above in blender and pulse for a few seconds till mint is very fine.
• Add ¼ of concentrate to a glass.
- Top off with chilled water/soda. Stir. Garnish with a slice of lemon/mint.
Total Servings: 4
Per Serving: Calories 43, Sodium 210 mg, Potassium 27.3 mg, Carbs 11.5 g, Vit C 0.9%