An age-old tradition in the country is to serve any guest who arrives at the door a glass of water. The reason behind this social etiquette is basic. In a hot country like ours it's important to keep one's body cool and reload the fluids it loses in the heat. So what better way to beat the hot weather than glasses of natural cooling liquids. We present a few refreshing ideas to help you stay super cool:
Mother Nature has bestowed us many excellent coolants. Kokum is just one of them. Khus-khus is another favourite summer drink which is also known to be a cooling agent, a blood purifier and good for calming the nerves. Mint is a herb which is known to cool the body, calm nerves, and help in digestion. It grows in wild profusion during summers. Infuse it with your tea, to make iced tea, or add it to fresh watermelon juice and lemon juice. Rose extract traditionally known as gulkand is another well-loved cooling ingredient.
With the onset of summers, Melons of different types make their appearance. Plump and juicy watermelons are followed by fleshy mangoes. Although they aren't inherently cooling, but combined with milk they make absolutely refreshing shakes. Soon it is time for litchis which when chilled closely resemble a heavenly experience. And don't forget pure and invigorating coconut water straight out of the green shell or chilled in the fridge for better effect. Come April and markets are laden with tart, green unripe mangoes. They are boiled in water and blended with sugar and mint leaves to prepare healthy and refreshing aam panna.
In most homes curd is set everyday and added to diet in various ways. Lassi, the energizing drink is made by churning yoghurt, chilled water and various natural flavorings. It is a must to beat the scorching sun. You can make the most delicious mango lassi in the mango season. Flavour the lassi with crushed cardamom, rose water, rose petals or saffron. Make salty lassi with rock salt, cumin powder and mint. The salty buttermilk served all over south India with a dash of curry leaves, ginger and mustard is a lovely accompaniment to a meal. Thandai is another traditional cooling drink. It is made of a paste of almonds, melon seeds, saffron, cardamom, rose petals and fennel seeds, to which cold sweetened milk is added. And finally a little bit of well-meant advice: Avoid those fizzy, carbonated drinks that you see all around. They're just filled with empty calories, artificial sweeteners, colours and flavours and do you no good at all. Talking about some relaxing and popular drinks. Here are some specialties which are found in coffee bars and cafes.
Sweet Bliss: This is a mixture of apple and orange juice which is quite common in most of cafés. Rich in vitamin B and C, it proves to be a great appetizer. Red Carrot Juice: One of the most popular drinks when it comes to mocktails in summer. This is a mixture of carrot and tomato sap to calm you down in high temperature.
Hawain Specialities: This contains juice of guava and papaya mixed with black salt and it tastes great.
Mocktails: These are made of different fruits like banana, grapes and strawberries and put you in a relaxing mood. Ingredients used in mocktails are salt, lemon and carbonated stuff to give additional taste.
Ice Cream Soda: These are different type of sodas mixed with ice creams of different flavors like strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Served with ice, it cool you down almost instantly.
Cold Coffees: A wide range of cold coffees are available in summers to give some relaxation. Iced cappuccino and Americano are the most talked about drinks and are preferred by many.
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