Go for that refreshing sip

Go for that refreshing sip

Go for that refreshing sip

Summer is here and so is our never-ending thirst! It’s all too easy to pop open a can of fizzy beverage and gulp it down in one go. But the amount of sugar and chemicals that enter one’s system is something we generally don’t give a thought to, especially when the weather is all too harsh.

Many in the city are opting to prepare their own refreshing summer drinks at home. It may take some effort, but the benefits and satisfaction derived outweigh that, they say. Sakshi Sharad Gambhir, an online trader, makes ‘aam panna’ and ‘thandai’ to keep the heat at bay. “All you need to do is blend raw mangoes with mint leaves, sugar, white salt, rock salt and water in a mixer. Dilute the mix with water and it’s ready to be served. I generally use around a kilo of mangoes and it lasts for about a week. There are no preservatives and it’s a healthy cooling drink,” she says.

The ‘thandai’ mix comprising powdered almonds, sugar and cardamom can be stored for three to four months in the refrigerator, she adds. “I mix the powder in cold milk and a glass of this keeps me full for two to three hours. One can moderate the sugar intake in both the drinks as per their preference. Everyone in my family looks forward to these,” details Sakshi.

Sreya Jain, a homebaker, likes to indulge in fresh fruit and vegetable juices, all prepared from scratch. “Apart from ‘kairi pudina’ (or ‘aam panna’), I make this ‘green juice’ using spinach, coriander, mint and gooseberry (‘amla’). The ‘amla’ gives it a sweet and sour punch. If you want to make it even healthier, you can add beetroot and cabbage,” details Sreya.

She also prepares a ‘cucumber juice’ and a ‘red juice’ using beetroot, pomegranate and orange. “I belong to Kolkata where a drink called ‘bel ka sharbat’, also called wood apple squash, is very popular. It is a lovely cooling beverage, better than any of the fizzy cold drinks. I make it here as well. If the ‘bel’ is too sweet, a little lemon can be added for a zing,” she says.

Baker Naganand Shrikakula prefers consuming healthy drinks when the heat is at its peak. “My wife and my mother generally prepare ‘mint chaas’, ‘strawberry shake’, ‘tender coconut cooler’ and ‘kokum juice’. Most of the sugar elements in these are replaced by either Stevia or honey. In a few cases, jaggery is used,” he says.

Another item made at his place is ‘sarsaparilla/ nannari’ milkshake and juice. “It’s made from the sarsaparilla root used widely in ayurveda. A natural body coolant, it’s perfect to beat the summer heat. It’s like literally going back to your roots,” states Naganand.