My Favourite Desi Summer Cool Drinks


India is known for its scorching summer heat, and to beat the heat, there are many refreshing drinks available. A fizzy drink may give you instant energy and satisfaction, but there is nothing better than our own desi coolants. Before sharing some of the popular and my favourite drinks, let me share why it is a good choice to opt for our traditional local cool drinks.

Advantages of Desi Drinks over Fizzy Drinks

  1. Natural Ingredients: Desi drinks are typically made from natural ingredients like fruits, herbs, spices, and dairy products. They are free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives that are often found in fizzy cold drinks. Natural ingredients provide essential nutrients and are generally healthier for the body.
  2. Hydration: Desi drinks such as coconut water, buttermilk, and nimbu pani are excellent sources of hydration. They help replenish fluids in the body and prevent dehydration, which is essential during the hot summer months.
  3. Cooling Effect: Many desi drinks have a natural cooling effect on the body. Ingredients like mint, raw mango, fennel, and coriander have cooling properties that help regulate body temperature and provide relief from the heat.
  4. Nutritional Value: Desi drinks often contain nutritious ingredients that offer various health benefits. For example, aam panna (raw mango drink) is rich in vitamin C and aids digestion. Thandai, made with nuts and spices, provides energy and essential nutrients.
  5. Digestive Aid: Some desi drinks, like jaljeera and buttermilk, contain ingredients that aid digestion. They can help alleviate common digestive issues like bloating and indigestion, which are often aggravated during hot weather.
  6. Cultural Heritage: Desi drinks are a part of India's rich cultural heritage. Choosing these traditional beverages not only promotes a connection with Indian traditions but also supports local artisans, farmers, and small-scale businesses involved in their production.
  7. Reduced Sugar Content: Fizzy cold drinks often contain high amounts of added sugars, which can be detrimental to health when consumed in excess. Desi drinks, on the other hand, can be prepared with reduced or no added sugar, making them a healthier choice.

Overall, opting for desi drinks over fizzy cold drinks is a healthier and more natural choice, providing hydration, nutritional value, and a connection to Indian culture and tradition.

I am a desi food and drink lover. Any day, I opt for our desi coolers over fizzy drinks. If you ask me, I opt for fresh homemade drinks over anything else. I am sharing my favourite Indian summer cool drinks that can help prevent heat stroke. I am sure you also like them. There is nothing more satisfying than having a glass or two of cool aam panna or chaas or coconut water to quench your thirst on a hot summer day.

  • Aam Panna: Aam Panna is a traditional Indian drink made from raw mangoes. It is a great thirst quencher and helps in preventing heat strokes. It also aids digestion and boosts immunity. ( Simply peel off the raw mangoes/Kairi/ Ambi. Boil in a cooker with enough water to cover them with a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 whistles. Remember to lower the gas to sim after the first whistle. Once cool, mash the pulp and peel the seed. Smoothen it either with a hand grinder or a mixie jar. Add sugar, kala namak, bhuna jeera, few mint leaves. Your drink is ready. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days. )
  • Jaljeera: Jaljeera is a tangy, spicy drink made from cumin, coriander, mint, and tamarind. It is a popular summer drink in India that helps in preventing dehydration and heat strokes. These days, making a glass of jaljeera is easy. just add a spoon of tamarind paste and a spoonful of jaljeera powder available off the shelf. Mix, add ice and lo..your drink is ready. If you like sweet-sour drinks just like me, add a spoonful of sugar.
  • Coconut Water: Coconut water is a natural electrolyte and helps in maintaining the body's fluid balance. It is a great drink to prevent heat strokes and dehydration. 
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a refreshing drink made by mixing yoghurt, water, and spices like cumin, coriander, and ginger. It is a great source of probiotics, calcium, and other essential nutrients. Though you get all kinds of ready-to-drink buttermilk in the market they come nowhere near the freshly made buttermilk. To have the best taste, it is advisable to set the curd at home. And if by any luck, you have access to good quality fresh non-pasteurised milk, you will know for yourself, what you have been missing in drinking off-the-shelf drinks.
  • Nimbu Pani: Nimbu Pani or Lemonade is a popular Indian drink made by mixing lemon juice, water, and sugar. It is a great source of vitamin C and helps in preventing heat strokes.
  • Sugarcane Juice: Sugarcane juice is a natural coolant and helps in preventing dehydration and heat strokes. It is a great source of energy and essential nutrients like calcium, potassium, and iron. While choosing a sugarcane vendor, always look for a hygienic and clean vendor. Always check the vessel in which they take out the juice. it should be washed and no remnants of earlier extractions. This is because sugarcane juice spoils very fast. And by drinking spoilt juice, the chances of your falling ill become higher. Also, never ask to add ice to the juice. These days, I have seen vendors keep the sugarcane cool, so that juice when extracted is cold without adding any ice
  • Thandai: Thandai is a popular Indian drink made by mixing milk, nuts, and spices like saffron, cardamom, and fennel. It is a great coolant and helps in preventing heat strokes.

So, this is all for this post.

Be cool and take care of yourself in these hot times!

Neerja Bhatnagar

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  1. This is very informative post and refreshing too. Real relief from hot summer.


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