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From aam panna to panakam, drinks recipes to beat the heat

On a sweet-and-sour flavour trail for the most refreshing desi coolers

Aam panna is a season favourite. (iStockPhoto)
Aam panna is a season favourite. (iStockPhoto)

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Smell the mangoes, bring home springy mint stalks and add sabja seeds to your grocery list for it’s going to be a long summer. Each of these are essential ingredients to make drinks that provide momentary relief from the sweltering heat. Here are five recipes of lip-smacking thirst quenchers:

Aam panna
Pre-prep for warmer days with a large batch of home made aam panna. The only drawback is, it could be addictive and may not last beyond a week. You may be driven to meet your daily water intake goal by quaffing aam panna instead, although it isn't on the memo.

Jal Jeera
Along with being a refreshing summer drink, jal jeera is believed to boost digestion. Nisha Madhulika, in her comforting voice, takes the viewer through the minutiae of making this desi specialty from scratch.

It’s a simple recipe where the ingredients shine. It combines the sourness of lemon with the rustic taste of jaggery, is scented with cardamom powder and spiced with ginger. One can add fresh tulsi or mint leaves if so desired. Panakam is a popular drink in the homes and temples of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh during Raam Navami which falls during summer. But, that doesn't stop anyone from making it on non-festive days when soaring heat levels call for a refreshing drink.

Kulukki Sarbath
This sweet and spicy drink is shaken—like a cocktail—with mint leaves, lemon, a slit green chilli, sabja seeds and ice. Kulukki loosely translates to shaken in Malayalam and it’s a clue that the drink hails from Kerala. Think of it as a twist to a classic lemonade. Also, one might be tempted to add a shot of gin or white rum.

Kokum sharbat
On the sweet-and-sour flavour trail of summer drinks, it’s impossible to leave kokum behind. The mildly floral scented souring ingredient makes the prettiest sharbat. The spice element with black pepper and cumin adds a punch of taste. To garnish, play around with mint leaves, basil sprigs or a slit green chilli.

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