In Pune, Mango Mastani rules the summers. Named after the legend of Peshwa ruler Bajirao and his lover Mastani, this drink is popular during the mango season. It can be made at home with mango pulp, cold milk and sugar blended into a thick shake. This is then toppled with vanilla ice cream, mango pieces and ice cubes. The drink can be garnished with cherries and dry fruits like almonds, pista and raisins. Pune’s Sujata Mastani is famous for its Mastanis.
Watermelon Mint Mojito
Watermelons are undoubtedly the favourite fruit during summer with their cooling properties and watery composition. Watermelon mint mojito is a mocktail that can be easily made at home with few ingredients. In a tall glass, it requires watermelon cubes, mint leaves, pinch of salt, lemon juice and powdered sugar. This can be mixed with Sprite using a stirrer so that the ingredients sit well. Soda can also be used instead of Sprite and the mocktail is served chilled. It not only makes for a good summer drink but also serves as a great party mocktail. It can be garnished with ice and slices of cucumber or mint leaves.
While buttermilk is a popular summer drink, gondhoraj ghol is like the Bengali version of buttermilk. It can be as flavourful as one wants and either sweet or salty. Its main ingredients include yogurt, ice cubes, cold water, sugar, rock salt, gondhoraj lime zest and lime juice. What makes the drink stand out is the addition of the Gondhoraj Lebius, a lime that is native to Bengal. The lime is called the ‘king of fragrances’ and is somewhat sweet in taste. When added to the drink, it makes is flavourful.
Mohabbat Ka Sharbat
Also called Sharbat-e-Mohabbat, this refreshing drink has become the identity of old Delhi and is a must have especially when one visits Chandni Chowk or the Jama Masjid area. It is also widely consumed during the month of Ramzan. It is easy to prepare and its ingredients include cold milk, water, watermelon juice, rose petals to garnish, rose syrup and sugar. Everything is mixed well and served chilled. Apart from rose petals, the drink can be garnished with watermelon chunks cut into small pieces and ice as well. Chia seeds or cardamom seeds can also be added for flavour.
Jil Jil Jigarthanda
Tamil Nadu’s summer drink Jigarthanda is made from milk, almond gum, sugar, ice-cream and sarsaparilla syrup known for its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. The milk is condensed to form a thick texture for the drink. It is popularly sold at roadside stalls in Tamil Nadu. It is similar in taste to falooda but is known to have great health benefits and also helps in keeping heat strokes at bay and cooling down body temperature. The drink became popular in Tamil Nadu in the 1970s when its founder Sheikh Abdul Kadhar joined his family business. It comes from Madurai’s Vilakkuthoon in Tamil Nadu. There are several theories about the origin of the drink, including the one that mentions a similar drink in Ain-i-Akbari.
Imli ka Amlana
Coming from Rajasthan, this drink is made using tamarind pulp. Pepper, mint leaves, cardamom, powdered sugar, water and black salt are added to enhance its taste. It makes for a great drink especially in Rajasthani summers. As the drink turns sour with few hours, it is best consumed fresh after preparation. It can be garnished with chopped mint or boondi. To make it, tamarind and water are mixed well and kept aside covered for two hours in a bowl. The water is then blended in a mixer to get a smooth texture and then it is strained. Ingredients like cardamom, salt, black salt, and so on are then added for a final touch and the drink is served chilled. Its taste is similar to that of the traditional panagam drink that is made on the occasion of Ram Navami.