Soon our TV screens will be bombarded with advertisements of fans, coolers, air conditioners, cold drinks, glucose drinks for energy, packaged summer drinks, cool talc, cool oil, cool soap, refreshing deo’s and what not! We will come across various hoardings and banners displaying ads by travel agencies selling their summer holiday packages to some chilly place to escape the summer heat. This is a sure shot sign that summer is here!

Even though we have many luxuries and various methods to beat the heat, a chilled glass of water is all we crave in the scorching summers, but sometimes that is not enough. This is where our list of Indian summer drinks will come in handy to recharge, rejuvenate and refresh your soul.

1. Nimbu Pani:

Nimbu Pani
Nimbu Pani

The age old classic summer drink! This Indian Lemonade is simple and easy to make, with items that could be easily found in your house. Often sold by street cart vendors, this drink will surely recharge you within minutes after being drained in the blistering heat.

2. Aam Panna:

Aam Panna
Aam Panna

Summer in India is synonymous with Aam (Mango). We Indians love mango in all its shapes, sizes and varieties. We enjoy relishing it in plain, pickled or pureed (in form of aam ras), but unripe mangoes have a separate fan base, eaten raw with chili and salt sprinkled upon, or pureed and mixed with spices, cold water and ice to make spicy, tangy and delicious aam panna to drink. With its sweet, salty, spicy, and sour flavor this summer drink surely packs a punch and is sure to trigger nostalgia to the drinkers!

3. Chaas:

Chaas
Chaas

The favorite summer drink of Gujarat and Rajasthan regions, Chaas or Buttermilk is also an excellent digestive aid after a heavy and filling meal. Made with curd and spices like black salt, roasted and grounded cumin seeds – this refreshing drink is easy on the stomach and pocket as well.  

4. Thandaai:

Thandaai
Thandaai

We are sure you must’ve had a fair share of Thandaai last week during Holi. Literally meaning a cool drink, it is usually very famous during Mahashivratri and Holi. Made from creamy chilled milk, rose petals, fennel seeds, almonds, sugar, saffron, cardamom etc. this drink will surely give you a boost of much needed energy. If you are feeling a bit adventurous you can try out Bhaang Thandaai, which is a specialty of many places in Varanasi and Madhya Pradesh

5. Sol Kadhi:

Sol Kadhi
Sol Kadhi

This pretty pink konkani drink made up of kokum and coconut milk, is highly famous among the Konkan region for its digestive properties. Kokum is a small reddish, sweet and sour fruit that grows only in India. Apart from sol kadhi, it is also used to make tasty kokum sharbat which is also a cult favorite summer drink.

6. Coconut Water:

Fresh Coconut Water
Fresh Coconut Water

Coconut water is a great energizer and a good option to overcome dehydration due to the presence of natural electrolytes in it. Found across the country at various street stalls, this is the ultimate summer drink with multiple benefits to counter the effects of Indian summers. 

7. Sugarcane Juice:

Fresh Sugarcane Juice
Fresh Sugarcane Juice

This summer cooler is a delight to have. Easily available in every nook and corner , sprinkled with a little black salt (optional), squeezed along lemons in some places and served over ice – just thinking about it makes us wish we could have some right now. It is an excellent energy resource as it helps restore body fluids and overcome the burning summer heat.

8. Jal Jeera:

Jal Jeera
Jal Jeera

Made with jal (water) and jeera (cumin), this savory concoction is sold on roadside carts very commonly. Generally served with mint leaves to give it a minty twist, this minty fresh drink is a blessing in summers.

9. Lassi:

Variations of Lassi
Variations of Lassi

The epitome of “kaleje nu thand pai gayi” and pride of Punjab, Lassi is made with sweetened curd and served topped with a thick layer of “malai”. With various variants available such as mango lassi, mint lassi, strawberry lassi etc. you can always choose your pick to satisfy your craving and your thirst.

10. Neer Mor:

Neer Mor
Neer Mor

Sambaram or Neer Mor is a famous summer drink in Karnataka, Kerala and several other southern states. The spicy equivalent to refreshing Chaas, it is prepared with green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves, its preparation varies from region to region.

11. Panakam:

Panakam
Panakam

Another South Indian specialty which is common during Ram Navami, Panakam or Panagam or Panaka is not your typical “gurr ka sharbat”. Made with black pepper, ginger, cardamom, lemon juice, black salt and tulsi leaves, it is quite beneficial and cooling during the summers and we are sure you will definitely reach out to refill your glass.

12. Sattu Sharbat:

Sattu Sharbat
Sattu Sharbat

Sattu is a nutritious drink from the state of Bihar. Made with powdered black chickpeas, consumed with either buttermilk or water and topped with jaggery, you can find stalls and stalls along the roads, selling this summer drink during the hot days of summer. Ragi Ambali from Karnataka is its closest equivalent which uses finger millet flour instead of chickpeas.

13. Piyush:

Piyush
Piyush

A unique summer refresher from Maharashtra and Gujarat, it was invented in a tiny eatery in Mumbai called “Tambe Arogya Bhavan”. A mixture of buttermilk and shrikhand whisked with saffron and ground nutmeg, Piyush quickly gained popularity in both the states.

14. Bel Sharbat:

Bel Sharbat
Bel Sharbat

Made from Bel or Wood Apple, this drink is a cure for all things from dehydration, diabetes, heatstroke and upset stomach. Thick syrup made with the pulp of the fruit mixed with cold water will surely give you the much needed relief from the summer.

15. Jigarthanda:

Jigarthanda
Jigarthanda
Photo Credit: Nabeen Kumar

Tamil Nadu’s equivalent to Lassi, made from the nannari (Indian Sarsaparilla) syrup, milk, almonds and scoops of ice cream this summer drink will definitely cool your “jigar” (heart) as per its name.

In a country like India, where summers are hot and humid, everyone is tired from the heat and drained due to heat waves running all over, gulping down some easy and instant summer drinks will surely come in handy to quench your parched throats, hydrate your dehydrated bodies and help keep the summer blues at bay.

Apart from these, there might be many drinks that help you cool down and recharge in the blazing summer of India. How about leaving a comment and letting us know about your favorite summer drinks?

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