Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 22, Tuesday June 3, 2008



Summer Delights

You step out from the cool interiors of your office or classroom, and into the blazing arms of a sultry summer day. The humidity makes you want to dash for the nearest air-conditioned room.

You sweat and pant your way to your car, but the air cooler inside doesn't face up to the intense heat outside. Your throat is parched to an extent that leads you to believe a gallon of cold water right now wouldn't be enough to quench your humongous thirst.

Step into Shawarma House to enjoy the special drinks they have launched for the summer. Tropical ice tea with four flavours of fresh juice can be a refreshing treat after any long stressful day. The tangy green mango juice, available at only Tk 70, can add zest to your taste buds as well as cool you to the depths of your soul. The regular cold coffee is also highly recommended if you crave for a small dash of caffeine. With branches in Banani, Hatirpool, Dhanmondi and Panthopoth, you may just find a Shawarma House close to you, so don't forget to stop by and try one of these mouth-watering drinks.

Coffee World is a name that needs no introduction. The lattes and frappes they serve are more than just delectable! The smooth creamy beverages may be just what you would like on a hot humid afternoon. My personal recommendation would be the English Toffee Frappe, because of the generous dollop of whipped cream on top of the rich creamy mixture. However, be prepared to tax your wallet a little as these tasty treats are accompanied with slightly high price tags.

Western Grill is well known for its barbecued chicken, but what many people haven't noticed is the separate drinks counter in their Banani branch. The man working there is skilled in concocting rich smoothies and shakes. With exotic names like Mango Delight and Lovers' Lane, these fruity smoothies are immensely invigorating during the warm summer days and at very reasonably prices too. Ask for the separate drinks menu the next time you walk into Western Grill and give your parched soul a welcome relief!

Kozmo Lounge has crafted a niche for itself with its regular unplugged concerts. However, there is more to Kozmo than just good music and a relaxing atmosphere. Kozmo also spoils you for choices when it comes to quenching your thirst for a good cold drink. Kozmonade, Pinnacolada and Iced Tea are just a few of the beverages on offer. And if you have the mood to try something somewhat bizarre, opt for the coconut lassi!

Speaking of lassis, Café Mango serves some excellent lassi that can do wonders to your taste buds. Also recommended is the lassi at Bhojon Bilash, a down-to-earth fast food shop at Green Road. And if you have a surprisingly sweet tooth, then Dhaba's lassi is just right for you! For only Tk 50, you can get yourself a big mug full of sweet lassi made from fresh yoghurt!

X Lounge in Banani is also somewhere you might like to stop by for a drink. Their lemonade has just the right amount of zest and is the perfect remedy for a dehydrated body and costs only Tk 50 per glass. They also have a good range of frappes in flavours like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla, caramel and Oreo. The vanilla on cola float is also very popular and highly recommended.

If you are as crazy about slush as I am, you should try out the watermelon slush at Helvetia! Very reasonably priced at Tk 30, a glass of watermelon slush can be a source of great relief during the scorching heat that is summer. Yummy Yummy in Kolabagan also has orange and mango slush that are greatly recommended by those living in the vicinity.

Shikanjee, a drink made with tamarind juice, lemon and selected spices, is a highly popular drink at Cofi 11. A tall glass of chilled tangy Shikanjee can help you fight dehydration and give you a refreshed feeling that is sure to reach the depths of your soul. So step into Cofi 11 and prepare to give your taste buds a pleasant surprise, at only Tk 90!

If you are on the run and absolutely do not the have the time to sit and sip to your heart's content, you might like to grab a glass of Cappuccino Splash from King's. Served in a plastic cup, and priced at Tk 80, this will quench your thirst and give a light caffeine fix at the same time. And it is scrumptious too!

With such a plethora of choices available only a stone's throw away, you are left with no excuse to suffer and complain in the heat, and not try out any of these wonderful beverages! So go ahead, slurp to your heart's content!

By Wasia Mehnaz

Roadside summer coolers

On a blazing hot summer day, the roadside vendors selling traditional local drinks come into the scene with a promise not only to quench the thirst but also to satisfy the taste buds.

During summer, Dhaka streets are dotted with numerous vendors offering sugarcane juice. Their vans roam around the town with the hand or motor driven crushing machine and sugarcanes on board to meet the demand of the exhausted pedestrians. Unhygienic though they may be, but the freshly squeezed out juice served with ice or sometimes with a hint of lemon is undoubtedly inviting and surprisingly rejuvenating.

Well, if you are really bogged down with the health issue and would like to avoid sugarcane juice then there's an alternative too. Pick up the green coconuts selling in abundance in every corner of the city. The sweet fresh water of these green coconuts is no less refreshing and energizing.

In fact, coconut water is the only pure drink that you can have on the go. Coconut water is also known as a sports-drink because of its high potassium and mineral content, which helps the body recover from rigorous exercise. Generally the green coconuts with some age spots tastes good, though it's not always predictable what lies inside.

Beside these two widely available roadside summer coolers, there are also other offerings, which might take you by surprise. Passing through Karwan Bazar or Gulistan or any other such busy traffic zones and you are mostly likely to stumble upon shops hosting alien looking long green leaves and an array of bottles preserving numerous ingredients. As discovered, the green leaves are called 'Ghortukmoni' (Aloe Vera)cultivated in the northern region of the country and are well known for its medicinal properties. It's said to heal constipation, weak eyesight, high cholesterol levels, etc.

To prepare a drink, the leaf is peeled to reveal the thick white slimy substance inside and then mixed carefully and proportionately with water, different spices, sweetener and liquid extract from horitoki, bohera, amloki, etc. The drink is not only widely sipped by the day labourers or rickshaw pullers, but also passers-bys' who take it as an energy drink. And they all seem to enjoy it thoroughly! Roadside seasonal drinks like wood apple drink, melons, some high on sugar drinks with exotic food colours are also on the offer, but it is totally up to you to drink what you want, after all health is wealth.

By Shakhawat Imam Rajeeb
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


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