Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 16, Tuesday, April 20, 2010




Summer coolers

WITH the sun glaring down mercilessly and humidity at its peak, there's no denying it any longer; summer is here and it's here to stay. While you can cope with this by being dependent on your air-conditioner or venturing out only when necessary, it seems that the best way to beat the summer heat is to unwind with some of the summer's coolest drinks.

The classic chilled lemonade
It's as simple as lemons, sugar and water.
A favourite of busy mums on the go and their exhausted kids alike, the lemonade shows that your drinks don't have to be complicated to be refreshing. Just mix the juice from the lemons with sugar and water and serve over ice with a lemon slice or two for garnish.

You can leave a pitcher to freeze in the refrigerator for an after-school drink for the children or for yourself when sanity from the heat beckons.

Homemade iced tea
It's low in calories, great in taste and because it's so easy to make, it means you don't have to run to 'Movenpick' every time you need a quick fix.

Because it is usually enjoyed to its maximum in the summer, iced tea is one of those summer chillers that make the heat and the dust all worthwhile. It's the perfect substitute to your artificially sweetened, empty caloried and coloured no-good fizzy carbonated drink.

Here's a simple recipe you can use to make yourself a refreshing summer fixer:
Boil a kettleful of water. Pour the boiled water into a pitcher. Add 4 teabags. Leave it for 30 minutes or so. Remove the teabags and fill the pitcher with chilled water. Pour over ice and you have yourself a delicious, all-natural and most importantly, chillingly refreshing summer drink.

If you prefer your tea to be sweet, add 4 teaspoons of sugar. Alternatively, you could also add a hint of lemon and mint to make it interesting!

Watermelon and mint cooler
Watermelon juice seems to be a signature drink for the summer and with the abundance of watermelons during this season, is anyone really surprised?

3 cups of chopped watermelon flesh. 1 cup of mint leaves. 2-teaspoon sugar (optional if the watermelon isn't sweet enough). Blend the watermelon pieces, mint, and sugar. Add a little water to it. Serve it in a tall glass with some ice!

Wood-apple sherbet
`Bel' or wood-apple sherbet is very easy to make and an excellent cooler for the stomach during the hot summer days.

Since the `bel' is hard on the outside, you have to break it open and then scoop out the orange-yellow pulp inside. Add water to it to make it drinkable and sieve it to remove the seeds. Add sugar to taste or ½ a teaspoon of black salt.

As a storehouse of nutrition, `bel' acts as a traditional summer tonic whether soothing disturbed stomachs or warding off heat strokes, the fruit is possibly the richest of most summer fruits.

Another popular summer drink that is the perfect cooler on a hot summer's day is a thick, frothy glass of `lassi' with chips of ice. This is an easy drink to make; all you need is 1 cup of yoghurt, 1 cup of water and salt to taste. For grinding, you can add green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves or grated ginger. After grinding all these ingredients in the blender, add the yoghurt, salt and water and blend until froth comes up. Pour the drink into nice, tall glasses and serve chilled!

Whether sweetened with sugar, dressed with salt or spices or thinned with water, `lassi' does seem to be the perfect way to beat the heat!

As varied as these drinks may be, they all are common in that
they are friendly to busy mums and their equally busy children. Quick and easy, these delicious drinks will provide you with much needed relief and refreshment during these steamy summer months.

By Mahareen Khalid
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



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