5 Beverages to Beat the Brutal Summer Burns

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A med student’s guide to ‘chilling’ with summer drinks to beat the heat: the happy, healthy, hydrated way!


Summer is here, and with it is the irrefutable urge to ‘chill’, quite literally! Back when med-school hadn’t hogged copious amounts of our time, we used to put on the most comfortable cottonwear we owned and spend hours trotting about town searching for foods and drinks that would satiate our seemingly unquenchable thirst. Oh, what wouldn’t we give back to hop from one ice-cream parlour or one ‘juice-centre’ to another! We didn’t know we were creating memories to be cherished later, we just knew, back then, that nothing felt better than the trickling stream of melting ice down our sticky necks. In our busy lives, we may not be able to relive those moments, but we certainly can make these easy, innovative drinks to get refreshed, and be (in the words of Demi Lovato) “Too Cool for the Summer”!

Watermelon sugar high

A fruit that is much awaited in this scorching heat, it’s succulent nature can be used to make juices and mocktails galore!

Watermelon sugar high

Preparation time: 10 minutes.

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients: 100 g finely diced watermelon cubes, ice, regular soda, sugar or honey to taste.

Method: Fill a tall glass about a quarter of the way with ice cubes, then half with watermelon cubes. Top it up with plain soda and add sugar if need be. Mix well and serve with a garnish of mint leaves!

Nimbu paani with a twist

Picture the sepia-like times of our childhood, when we came home, exhausted after those inter-society cricket matches that we played all day, with the seriousness of a National Cricket Team player. A glass of nimbu-paani (lemon-water) was handed to us, and we were told to quickly clean up and join the family for a sumptuous lunch. Well, this drink is that nostalgia in a glass!

Nimbu paani with a twist

Nimbu paani with a twist

Preparation time: 7 minutes. (Add another 5 if you start thinking about those matches and dithering in the kitchen!) Total time: 4 hours

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients: 1 lemon cut into 2 halves, a glass of chilled water, 10g “sabja” seeds, honey to taste.

Method: Soak the sabja seeds overnight. While preparing the drink, add them to a quarter of the level of a tall glass. Squeeze in the lemon, be mindful of the seeds, and add your chilled water! Add honey to taste, if you’re a sweet tooth. If you aren’t, salt and ‘chaat-masala’ are sure to pack a flavourful punch!

Orange-flavoured water

For those who are extremely lazy and wish that they could make refreshing drinks by just popping ice cubes in water, well, fear not, this beverage is made exactly that way! These fruit ice cubes are a healthy, fun and easy way to infuse your water with naturally sweet fruit. What I love about them is that they are super customizable so you can use any fruit you’d like – eg. strawberries, oranges, lemons, kiwi, watermelon etc.

Orange-flavoured water

Orange-flavoured water

Preparation time: 15 minutes, total time: 4 hours

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients: Washed and cut orange pieces, an ice tray, a glass of water/ soda/ lemonade, sugar to taste

Method: Put the orange pieces in the tray and fill the tray with water, for 4 hours. The ice cubes shall get set, and you can pop them in a glass of water, or even lemonade for a fruity touch to be had with snacks of your choice! You may add fresh fruit slices on the rim of the glass, to make it Instagram-worthy! Pro-tip: Mix berries and citrus fruits for that additional zest in your drink.

Apple-flavoured chamomile ice-tea

Bridgerton-mania is very real, and has led me to imagine what people would drink in that era, to cool off in the Indian summers. Given the English fondness for tea, I decided to concoct a beverage that would be in accordance with the theme, along with it being a delight to the taste buds!

Apple-flavoured chamomile ice-tea

Apple-flavoured chamomile ice-tea

Preparation time: 10 minutes, Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients: Washed and cut apple slices, tea bag, 1 cup of water

Method: Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and add the tea bag. Let steep, stirring twice, for 4 minutes. Discard the tea bag and let the tea cool. Once the iced tea concentrate is cool, core and thinly slice the apples. Stir the apples and apple juice into the iced tea concentrate. Serve over ice.

Fresh mint iced coffee

For all the coffee lovers who are reading this, worry not! The famed battle of ‘tea versus coffee’ may rage on, but over here, we shall include both parties to escape the raging heat. This recipe shall not only be a delectable treat, but also energize you for the day. It is a welcome addition to your breakfast, with warm pancakes or waffles!

Fresh mint iced coffee

Fresh mint iced coffee

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1 person

Ingredients: A cup of cooled black coffee, mint leaves

Method: Muddle the mint leaves in a bowl, and put them, along with 2-3 ice cubes in the cooled black coffee. You may add pistachio/ almond milk if you like, and serve the coffee chilled.

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About the author

A student of Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, she has always had a passion for creative writing that somehow transcends into her answer papers. Reading (anything but her textbooks), and singing (yet to give performances outside of the bathroom) are her proclaimed hobbies. She even posts memes all day.

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