By Sherazade Khan
“I can see clearly now, the rain has gone…”, sang Jimmy Cliff, but for us, in its wake it has left dreary hot days behind. No need to fret! We know exactly what you could use to cool off after a long day back at the desk after the long weekend, or after burning off the mutton raan at the gym, or even just a full-blown day of errands.
Enjoy these lip-smacking concoctions while the kids are at school, or make them for the whole family to share at the dinner table. These delicious coolers will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised! What’s more, the ingredients are all the fruits the thela walas have in abundance!
Why not invest in some fancy mason jars to get that chic cafe feel when serving to guests?
Cucumber Mint Cooler:
Light and refreshing, this drink is quick to make and will leave you wanting more!
• 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 6-8 mint leaves
• 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
• 1 tsp kaala namak
• 3 cups cold water
In a blender, add the cucumber pieces, sugar, mint leaves and one cup of water. Discard the pulp using a sieve to strain. To the remaining liquid, add the two cups of water, kaala namak and lemon juice. Serve cold, preferably over ice.
Tamarind Ginger Fizz:
Who doesn’t love the khatta-meetha taste of imli? And the kick that comes with the ginger!
• ½ pound tamarind, broken into small pieces
• 8 cups of water
• ¼ pound ginger
• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ spoon salt
• 1 litre soda water
First make the ginger syrup by boiling the ginger and sugar in 1 cup water. Once sugar has dissolved and solution comes to a boil, lower heat and let simmer for half an hour. Strain ginger pieces and leave to cool. Yields about 1 cup.
While that’s on the hob, simmer tamarind in 2 cups water, stirring occasionally and breaking up any lumps. Cook for 20 minutes and then remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Strain the pulp, pressing down to squeeze all the juice out, and then discard. Add to the tamarind puree, the ginger syrup, salt, remaining 5 cups of water and chill in a large pitcher. Stir before serving over ice as follows: 2/3rd glass tamarind juice and ice, topped up with soda water.
Watermelon Lime Slushie:
Light, cool and refreshing! Slurp away or spoon from a bowl.
• A 3-3.5kg watermelon
• 2 tbsp sugar
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ tsp salt
• ½ cup lime juice
Peel, seed and cube the melon. Then make the syrup, by combining sugar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil before reducing heat to let it simmer. Do not stir, and let sugar dissolve (2-3 minutes). Add lime juice and let cool completely before straining the mixture into a small cup. In a blender, add half the syrup, and half the melon until smooth. Repeat with remaining half. Add both batches into a large bowl and put into the freezer to chill.
Pineapple Mojito Mocktail:
The zing of pineapple, lemon and mint, make this cooler tangy and revitalising!
• 5 2” pieces of cubed pineapples (fresh or tinned)
• 4-5 mint leaves
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 cup chilled grapes blitzed in the blender and strained to leave ½ cup juice
• ½ cup chilled soda water
• 1 tsp honey or agave
In a small bowl beat the pineapples till theyre breaking into smaller pieces. Add the mint leaves and continue to beat so the leaves are somewhat crushed, releasing flavour. Put the mixture into a serving glass, top with ice cubes, grape juice and top with soda water. Add honey if desired and stir gently before drinking.
A twist on the traditional lemonade, this will leave you wanting more.
• 3 fresh peaches, halved and pits removed
• ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
• ½ cup honey or agave (adjust as per you requirement for sweetness)
• 5 cups water
In a blender, puree 2 peaches with 1 cup water. Strain and remove any pulp. In a pitcher combine the strained peach juice, lemon juice and honey till thoroughly mixed together. Slice the third peach and add to the pitcher before topping up with water. Serve chilled.