Summer in a glass – Beat the heat with these delicious Indian drinks

As the summer season arrives, the soaring temperatures can leave one feeling drained, sticky, and disheveled. It is essential to prioritize hydration to sustain oneself during this scorching heat and ensure optimal health. Due to excessive sweating, the body tends to lose water rapidly, making it crucial to replenish fluids frequently. While water is the primary source to quench thirst, other refreshing summer drinks in India can not only satiate your thirst but also help regulate your body temperature.

The diverse cultures and traditions of India reflect in its food and beverages, and the consumption of traditional summer drinks is an essential part of its culinary heritage during the hot and humid summer months.

Booking a Savaari with an expert chauffeur is the best way to enjoy the refreshing delights in your city or go on a trail to discover the best summer drink in India. With their extensive knowledge of the local area, they can guide you to the most treasured summer drinks that the country has to offer. These refreshing summer drinks in India not only help to quench thirst but also provide relief from the scorching heat.

Sipping through time – A historical journey of summer drinks in India

One can trace back the history of summer drinks in India to ancient times when people commonly used natural ingredients for making beverages. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, recommends the use of herbs and spices in beverages to help cool the body down and improve digestion.

One example of the use of summer drinks in Indian history can be seen in the sculptures of the famous 8th-century temple complex of Khajuraho, located in Madhya Pradesh. The sculptures depict various scenes of daily life, including people drinking and enjoying a variety of beverages, suggesting that summer drinks were a part of regular life in ancient India. In addition, some historical accounts suggest that certain Indian kings and queens had a preference for specific summer drinks.

An example of this is the queen of Travancore, who resided in present-day Kerala, offering a refreshing drink made with coconut water and lemon to her guests during the hot summer months.

Credit – Wikimedia Commons

The Mughal era marked the beginning of the influence of sharbat, a delightful and invigorating summer drink that can be traced back to Persia, and it has since then become an integral part of the country’s cultural fabric. Legend has it that the Mughal Emperor Babur would dispatch people to the Himalayan mountains to procure fresh ice for making sharbat. Over time, various regions in India developed their unique summer drinks using local ingredients. 

Unleashing the refreshing flavours of Indian summers

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in traditional summer drinks in India, and many people are rediscovering the unique taste and health benefits of these drinks. Today, one can find a wide range of summer drinks across India, from the traditional to the modern, with each region having its own unique flavour and preparation method.

Not surprisingly, India has an extensive list of drinks or coolers that transcend season and fill us with flavour, nostalgia, and sheer pleasure. Here are some drinks you should try this summer.

Sattu Sharbat – The protein-packed thirst quencher

The Sattu Sharbat, which is one of the most popular summer drinks in India, hails from Bihar and is made by mixing roasted gram flour or Sattu with water, lemon juice, and spices like cumin and salt. Its flour is a nutritious flour made from roasted grams and is widely consumed in India, particularly in the northern and eastern regions. It is believed to have been used as a staple food during wars due to its durability, easy-to-consume nature, and energy-giving nutrients, and its origin has many stories. According to one legend, Sattu, also known as “Tsampa” in Tibet, was a staple for monks who traveled to different places to gain enlightenment. Sattu also played a significant role in the 1999 Kargil War when it was supplied to soldiers for its high nutritional value.

Image credit – Rumki’s golden spoon

Sattu Sharbat is a traditional beverage that is consumed in various parts of India. This is particularly consumed in the northern and eastern regions for centuries. It is believed to have been invented by farmers who used it as a nutritious and refreshing drink to beat the heat during the summer months. Sattu is a good source of protein and dietary fiber and is low in fat. It also helps in digestion and provides a cooling effect to the body. This makes it a perfect drink for the hot summer months.

Places you can you Sattu Sharbat in Bihar

  • Sattu Wale Chacha in Patna
  • Balaji Sattu in Patna
  • Jai Mata Di Sattu Shop in Patna City
  • Gupta Ji’s Shop in Darbhanga
  • Mishra Ji’s Shop in Bhagalpur

Bela Pana – The drink of Lord Jagannath

Bela Pana is a popular summer drink in the state of Odisha, India. It is made from a fruit called Bela or wood apple, native to India and other Southeast Asian countries. Bela Pana is a traditional drink consumed in Odisha for centuries and holds great cultural significance in the region.

Bela Pana has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. It is believed that the drink was first created by Lord Jagannath, the deity worshipped in the famous Jagannath Temple in Puri, Odisha. According to the legend, Lord Jagannath offered this drink to his devotees as a refreshing and cooling beverage during the hot summer months. This tradition has continued to this day, and Bela Pana is still served as a prasad (offering) to devotees during the annual Rath Yatra festival.

Bela Pana has a unique and refreshing taste that is both sweet and tangy. It is made by mixing the pulp of the Bela fruit with water, jaggery (unrefined sugar), and spices such as black pepper, cumin, and ginger. Some variations also include coconut water or milk to enhance the flavour. The drink has a thick, creamy texture and is usually served chilled.
Bela Pana is not only a delicious drink but also has several health benefits. The Bela fruit is known for its medicinal properties and is rich in antioxidants, fibre, and essential nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium. In addition, it is believed to aid digestion, boost immunity, and prevent heat stroke and dehydration during the hot summer.

Places you can try Bela Pana in Odisha

  • Puri Jagannath Temple: Bela Pana is an integral part of the temple rituals and is offered to the devotees as prasad during the Rath Yatra festival.
  • Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation Ltd. (OMFED) Dairy Outlets: OMFED is a state government-owned dairy company that produces and sells Bela Pana in its dairy outlets across Odisha.
  • Roadside Stalls and Local Markets: You can find Bela Pana being sold in small shops and stalls located in markets and along the roadside.
  • Hotel Mayfair, Bhubaneswar: This luxury hotel in Bhubaneswar offers Bela Pana on its menu as a signature drink of Odisha.

Sol Kadhi – The ultimate coastal cooler

Sol Kadhi is a refreshing drink from Maharashtra made from coconut milk, kokum, and spices like cumin, coriander, and ginger. The word ‘sol’ in Marathi means sour, while ‘kadhi’ is a term used for a yogurt-based gravy in Indian cuisine. Sol kadhi is made by mixing kokum (a fruit native to the Western Ghats region), coconut milk, and spices. The resulting drink has a tangy, refreshing taste and is often served as a digestive aid.

The history of Sol Kadhi dates back to ancient times. It was used as a natural remedy for digestive problems. The use of kokum as a souring agent in food and drinks has been prevalent in the Western Ghats region for centuries. The Portuguese, who ruled Goa for over 400 years, also had a strong influence on the local cuisine. They introduced the use of coconut milk in cooking, which was quickly adopted by the locals. Over time, the combination of kokum and coconut milk was perfected to create the unique and flavorful Sol Kadhi. 

Today, it is a popular beverage served with meals in many parts of Maharashtra and Goa. It is also considered a must-have during the hot summer months, as it cools down the body and aids digestion. It is a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavours, making it an excellent thirst quencher during the hot summer months.

  • Places you can try Sol Kadhi in Maharashtra Aaswad in Mumbai, Prakash Shakahari Upahar Kendra in Mumbai, Gypsy Corner in Mumbai, Joshi Wadewale in Pune, Durga Snacks in Pune, Malvani Katta in Ratnagiri, Hotel Swayamwar in Malvan, Konkan Swad in Alibaug, Patil Khanaval in Diveagar, Cafe Tato in Kolhapur
  • Places you can try Sol Kadhi in Goa -Vinayak Family Restaurant in Panaji, Ritz Classic, Panaji, Souza Lobo in Calangute, Fisherman’s Wharf in Panaji, Starlight Restaurant in Anjuna, Viva Panjim in Fontainhas, Curlies Beach Shack in Anjuna, Vinanti Restaurant in Baga

Amba Pana – Odisha’s iconic festival beverage

During the scorching summer months in Odisha, a refreshing drink reigns supreme as the go-to option for the majority of people – Amba Pana. This delightful beverage is prepared by blending together raw mangoes, fresh mint leaves, sugar, salt, roasted cumin powder, and black pepper, resulting in a tantalising mix of sweet, sour, and savoury flavors that invigorate the taste buds and quench the summer thirst like no other.

The preparation of Amba Pana holds a special significance during the festive season of Dola Yatra or Holi in Odisha. As small processions of devotees carrying Radhakrishna idols move from house to house, Amba Pana is offered as a prasad or sacred offering. The drink is not only a treat for the taste buds but also holds cultural and religious significance, symbolising the arrival of spring and the onset of festivities.

What makes Amba Pana truly unique is the use of raw mangoes, which lend a tangy and tart flavor to the drink, perfectly balanced by the freshness of mint leaves and the sweetness of sugar. The addition of roasted cumin powder and black pepper adds a subtle hint of spiciness, elevating the flavor profile to a whole new level. Alternatively, ripe mangoes can also be used in the preparation, blended with milk or yogurt to create a luscious and creamy version of this beloved summer drink.

As the mercury rises in Odisha, Amba Pana becomes a popular choice for beating the heat and rejuvenating the body and mind. Served chilled, it is not only a refreshing thirst-quencher but also a healthy option packed with essential nutrients from the raw mangoes and mint leaves. The combination of flavors and the ritualistic significance of offering it during Dola Yatra or Holi make Amba Pana a beloved tradition in Odisha, cherished by locals and visitors alike. Whether enjoyed during Dola Yatra or as a delightful treat on a hot day, Amba Pana is a beloved beverage that captures the flavors and traditions of Odisha in every sip.

Places you can try Amba Pana in Odisha

Swosti Chilika Resort, Chilika – Located in the serene Chilika Lake region of Odisha, this resort offers Amba Pana as a refreshing beverage in its in-house restaurant, allowing visitors to savor the flavors of this traditional drink while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.
Dalma, Bhubaneswar – This popular restaurant in the capital city of Bhubaneswar is known for its authentic Odia cuisine, and Amba Pana is one of the specialties on its menu. With its cozy ambiance and delicious offerings, Dalma is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike to enjoy a taste of Amba Pana.
Kalinga Restaurant, Talcher – This iconic restaurant in Talcher, known for its authentic Odia flavors, offers Amba Pana as a seasonal specialty during the summer months.
Street Food Stalls in Old Town, Bhubaneswar – The bustling Old Town area of Bhubaneswar is known for its vibrant street food culture, and Amba Pana can often be found at various street food stalls here during the summer season. Walking through the narrow lanes of Old Town and trying Amba Pana from a street vendor is a must-try experience for food enthusiasts.
Puri Beach, Puri: During the summer months, especially during the Dola Yatra or Holi festival, you can find vendors selling Amba Pana along the famous Puri Beach. Enjoying a glass of Amba Pana while taking in the sea breeze and the beautiful views of the Bay of Bengal is a unique and refreshing experience.

Thandai – The spiced milk elixir

Thandai, one of the most popular summer drinks in India, is a drink that is associated with the North Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Punjab. The history of Thandai as a summer drink dates back to ancient India. Thandai was initially used as a drink for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. The ingredients used in Thandai, such as fennel seeds, cardamom, rose petals, and almonds, have cooling properties and help to beat the summer heat. It was also believed to have a calming effect on the mind and body.

Thandai gained popularity during the Mughal era in India. It was served during the festival of Holi, which celebrates the arrival of spring. The Mughal emperors were fond of this drink and often served it to their guests during the scorching summer months. Mughal Emperor Jahangir was known to enjoy this beverage. Even today, during the festival of Holi, Thandai is often mixed with Bhang, a preparation made from the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant. Thandai has also become a popular drink in cafes and restaurants in North India, where it is served as a summer cooler. Variations of Thandai are also made with additional ingredients such as saffron, pistachios, and cashews.

Places you can try Thandai in North India

  • Bhang Thandai Shop in Pushkar Rajasthan
  • Mishrilal Hotel in Jaipur
  • Rajasthan, Raja Thandai in Kanpur,
  • Rajput Dairy in Varanasi
  • Thandai Wala in Old Delhi
  • Shiv Brijwasi Mishthan Bhandar in Mathura
  • Gopala Mandir Bhojanalaya in Vrindavan

Gondhoraj Ghol – The nectar of the king of limes

Gondhoraj Ghol, one of the most popular summer drinks in India, is a variation of the traditional buttermilk, which is made by whisking yogurt with water and seasoning it with spices. It is also known as the “King of Limes,” is a citrus fruit that is native to Bengal, India. The name “Gondhoraj” translates to “aromatic king” in Bengali, and it is highly prized for its unique flavor and fragrance.

To make Gondhoraj Ghol, Gondhoraj Lebu juice is added to buttermilk along with salt, roasted cumin powder, and chopped green chilies. Finally, the mixture is then whisked until smooth and frothy. The resulting drink is tangy, refreshing, and has a unique citrusy fragrance from the Gondhoraj Lebu. Moreover, it is a perfect drink to cool down during hot summer days.

Gondhoraj Ghol

Gondhoraj Ghol is quite popular in Kolkata, especially during the summer months when people look for refreshing drinks to beat the heat. Many restaurants and food stalls in Kolkata serve Gondhoraj Ghol, especially those that specialize in Bengali cuisine. Additionally, it is also available in several sweet shops and juice bars across the city.

Due to its popularity, Gondhoraj Ghol has also made its way into the menus of some high-end restaurants in Kolkata, where it is served as a gourmet drink. It is also a popular choice among health enthusiasts as it is a natural and healthy drink that is free from artificial colors and flavors. To fully explore Kolkata, we suggest booking a cab to have the flexibility to explore at your own pace. With an experienced chauffeur, you can be guided to the best places in the city to try this refreshing summer drink and ensure that you stay hydrated while exploring all that Kolkata has to offer.

Places you can try Gondhoraj Ghol in Kolkata

  • Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata and other cities in West Bengal
  • Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick Sweets in Bhowanipore
  • Sholoana Bangaliana in Kolkata
  • Paramount Sherbets & Syrups in Kolkata

Babri Beol – A saffron and rose delight

Babri beol

Babri Beol is a popular summer drink in Kashmir, made from Babri Beol plant seeds. The seeds are soaked in water overnight. In the following day, they are ground into a paste and added to milk, sugar, saffron, and rose water to create the drink. Legend has it that the Mughal emperor Babur introduced these seeds to the region, and the drink has been a favourite ever since. 

In Kashmir, Babri Beol was traditionally served during weddings and other celebrations. The drink is known for its cooling properties and is rich in fibre, aiding digestion and preventing constipation. It is a refreshing and healthy option to beat the summer heat.

Places you can try Babri Beol in Kashmir

  • Ahdoos in Srinagar
  • Mughal Darbar in Srinagar
  • Shamyana Restaurant in Srinagar
  • Shamyana Juice Centre in Pahalgam
  • Gulshan Books and Cafe in Srinagar
  • Kashmiri Wazwan in Srinagar
  • Coffee Arabica, in Gulmarg

Sekanjabin – The timeless Iranian thirst quencher

One of the famous Parsi summer drinks in India is ‘Sekanjabin,’ which is a sweet and sour syrup made with honey and vinegar. It is a refreshing and thirst-quenching drink that is served chilled during hot summer days. Sekanjabin has its origins in Persia and was introduced to India by the Parsi community. The Parsi community has a rich cultural heritage in India and has contributed significantly to the country’s cuisine. Sekanjabin is commonly served in the Iranian cafes or Irani cafes, which were established by Iranian immigrants in India during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Apart from its refreshing taste, Sekanjabin is also believed to have health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and can help boost the immune system. The vinegar in Sekanjabin is also known to aid digestion and can help reduce inflammation in the body. The drink is more than just a summer drink, as it is a testament to how food and drink can transcend cultural boundaries and bring people together.

Apart from Sekanjabin, the Irani cafes in India also serve other popular Parsi drinks such as Raspberry soda, Limbu soda, and Falooda. These drinks have become an integral part of the Indian culinary landscape and are enjoyed by people across the country.

Places you can try Sekanjabin in India

  • Britannia & Co. in Mumbai
  • Kyani & Co., Mumbai
  • Cafe Irani Chai in Hyderabad
  • Merwans Cake Shop in Mumbai
  • Yazdani Bakery and Restaurant in Mumbai
  • Leopold Cafe in Mumbai
  • Lucky Restaurant in Bengaluru
  • Persian Darbar in Mumbai
  • Cafe Parsi in Kolkata
  • Cafe Goodluck in Pune

Aam Panna – The sweet and tangy taste of summer

Aam Panna is one of the most popular summer drinks in India. It is made from raw mangoes, sugar, and a blend of spices. The drink is known for its sweet and tangy flavour, with a hint of spice, making it a perfect beverage to beat the summer heat. It is particularly popular in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Bengal, where mangoes are abundant during the summer months. The drink is made by boiling raw mangoes until they are soft, then blending the pulp with sugar, salt, cumin, and other spices. The resulting mixture is then diluted with water to make a refreshing and tangy drink.

Aam Panna - Summer drinks in India

In addition to its refreshing taste, Aam Panna is also believed to have medicinal properties. It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and is said to help boost the immune system, aid digestion, and prevent heat stroke during hot summer months. There are several variations of Aam Panna like Red chilli aam panna, minty aam panna, Jaljeera aam panna and more.

  • Places you can try Aam Panna in Maharashtra – Koyla Ethnic Cuisine in Mumbai, Rajdhani Thali Restaurant in Mumbai, Panchavati Gaurav in Pune, Spice Kitchen in Pune
  • Must visit places to try Aam Panna in Gujarat – Agashiye in Ahmedabad, Toran Dining Hall in Ahmedabad, Swati Snacks in Ahmedabad, The Grand Thakar in Rajkot, Sasumaa Gujarati Thali in Surat
  • Places you can try Aam Panna in West Bengal – Oh! Calcutta in Kolkata, Bhojohori Manna in Kolkata, 6 Ballygunge Place in Kolkata, Kasturi Restaurant in Kolkata, Arsalan in Kolkata

Chabeel – The Taste of Tradition

Punjab’s Chabeel is a traditional summer drink that has been enjoyed for centuries in the region, particularly during the scorching summer months. It is often served on the streets by volunteers, where anyone can quench their thirst for free. The origin of Chabeel can be traced back to the time of the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev, who is said to have distributed a similar drink to his followers during hot summer days. The tradition of serving Chabeel during summers has been passed down through the generations, and it continues to be an important part of Punjabi culture.

Chabeel - Indian summer drink
Image credit – Basics of Sikhi

The drink is also served at gurdwaras (Sikh temples) to refresh devotees during religious services. Made with a blend of rose syrup, water, and ice, Chabeel is known for its refreshing and cooling properties, making it a perfect beverage to beat the heat. The drink is also believed to have several health benefits, such as improving digestion and promoting hydration. Chabeel is not just a drink – it is a powerful symbol of the spirit of generosity and compassion that lies at the heart of the Sikh faith. 

Places you can try Chabeel in Punjab – Golden Temple in Amritsar, Giani Di Hatti in Amritsar, Kulwant Singh Kulchian Wale in Amritsar, Kanha Sweets in Ludhiana, Bansi Sweets in Jalandhar, Beera Chicken Corner in Amritsar, Pal Dhaba in Chandigarh, Kesar Da Dhaba in Amritsar, Pehalwan Lassi & Chabeel Wala in Ludhiana

Apong – The boozy summer delight

Apong, a rice beer with a distinct flavour, is a cherished part of the traditional culture of indigenous communities in the North East region of India, including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. The beverage is produced by fermenting rice with Jingum, a microbiological culture that serves as the starter culture to initiate the fermentation process. Apong is a popular drink during social gatherings and festivals, and it is considered to have health benefits, such as promoting digestion and enhancing blood circulation.

Apong has cultural and religious significance for many communities in Northeast India. In the state of Arunachal Pradesh, for example, the Adi community has a tradition of offering Apong to the gods during the Mopin festival, while the Mishmi community consumes Apong during the Chalo Loku festival as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. Today, Apong continues to be an important part of the cultural heritage of Northeast India and is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike as a unique and authentic regional drink.

Places you can try Apong in Northeast India

The traditional alcoholic beverage is usually made in the homes of people from the indigenous communities of Northeast India, particularly in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland. However, there are some restaurants and food stalls in the region where you can try Apong. Here are a few popular places to try Apong –

  • Apong in Arunachal Pradesh – Apong Maka in Itanagar, Dine Restaurant in Naharlagun, Bamboo Shoot in Itanagar
  • Apong in Assam – John’s Kitchen in Guwahati, Paradise Restaurant in Guwahati, Naga Kitchen in Guwahati
  • Try Apong in Nagaland – Hornbill Restaurant in Dimapur, Naga Bowl in Kohima, Bamboo Cafe in Kohima

It’s worth noting that Apong is not widely available in restaurants or food stalls. This is because it is traditionally made at home and consumed within local communities. However, if you are interested in sampling Apong, visiting local markets and festivals in the Northeast is a great way to sample this traditional drink.

Mahua Sharbat – The traditional tribal drink of India’s forests

Mahua Sharbat is a non-alcoholic summer drink made from the flowers of the Mahua tree. It is a popular beverage in tribal communities in central and eastern India, especially during the summer months. The Mahua tree flowers bloom during the summer season. This makes it an ideal time to harvest them and use them to make drinks like Mahua sharbat. 

Mahua sharbat is a popular summer drink in tribal communities because it helps to cool the body down during the hot summer months. The Mahua tree is also considered to have medicinal properties, and the flowers are believed to have various health benefits, including boosting the immune system and improving digestion.

“I was travelling through the tribal belts of Chattisgarh during the sweltering summer months, and I found myself overcome by a relentless thirst. I asked my Savaari driver to lead me to the nearest vendor offering a cold bottle of Coca-Cola. However, my driver suggested an alternative that would prove far more satisfying. He drove me to a nearby local marketplace in the Dantewada district, where I was welcomed by a group of gracious women who offered me a chilled glass of Mahua sharbat. From the moment the first sip graced my lips, I knew that I had discovered a true gem. The fruity and invigorating flavour of this beverage was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I found myself utterly captivated by its delicious essence. Reflecting upon my journey, I am grateful beyond measure to have been introduced to such a sublime and refreshing drink. 

Nisha Dhulipala, Savaari customer

Places you can try Mahua Sharbat in central India

You can find Mahua Sharbat being sold by local vendors and in markets, particularly in states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand. Here are some restaurants and cafes in the area that serve this refreshing drink –

  • Pachmarhi Mahua Shop in Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh
  • Mahua Art Cafe in Raipur, Chhattisgarh
  • Mahua Resort in Giridih, Jharkhand
  • Suman Mahua Center in Bhilai, Chhattisgarh

However, it is primarily a drink that is made and consumed by the tribal communities themselves, often using traditional methods and recipes passed down from their ancestors. If you want to sample Mahua Sharbat, the best way is to visit the tribal areas and interact with the locals. They are likely to share their traditions and offer you a taste of this unique summer drink.

Imli ka Amlana – A burst of flavors in every sip

Imli ka amlana

Imli ka Amlana is one of the most refreshing summer drinks in India that is perfect for beating the heat. It is made of tamarind pulp, water, and a blend of spices. They give it a tangy and slightly sweet flavour, making it a popular drink in the hot and arid regions of Rajasthan. 

The history of Imli ka Amlana can be traced back to the ancient times. This was when tamarind was used for medicinal purposes in Ayurveda. Tamarind was known for its cooling properties and was used to treat heat stroke and other heat-related ailments. Over time, tamarind pulp was used to prepare a refreshing drink that would help people beat the heat during the summer months. Tamarind is a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants and is known to have cooling properties. The drink can be made in a variety of ways, with some recipes calling for the addition of sugar or jaggery to enhance its sweetness. 

Imli ka Amlana is a specialty of the city of Jaipur. Jaipur is also known for its love of sour and tangy flavors. This makes Imli ka Amlana a perfect fit for the city’s taste buds. Additionally, Jaipur is located in a region where tamarind trees are abundant, making it easy for locals to source the key ingredient of the dish.

Places you can try Imli ka Amlana in Jaipur

  • Samrat Imli ka Amlana in MI Road
  • Aunty’s Cafe in C Scheme
  • Sanjay Omelette in Bapu Nagar
  • Tapri Central in C Scheme
  • Rawat Mishthan Bhandar in Sindhi Camp
  • Mohan Bhandar in Tripolia Bazar
  • Chawla’s in Raja Park
  • Sharma Dhaba in Amer Road

Exploring Jaipur by booking a car rental can be a wonderful way to experience the city’s unique culture and architecture. With the heat in mind, staying hydrated is crucial during your travels. Imli ka amlana is an excellent choice to quench your thirst and cool down. To make the most of your road trip, it’s highly recommended to travel with an experienced chauffeur who can help you navigate the city and suggest the best places to visit. They can also offer valuable insights into the city’s history, culture and cuisine, making your trip more informative and enjoyable.

Jal Jeera – A refreshing twist on summer hydration 

Jal Jeera is a popular drink from North India made from cumin, coriander, mint, and tamarind, mixed with water and sugar. The word “jal” means water and “jeera” means cumin in Hindi, so the drink’s name translates to “cumin water”. The history of Jal Jeera can be traced back to the Mughal era in India. It is believed that the Mughal emperors were fond of this drink and would often consume it to beat the heat and aid in digestion. Over time, the recipe for Jal Jeera evolved and became more popular across North India.

Jal jeera in India

Today, Jal Jeera is one of the most popular summer drinks in India. It is commonly sold by street vendors and in restaurants. In Rajasthan, Jal Jeera is often served as a welcome drink in hotels and restaurants, offering a refreshing respite from the hot desert climate. In Uttar Pradesh, it is a common summer drink, often served at weddings and other special occasions. It is also available in the pre-packaged form in many grocery stores and supermarkets.

  • Must-visit places to try Jal Jeera in Delhi – Some popular street vendors for Jal Jeera in Delhi include Bishan Swaroop, Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar, and Pandit Ved Prakash Lemon Wale. For restaurant-style Jal Jeera, you can try Moti Mahal Delux or Gali Paranthe Wali.
  • Places you can try Jal Jeera in Rajasthan – If you’re in Jaipur, head to LMB (Laxmi Misthan Bhandar) or Rawat Mishthan Bhandar for a taste of Jal Jeera. In Jodhpur, try it at Janta Sweet Home or Jodhpur Sweets.
  • Places you can try Jal Jeera in Uttar Pradesh – In Lucknow, try Jal Jeera at Sharma Ji Ki Chai or Moti Mahal Delux. In Varanasi, Ksheer Sagar and Baba Lassi Wale are popular spots for Jal Jeera.

These are just a few of the many places to try Jal Jeera in North India. Because of its soaring popularity, you can find this refreshing drink being sold by street vendors and in restaurants all over the country.

Komal – The delicate summer drink

Komal is a very old traditional Gujarati drink that is perfect for the hot summer months. Much like the beautiful name Komal, the drink includes several delicious ingredients which come together to create a wonderful flavour. It is made with a blend of coconut milk, sugar, cardamom, and saffron. The cardamom and saffron lend a delightful aroma and flavour to the drink. All of these ingredients are blended and served chilled, making it the perfect summer beverage.

Places you can try Komal in Gujarat

Komal is usually prepared at households in Gujarat. However, you can also find this refreshing drink at local street food vendors or small, family-owned restaurants in Gujarat that specialize in traditional Gujarati cuisine, in cities such as Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Rajkot that are known for their vibrant food culture

Taal/ Nongu/Targola Sharbat – Refreshing ice apple delight

This instant thirst-quencher is made from the ice apple of the palmyra tree and is popular throughout the nation under various names such as Targola in Maharashtra, Taal in West Bengal, and Nongu in Tamil Nadu. 

Ice Apple or Taal (in Hindi) grows abundantly during the hot summer months. Ice Apple has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Siddha medicines for its cooling properties and ability to reduce body heat. Over time, the locals started to experiment with the fruit and came up with various ways to consume it, including making a refreshing drink by blending its flesh with sugar and water. This led to the creation of Taal Sharbat, a sweet and cooling summer drink that has become a popular way to beat the heat in the western regions of India.

Today, Taal Sharbat is available at local street food vendors and small, family-owned restaurants in the coastal regions of India. It is also gaining popularity in other parts of the country as a refreshing summer drink. This body cooler is renowned for its versatility as well as being tender and full of subtle flavours. Although it is typically made with simple ingredients such as sugar, water, and lime, many people add mango, rose, and milk to it.

  • Places you can try Taal Sharbat in Kolkata, West Bengal – Shyamal Chat House, Balaram Mullick & Radharaman Mullick Sweets, Parampara, The Park Hotel
  • Places you can try Targola Sharbat in Mumbai, Maharashtra – Badshah Cold Drinks, B Bhagat Tarachand, Gokul Juice Centre, Haji Ali Juice Centre
  • Try Nongu Sharbat in Chennai, Tamil Nadu in these places – Amma Naana, Murugan Idli Shop, Adyar Ananda Bhavan, Sree Gupta Bhavan

Urrak – A spirit unlike any other

Urrak is a traditional liquor from Goa, which is produced by fermenting cashew apple juice and distilling it to create a strong and unique-tasting beverage that is typically enjoyed during celebrations and festivals. With its fruity and slightly sweet flavor and aroma, urrak has become a popular drink among locals and tourists alike.

The process of making urrak involves the fermentation of cashew apple juice, which is then distilled to create a strong liquor that is usually around 40-45% alcohol by volume. Urrak has a distinctive flavour and aroma that is different from other alcoholic beverages and is often described as having a fruity and slightly sweet taste. While mixing urrak with Limca has become a popular trend in recent years, it is important to consume this alcoholic beverage in moderation and to purchase it from reputable sources to ensure that it is safe for consumption.

Best places to try urrak in Goa:

  • Vinayak Family Restaurant: Located in the town of Mapusa, this family-owned restaurant is known for its authentic Goan cuisine and delicious urrak.
  • The Black Sheep Bistro: This popular restaurant in Panaji is a great spot to try urrak mixed with Limca, as well as other innovative cocktails and dishes.
  • The Fisherman’s Wharf: With locations in Panaji, Salcette, and Cavelossim, this restaurant serves up fresh seafood and refreshing urrak cocktails.
  • Cafe Looda: This popular shack in Anjuna is a great spot to try urrak, along with other traditional Goan drinks and snacks.
  • Cotinga: This cozy restaurant in Assagao is a hidden gem that serves up delicious urrak cocktails and other tasty drinks and dishes.
  • Joseph Bar: Located in the town of Vasco da Gama, this iconic bar has been serving up urrak and other drinks for over 100 years.

Nannari Sharbat – The taste of southern summer

Nannari Sharbat is a popular drink in Tamil Nadu, especially during the hot summer months. It is a refreshing drink made from the root of the Nannari plant, mixed with water and sugar. Nannari is known for its cooling properties and is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. The drink is made from the roots of the Nannari plant (Indian Sarsaparilla), which is known for its medicinal properties. The roots are boiled in water to extract their flavor and nutrients. The resulting syrup is mixed with sugar, water, and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. 

The drink is served chilled and is believed to have cooling properties that help to beat the summer heat. Additionally, Nannari Sharbat is also used in traditional Indian medicine to treat a variety of ailments. It includes skin diseases, urinary tract infections, and digestive problems. You can find Nannari Sharbat in many local street food stalls and restaurants in Tamil Nadu.

Places you can try Nongu Sharbat in Chennai, Tamil Nadu –

  • Murugan Idli Shop
  • Mami Tiffin Stall in Madurai
  • GRT Grand Hotel in Chennai
  • Hotel Junior Kuppanna
  • The Raintree Hotel in Chennai

Kuluki Sharbat – A frothy drink from God’s own country

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Kuluki Sharbat, also known as Kulukki Sarbath, is a refreshing summer drink from Kerala. Being one of the most popular summer drinks in India, the drink is made by blending fresh lime or lemon juice with sugar and water, adding crushed ice, and shaking the mixture vigorously until frothy. 

The resulting drink has a sweet and sour taste. It is often flavoured with fresh herbs such as mint or basil. Kuluki Sharbat has a long history in Kerala and is often sold by street vendors and at local markets. It is a beloved beverage that is perfect for hot summer days. Its popularity has spread beyond Kerala to other parts of India and even internationally.

Places you can try Kuluki Sharbat in Kerala –

  • Sainaba Juice Corner in Kozhikode
  • Dhe Puttu in Kochi
  • Gokul Oottupura in Thiruvananthapuram
  • Paragon Restaurant in Kozhikode
  • Rahmathulla Hotel in Thalassery
  • Salkara Restaurant in Kozhikode
  • Hotel Madhuram in Thrissur

Jil Jil Jigarthanda –  A symphony of flavors in every sip

Jil Jil Jigarthanda is a popular summer drink from the city of Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The name “Jigarthanda” means “cool heart” in Hindi. And the drink lives up to its name by being extremely refreshing and rejuvenating on a hot summer day. The drink is believed to have been introduced by the Muslim settlers who migrated to Madurai during the 16th century. 

Jigarthanda in Madurai

Over time, the locals added their twist to the drink, making it a unique blend of Mughlai and Tamil flavours. Today, Jil Jil Jigarthanda is an iconic drink of Madurai and can be found at several roadside stalls and restaurants in the city. As a visitor to Madurai, trying Jil Jil Jigarthanda is a must-do activity, especially during the hot summer months. To fully explore the different places where this delicious drink is available, it’s a good idea to book a cab in Madurai and conveniently travel around the city. This will give you the freedom to explore the city at your leisure and seek out the best Jigarthanda vendors. With a driver to take you around the best spots, you can easily hop from one street vendor to the next, trying out different variations and finding your favorite.

Places you can try Jil Jil Jigarthanda in Madurai

  • Famous Jigarthanda in West Masi Street
  • Sri Muniyandi Vilas in East Veli Street
  • Jil Jil Jigarthanda in Simmakkal
  • Famous Jigarthanda in South Masi Street,
  • Raja Jigarthanda in KK Nagar
  • Amma Unavagam in Palanganatham
  • Selvi Mess in Vilangudi
  • Bell Jigarthanda in Kalavasal

Ragi Ambali – The liquid gold of the countryside

Ragi Ambali is a traditional and popular beverage from the Indian state of Karnataka. It is made from finger millet flour, water, and buttermilk. It is a nutritious drink that is rich in calcium and is known to have cooling properties. Moreover, this drink is a perfect thirst quencher during the hot summer months. 

Ragi Ambali is commonly found in rural areas of Karnataka, especially in the southern parts of the state. It is often served as a breakfast or mid-morning snack, and it is also offered to people who are recovering from illnesses or those who need a boost of energy. To find Ragi Ambali, you can visit any local food stall or restaurant in rural areas of Karnataka. Additionally, it is also available in some supermarkets and grocery stores in urban areas of the state.

Some of the cities in Karnataka where Ragi Ambali is particularly popular include Mysore, Mandya, Tumkur, Hassan, and Shimoga. In fact, Ragi Ambali is considered a specialty in these areas and is often served in local restaurants and street stalls.

Must visit places to try Ragi Ambali in Mysore

  • Mylari Masala Dosa – Nazarbad, Mysore
  • Shivalli Restaurant – Jayalakshmipuram, Mysore
  • Hotel RRR – Gokulam, Mysore

Places you can try Ragi Ambali in Mandya

  • Janatha Hotel – Mandya Town, Mandya
  • Sri Ramakrishna Bhavan – Maddur, Mandya
  • Shri Krishna Bhavan – KR Pet, Mandya

Places you can try Ragi Ambali in Shimoga

  • Swathi Delicacy – Shimoga City, Shimoga
  • Teguru Gudda Kere Ragi Ambali Mane – Tirthahalli, Shimoga
  • Shri Sai Biryani House – Bhadravathi, Shimoga

Bonda Sharbat – Coconut and lemon paradise in a cup

Bonda Sharbat - Summer drinks in India
Image credit – BetterButter

Bonda is a Udupi-Mangalore term for tender coconut. This is one of the best and most refreshing thirst quenchers available, and it has numerous health advantages. Moreover, it is the ideal rehydration drink for sweltering summer days due to its high potassium and mineral content. Bonda Sharbat is a refreshing tender coconut lemonade made with jelly-like tender coconut flesh chopped. 

“As a cab driver, I’ve traveled all over India and tried a variety of cuisines and drinks. But nothing compares to Bonda Sherbat. I discovered it by chance on a hot day in Mangalore, and from the first sip, I was hooked. The coconut water and lime blend is cool, refreshing, and rejuvenating. Ever since that day, I’ve made it a point to recommend Bonda Sherbat to everyone I meet. Whether it’s tourists visiting India or locals who haven’t yet tried it, I always encourage them to give it a chance. In fact, I’ve even taken detours on my drives to show passengers where they can find the best Bonda sharbat in the city.”

Raghuvendra Suvarna, Savaari chauffeur

Places you can try Bonda Sharbat in Mangalore

  • Ideal Cafe in Hampankatta
  • Gajalee in Kadri
  • Madhuvan’s Village in Yeyyadi
  • Pabbas in Lalbagh
  • Kudla in Bendoor
  • Mannagudda Biryani Point in Mannagudda

These are some popular places in Mangalore where you can sample Bonda Sharbat. However, Bonda Sharbat is a common drink. Furthermore, it can be found in many other local shops and restaurants as well. There are plenty of places that you can explore in Mangalore by booking a Savaari, and if you happen to be in the city, don’t forget to try this sweet and refreshing drink.

Pachi Pulusu – The raw and tangy delight

Pachi Pulusu is a traditional summer drink from Telangana. It is a type of raw tamarind rasam that is made without any heat. The word “pachi” means raw, and “pulusu” means tamarind soup. The history of Pachi Pulusu dates back many centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Andhra region of India. It was traditionally prepared by farmers and rural communities. They used locally available ingredients, such as tamarind, onions, and chilies, which were abundant in the region.

The drink is made by soaking tamarind in water. Further, it’s followed by mixing it with spices like ginger, green chillies, and cumin. Finally, it is then strained to remove any solids and served chilled. Pachi pulusu is known for its tangy and refreshing taste and is believed to aid digestion.

Places you can try Pachi Pulusu in Hyderabad:

Rayalaseema Ruchulu in Jubilee Hills, Minerva Coffee Shop in Himayat Nagar, Nandhana Palace in Begumpet, Hotel Green Park in Begumpet, Amaravathi Restaurant in Gachibowli, Dine Hill Restaurant in Secunderabad, Andhra Mess in Domalguda
Traditional summer drinks in India are not only refreshing and delicious but also carry a rich cultural and historical significance. From the popular lassi and aam panna to the lesser-known but equally delicious sol kadhi and Jigarthanda, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, during the scorching summer months, it’s important to stay hydrated and avoid driving in the heat. The best way to enjoy these traditional drinks without worrying about the commute is by downloading Savaari’s car rental app and booking a cab. So, sit back, relax, and indulge in the taste of India’s most iconic summer drinks while your driver takes care of the rest. Stay cool and beat the heat!

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Swati Deol

A quick summary
Summer in a glass - Beat the heat with these delicious Indian drinks
Article Name
Summer in a glass - Beat the heat with these delicious Indian drinks
These refreshing summer drinks in India not only help to quench thirst but also provide relief from the scorching heat.
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About the author

Shabari, a modern-day wanderer, seeks out the hidden stories within the world's serene landscapes and vibrant cultures. She views each person as a living, breathing tale, a unique signature in the grand narrative of existence. With an insatiable curiosity for local customs and traditions, Shabari explores the rich drapery of humanity wherever her journey leads. Her passion is to unravel the secrets of tranquil temples, scale majestic mountains, and share the ancient wisdom they hold. Join Shabari on her quest for solace amidst the world's quiet corners and let her writing transport you to the heart of these captivating adventures.

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