Summertime is here! And for a lot of people that means vacations, straw hats and fun, while for the rest of us it means work desks, deadlines and meetings! Don’t let the fact that you don’t have any vacation plan get you down, these 6 exotic and refreshing drink recipes will give you a taste of your dream destinations as well as keep you cool through the hot months of summer. The next time you feel like sipping on something cool while losing your sanity to the heat, instead of processed sugary drinks branch out and try some of these unique, delicious and healthy summer coolers from our friends around the world.
Brazilian Lemonade (Brazil)
Thai Iced Tea (Thailand)
Hibiscus Ginger Punch (Jamaica)
Horchata de Coco (Mexico)
The classic summer combination of citrus and ice gets a tropical spin in this refreshingly unique lemonade recipe from the coasts of sunny Brazil. Brazilian lemonade is a traditional limeade made using sweet condensed milk. In Brazil lemons are rare while limes are plentiful, so it’s no surprise that this ‘Lemonade’ is traditionally prepared using limes. If you feel that the combination of condensed milk with citrus is just wrong; one sip of this lemonade and you’ll know that this recipe is just right! A pitcher of this icy, creamy, tangy drink toned down with the gentle sweetness of condensed milk is a perfect accompaniment to warm breezy afternoons and its simple ingredients is what makes it a fab option to serve to friends.
6 cups cold water
1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
Pulse limes, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, and as much water as you can until everything is combined. Pour the liquid through a strainer to remove the chunks of limes. Pour the remaining water through the strainer. Stir and serve immediately over crushed ice.
THAI ICED TEA:
Dreaming of Bangkok but stuck at the boardroom? There’s no reason to not be thinking of your dream destination while sipping on this cheery Thai Iced tea. There are few things in the world as refreshing as a good iced tea and this summer treat also known locally as ‘cha yen’ is a favourite all over Thailand thanks to its flavour and creamy, icy consistency. It is made with a brew of Thai Black tea which lends it its distinct orange colour. The brew is infused with star anise and clove which give it a warm spiced aroma that help balance the sweetness. Condensed milk and evaporated milk is then mixed in to make it creamy, rich and sweet. This delicious iced tea is best had in a tall glass with a straw over loads of ice at a relaxing Sunday brunch.
4 1/2 cups water
4 tea bags black tea
4 teaspoons white sugar
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
Bring water to a boil in a kettle; remove from heat. Add tea bags, star anise and cloves and steep for 5 minutes; remove tea bags. Stir sugar into tea until dissolved. Cool to room temperature. Fill 4 glasses with ice; pour tea into each glass until almost full. Stir 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk into each glass. Serve chilled.
HIBISCUS GINGER PUNCH:
A couple of sips of this hibiscus ginger punch are all you need to recreate the blissful atmosphere of the Caribbean. Dried hibiscus flowers, known as sorrel in Jamaica, are used in this traditional punch along with gingerroot and a bit of sugar to create a perfect balance of sweet, sour and spice. Hibiscus is known for lowering blood pressure and it couldn’t be more perfect to drink when you’re close to losing your mind in this sweltering heat. The floral tartness of hibiscus combined with the subtle spiciness of ginger makes this a refreshing summer cocktail that isn’t overly sweet. Delicious and healthy, its ruby red colour is sure to look pretty sitting in a punch bowl at the centre of your summer parties.
2 cups Dried hibiscus flowers (sorrel)
1/4 cup Gingerroot, minced
8 cups Boiling hot water
1 cup Sugar
Place hibiscus flowers and ginger in a large bowl and pour in the boiling water. Cover and let steep for several hours at room temperature. Strain into a large pitcher and stir in sugar to taste. Serve well chilled.
In regions where temperatures can soar really high, salty savoury sips instead of overwhelmingly sweet ones is what some of us would prefer. Add in some cooling light dairy and we have a winning summer drink in our hands. Ayran is an extremely refreshing Turkish traditional drink made by mixing yogurt with iced water. It is served chilled and often as an accompaniment to grilled meat and kebabs especially during warm weather. Very similar to our home grown Chaas, drinking deliciously cold and salty Ayran is one of the few rapid ways for your body to intake sodium during the dehydrating summer months. Quick and easy to make, nothing beats a tall ice cold glass of Turkish Ayran with a few added sprigs of mint after a long hot day of shopping in the sun!
2 cups yogurt
½ cup cold water
Salt to taste
A handful of ice cubes
Put all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth. Serve cold with ice cubes.
Bandung is a candy pink, sweet, extremely popular Malaysian drink. This refreshing drink is flavoured with rose essence and rose syrup and gets its vibrant colour from a few drops of food colouring. Served over ice, Bandung can be found sold at most streets and markets in Malaysia making it a favourite drink during the warm months of summer. It is made using evaporated milk and this is what gives it a rich dessert like flavour while the iced quality of this drink keeps it from being too heavy. Stop and smell the roses! Sweet and easy to prepare Bandung is best enjoyed while lazing about on a warm summer evening with a good book.
280ml evaporated milk
280ml cold boiled water
To make syrup: 3tbsp sugar, 140ml water, 1/2 tsp rose essence, few drops red colouring
Boil sugar and water till sugar dissolves. Add essence and colouring. Mix well, strain and cool. Mix together syrup, milk and water in a glass jug. Cool in refrigerator before serving.
HORCHATA DE COCO:
La Isla Bonita! The island life seems a lot closer with every sip of this sweet and refreshing, coconuty, rice milk based cooler. Horchata de coco is an icy creamy rice based drink popular all over Mexico and Latin America. It is a little known fact that 30% of Latin America is lactose intolerant, so it comes as no surprise that they created this creamy yet dairy free delicious summer potion. Other than being the milkshakes classier cousin, the horchata de coco is lot yummier and healthier than cold dairy based drinks as well. They are sold on the streets in carts and taco stalls and are a perfect pairing with spicy Mexican food. Spiked with ground cinnamon and almonds this flavourful and light beverage goes down nicely on warm summer nights with your favourite feel good movie.
1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
2 cups boiling water
2 cups rice milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine coconut and rice in a blender. Add 2 cups boiling water; let stand 15 minutes. Blend until smooth. Strain mixture through a cheesecloth into a pitcher, pressing mixture with the back of a spoon to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard solids and stir in remaining ingredients. Serve over ice.
Feeling inspired? Go ahead and get creative with your own special drink recipe! Our newly launched Hibiscus Green Tea makes a versatile cold brew that goes well with a wide variety of flavours; find it on our website here.