Spain’s boozy spin on morning espresso, Barraquito or Spanish layered coffee is the love child of espresso and dessert topped with liqueur. Served in a tall clear glass, it looks like art that you wouldn’t want to stir but will have to, since it tastes even better than it looks.
And even though they have a saying in Tenerife, ‘there are no two Barraquito that would ever taste the same’, one can still try creating their spin on it at home!
Ubiquitous on the streets of Mexico City, Aguas Frescas, are light non-alcoholic beverages and one of the most ultimate drinks to sip al fresco. Made from seasonal tropical fruits, seeds, flowers, and grains. Your creativity is the limit when it comes to making these refreshingly colourful drinks.
Literally translated as ‘fresh waters’, these drinks go as far back as 15th century, when the Aztecs would journey from their farmlands to Tenochtitlan (now Mexico) to buy goods at the markets. During these voyages, they would collect fruit and muddle them in water to create hydrating beverages. Seeing that we can’t embark upon long voyages, for now, these drinks are a great way to cool off.
While they are usually available in two sizes, chica or grande, we might agree that the best way to quench a big thirst is to drink them straight from the pitcher. Pro tip: save some to make popsicles for later!
Maghrebi Mint Tea
Maghrebi mint tea or Touareg lies at the heart of Moroccan hospitality and culture. A blend of gunpowder (loose leaf tea that is tightly rolled into tiny pellets) green tea and fresh mint leaves, it is sweetened with a generous amount of sugar and poured into traditional, embellished glasses, from a strategic height which helps aerate the tea, with quite a ceremonial flourish.
Traditionally served three times in one seating —the steeping time lends a unique flavour to each serving of the tea—as described in the famous Maghrebi saying-
The first glass is as gentle as life,
the second is as strong as love,
the third is as bitter as death.
If there is a drink synonymous with summer it’s the Spritz Veneziano or the Aperol Spritz—Italy’s most-loved aperitif—made from Prosecco, Aperol, and Spritz (a dash of soda water).
Born in the forgotten city of Padua, back in 1919, Aperol remained a unique drink until the 1950s when it met ‘Spritz’ and revolutionized Italy’s drinking game. Now Spritz had been around the block since the Napoleonic wars, Austria had gained control of Northern Italy, but Italian wine was a little too bold for their palate, so the solution was to dilute it with a ‘spritz’ of water (eventually replaced by soda).
A match made in beverage heaven, the bitter-sweet Aperol Spritz is an iconic drink that has very few variations. Venetians prefer it with dry white wine instead of sparkling Prosecco, and as for the garnish, sometimes an olive can replace the slices of orange. Widely known as the ‘most clinked cocktail of the world’, Aperol Spritz is a symbol of the ‘spirited’ Italian art of the aperitivo and the reigning mascot of Italian conviviality.
Gin & Tonic
Introduced by the army of the East India Company as a remedy to ward off malaria, Gin and Tonic became a popular summer cocktail in British India back in the 19th century. In the early years of 1970s and 80s, the world turned its back on G&T as poor-quality, mass-produced tonic waters used to drown out gin's flavours. Fast forward to today, when we surely have more potent anti-malarial drugs, but G&Ts or gintos—as they are popularly called these days—remain a drink of choice all over the world, thanks to the boom in craft gin distilleries and artisanal tonic options in the last decade.
It's not our imagination: its scientifically proven that gin and tonic actually taste better together than apart. It is a classic drink that never disappoints, and while there exist a zillion variations of the original recipe —a good Gin & Tonic needs the precise mix of just the two ingredients for a perfect happy hour. To turn it up a notch, instead of the classic lime wheel, garnish with orange peel, star anise, elderflower, a slice of ginger, cucumber, mint, or fresh rose petals..the list goes on.
Long before soft drinks or even refrigerators, there were 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘴 or 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘴, sweet syrups made from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and fragrant flowers. A drink so poetic that Lord Byron in one of his travel accounts wrote...
"𝘎𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘶𝘯, 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘵, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘣𝘦𝘵, 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘤𝘰𝘰𝘭, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘺 𝘏𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘴 𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘗𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘪𝘢𝘯’𝘴."
𝘡𝘢𝘬𝘩𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘺𝘦 𝘒𝘩𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘻𝘮𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘩𝘪, a Persian encyclopedia dating back to the 12th century, is the oldest record describing different types of sherbets in Iran. With a long-standing history in Persian cuisine, sherbets have come a long way and are perfect for long and hot summer days.
One of the many popular summer drinks in Iran is 𝘛𝘰𝘬𝘩𝘮-𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘪 or chia seed sharbat - made from chia seeds, lemon juice, and rosewater - it is generously poured into cups over lots of ice and offered to passers-by on the streets of Tehran during the summer months.
Much like the rest of the world, India too has its antidotes for heat- a unique and diverse range of delicious drinks designed to keep us cool under the scorching sun. Summer is replete with classic coolers, made from seasonal fruits and few easily available ingredients from the kitchen, to instantly revive spirits. The Indian flavour palate is dominated by spices and they make an appearance in our drinks too!
Sattu ka Namkeen Sherbet
A drink fit for the big Indian appetite, Sattu Sherbet is packed with energy and can sometimes even be substituted for a meal.
Sattu (grounded roasted black gram), one of the most common homemade nutritious powders in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata is a superfood in its own right. Savoury Sattu Sherbet is made using this roasted powder, rock salt, fresh herbs, and spices.
For centuries, Sattu has been a staple travel food for the people of India. Back in the day when wheels were made of wood and getting to places would take days, even months, Sattu kept bellies fed and stamina high. Fast forward it to today - Sattu Sherbet is the perfect ‘desi’ cooler way to beat the heat from indoors.
Aam Panna is synonymous with Indian summer. It packs memories of childhood days spent playing outside and coming back to a pitcher of this delicious drink waiting to be gulped down. As soon as summer kicks in and lush mango trees begin to weigh down, Indian households start preparing batches of this magical concoction. Made from cooked raw mangoes, sugar, salt, fresh mint and cumin seeds, Aam Panna is a sweet & sour drink with a spicy kick. An excellent thirst quencher, the drink is served chilled and can be consumed at any point of the day!