As temperatures begin to rise, more and more people will be flocking outdoors to soak in the sun and breeze. Expect a lot of backyard parties once again, and get ready to host a few of your own.
It matters not if you’re a world-class iron chef or a young kitchen novice – you can serve extraordinary refreshing beverages that are, surprisingly, easy to make at home.
What’s more, they can make even simple buffet spreads exciting, and you, dear host, are surely going to be the toast of the party.
Buttermilk, more popularly referred to as “chaas,” is an Indian curd drink. Chaas are great digestive aids that are quite easy to make and serve in different varieties. You’ll need plain curd, chopped green chillies, coriander leaves, a few curry leaves, and a little salt (you can use rock or black) to taste.
Mix all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor at low speed. Add cold water and blend well. Keep the mixture in the fridge until ready to serve, at least 20 minutes for the chaas to set. Dust off each glass with a little chaat masala and garnish with a coriander stalk.
You can never go wrong with chilled coconut water. This mildly sweet natural juice is a great electrolyte source and truly refreshing and satisfying, especially on hot days. Layout jars of sugar or honey and pitchers of cold milk for guests who would like to add them to each glass.
Another natural, healthy drink to serve at parties is sugarcane juice. This juice is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, helping to boost the immune system. Sugarcane juice can also be a delightful energy drink that aids in plasma build-up in the body. Prepare sugarcane juice in pitchers and throw in a few mint leaves to each pitcher. Offer ice on the side.
NimbuPaani(Indian Spiced Lemonade)
Summer is not summer without lemonade. Make yours extra special by following the Indian recipe with fresh-squeezed lemon, salt, cumin, sugar, and water. Soak some mint leaves on it, too. Aside from cumin, you can use other spices like black pepper or coriander powder to make it more interesting. Serve chilled. Offer simple syrup on the side for those who wish to add sweetness.
Summer is better with watermelon. Watermelon juice has hydrating properties that help keep the body feeling refreshed and hydrated. Use fresh watermelons over crushed ice and blend at high speed. Add sugar or syrup to taste. Garnish each tall glass with mint leaves and a bendy straw and, okay, tiny umbrellas if you have them. This classic fruity smoothie can also double as a great fruit dessert.
Spiked Cold Brew Coffee
For a good caffeine fix on a hot day, you can serve cold brew coffee. Take note that this is not quite the same as iced coffee which is regular coffee you throw over ice. Cold brew is so much better because it’s sweeter and smoother, and less acidic than brewed coffee. You just let it sit and cool.
This takes a little more time to prepare, but the result is so much better. You don’t need ultra-fancy brewing machines. You can prepare this with just mason jars or large pitchers with water and ground coffee (use coarse) and leave to steep for 12-24 hours in the fridge. Strain the mixture afterwards to remove the coffee grounds.
Better yet, use an actual cold brew maker. You can easily find these handy babies online by simply searching keywords like “buyHairocold brew 600 ml.” These can save you time and skip the inconvenience of having to strain out coffee grounds before serving.
While steeping your cold brew, you can whip up a batch of simple syrup with chilled sugar in water to add to your cold brew before serving. Add amaretto and Pernod after steeping. You can also serve with milk on the side.
Try out this creamy yoghurt drink that’s perfect for summer. Using a blender, crush some ice cubes. Add in the yoghurt, water, sugar, and salt to taste. Add flavour by using fresh mint, mangoes, avocados, or bananas. Blend for just 1 minute or until smooth. Serve chilled.
Being an amateur cook should not deter you from hosting summer get-togethers at home. Summer is the best time for relaxing outdoor parties, and you can turn even simple feasts into something extra-special with easy-to-make summer beverages.
With just a few ingredients and a little time and effort, you can turn natural fruit juices, coffees, or plain yoghurt into something fun and exciting.