Come summer, there is a huge demand for cool treats to cope with the heat and the humidity

With the thermometer hitting a new high, cold drinks are making a splash as people gulp them down in litres to quench their thirst and beat the heat. In addition to glasses of water and traditional favourites such as sambharam (spicy buttermilk) and water of tender coconut, thirsty customers go for a diverse range of fruit juices, milk shakes and ice-cream-based drinks.

‘Moru vellam’ or ‘Sambharam’ is is known for its cooling effect and is a hot favourite. Shakunthala’s small stall in East Fort near the RTO office has become famous for the spicy ‘Sambharam’ that she has been doling out in tall glasses. She began the stall four years ago with her husband, Mohanan.

“People love the ‘Sambharam’ that we sell because of a different recipe that we use. We start by 8 a.m. and wind up when we run out of ingredients. Due to the heat, the demand is high,” says Shakunthala as she serves patient customers waiting for the elixir to appease their thirst.

‘Narunandi’ sherbet is another favourite here that sells very well during this season. A short walk from Shakunthala’s stall and we reach Buhari Juice store in Attukulangara where Abdul Rashid sells his milk sherbet. “Most customers come here for the sherbet. We add flavours such as pista, strawberry, mango, grape, orange and Boost, which gives customers a variety to choose from,” says the shopkeeper who has been selling his famous sherbets for the past two years.

Another place in the city that attracts many customers is a small stall that sells juice. Near the Law college Junction at Thekkummoodu is Chitra Juice bar, popularly known as the herbal juice shop, which is well known for its nutritious drinks made of vegetables and herbs. The owner Suresh Babu claims that his concoctions have proven to have medicinal qualities that help those with lifestyle illnesses.

“The shop attends to a large number of customers daily and they make sure that each one is satisfied. We need to wait for our order but it's worth the wait as this shop always lives up to expectation,” says a customer.

Traditional ‘Elanir’ or tender coconut water is sold at many places. In Vanchiyoor, we come across plenty of stalls that offer tender coconut water. Sarojam, who owns one of the stalls, offers the drink and says with a smile, “Nothing else can be as healthy and rejuvenating as this.”

However, traditional drinks and fruit juices have not yet taken out the fizz of soft drinks. In addition, smoothies and milk shakes too have a faithful following in the city. Ambrosia’s young customers go for soft drinks to kill the heat. Their best seller is Blue Haven. Milkshakes and mocktails follow. Baskin Robbins has also seen an increase in the number of customers. “Milkshakes of all 31 flavours are sold and they are the most preferred nowadays,” says Velayudhan, who works at Baskin Robbins, Kowdiar.

Summer drinks are not only refreshing but will help customers avoid dehydration and fatigue. It will boost energy levels and prepare you for the heat wave. With a variety of drinks at affordable costs available all across the city, this season can turn out to be a cool summer!

Doctor’s note

Lalitha Appukuttan, Karthika Lifestyle and Health Clinic, Jagathy, says how important it is to be on a lot of liquids this season. “We sweat a lot in the summers which results in the loss of water and minerals. We need to drink plenty of water to regulate these mineral levels. Fresh juices and coconut water must be included in our diet this season. Fruits like watermelon and pineapple which has a lot of water content are also healthy choices,” says the nutritionist.