Food

Here is Chennai’s best mango drink for the summer

It’s 2 pm and the sun roasts us as we hop off the scooter to grab a drink at C Kunhiraman General Stores under Royapuram Bridge. An unlikely place for such a stopover, one would think. But the humble shop has built a reputation for its mango milk, badam milk, and lemon and grape juice. There are hardly any customers inside the store, but there’s a small crowd at it’s entrance — bikers, pedestrians, women travelling by auto — they’ve all stopped by for the juices.

Most of them are regulars and swear by the drinks, which — though available through the year — sell by leaps and bounds in the summer. The store sells 50 litres a day during this season, informs K T Ashok who runs the store. Equally popular is the in-house mango ice-cream. “We’ve been selling the juices for over 50 years,” explains Ashok.

Here is Chennai’s best mango drink for the summer
 

Served in plastic cups, the juices and ice-cream are sold at a counter at the entrance. Chunks of the fruit float inside the mildly-sweet grape juice. The tangy lemon juice, though nothing spectacular, is pretty refreshing. But the thick, sweet mango milk is the most sought-after of them all. The drink, served at just the right temperature, is perfect for the summer.

We down two cups of mango milk and wonder if we should order one more, when K Surendar, who assists in preparing the juices, catches our attention. He ladles the juices from the freezer for customers — it’s peak hour and he works non-stop, with almost mechanical precision. Ladle, pour, serve; ladle, pour, serve.

Surendar is clearly proud of the antique freezer. The rectangular metal structure has six compartments for cylindrical containers that stores the juices. “This freezer can maintain the temperature of the drinks for a full day, even if there’s no electricity,” he boasts. The mango milk is his favourite, too. So, how many cups of it does he drink a day? “I don’t keep count,” he laughs.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 4:45:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/summer-in-a-glass/article23573329.ece

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