Kannur Cocktail to Madurai Jigarthanda, what keeps Kochi cool this summer

Cool down this summer with rich, inventive milkshakes blending fruits, nuts and ice creams. We try Kochi’s most popular versions.

Published - May 10, 2024 01:53 pm IST

Avil milkshakes at Avilo in Kalamassery, Kochi

Avil milkshakes at Avilo in Kalamassery, Kochi | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

We are in the decade of the milkshake. It is no longer just a simple blend of milk and ice cream, but a hulk of a beverage that works as a meal replacement for some, a guilty indulgence for others, and a viral trend for many.  

Kannur cocktail at Cafe 29

Kannur cocktail at Cafe 29

A gift from Kannur

At 6pm, Cafe 29, a “cocktail bar” in Gandhinagar, is crowded. And nine out of 10 customers ask for the Kannur Cocktail. A mashup of fruit and milk, nuts and pomegranate pearls, the Kannur Cocktail is not new, but is one of the top favourites. Much gushed about on social media, the shake has had vloggers travel all the way to Kannur just to have a sip. Like most other shakes that found their way to Kochi from northern Kerala, the Kannur Cocktail is still winning hearts. 

“It is one of Kannur’s most famous milkshakes. Though it sounds complex, it is actually just a simple milkshake made of frozen papaya, carrot, frozen milk, sugar and a handful of nuts. We have been serving this at Cafe 29 ever since we opened a year ago,” says Ahamed Moosa, the owner of the cafe. The shake has been their best selling item this summer at both the outlets – Gandhinagar and Palarivattom. One Kannur Cocktail is priced at ₹59. 

Rice flakes in your shake?

Another evergreen hit is the Avil milk, which is a popular summer cooler in the Malabar region. Avilo at Kalamassery serves various iterations of this basic milkshake involving milk, ice cream and rice flakes (avil). “We add fruits such as strawberry, mango and avocado to this avil shake, too, for those who want more than the basic flavour,” says Aibal Stanley, manager of the outlet.

As the name indicates, Avilo is dedicated to avil milkshakes after its owner Farook Ali found there was a steady demand for the drink. Three years ago, he found that his tea joint, called Tea Hub, also at Kalamassery, took maximum orders for avil milk shake across food aggregator platforms. “That is when I realised that avil milk has a huge fan base here and we decided to open Avilo,” he says.

The shake here has milk, avil, Palayangodan banana and a secret ingredient. Fancy versions include ice cream, tutti-frutti, and other fruits, “But we don’t add sugar in the basic version; it is naturally sweet,” Farook adds. The avil milk is priced at ₹80. 

Kalanthan’s sharjah shake

Kalanthan’s sharjah shake | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

An ode to Sharjah shake

One shake that has stood the test of time, through the summers of Kerala, has to be the Sharjah shake. A universal favourite, you could get a plain Sharjah shake at any juice shop worth its shake in Kerala.

It is a drink that is in demand all through the year, says Saboor Ali Usman, of Kalanthans Cool Bar, Kozhikode, which has been serving the Sharjah shake since 1979. He says the shake and its name owe their origin to Saboor’s grandfather E P Kalanthan Koya, who christened his signature banana milkshake after the cricket tournament Sharjah Cup.

Today, Kalanthans has three shops in Kozhikode and the Sharjah shakes are available with fancier fruit combinations including avocado, mango and strawberry. “The classic still remains the favourite though. It has milk, banana, sugar and a pinch of cocoa powder,” says Saboor. “The taste, however, depends on the ratio and quality of the ingredients,” he adds. 

Madurai Jigarthanda

Madurai Jigarthanda | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

From the Malabar to Madurai

Here’s a shake from Tamil Nadu to compete with the Malabar mocktails. Jigarthanda has ticked all the trending boxes, and is continuing to do so. The sought-after drink is a blend of almond jelly, milk mixture, and ice cream made in-house. “But it really is something more. It is an emotion,” says B Ramachandran, owner of Madurai Jigarthanda that opened in Kaloor a month and a half ago.

Ramachandran says the demand has been on the rise and a second branch will be opened in Kakkanad soon. “The shake has been popular for over 13 years, but the fascination for it is still on. Afterall, it is a heart-cooler” says Ramachandran. A jigarthanda is available for ₹70. 

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