Summer refreshers | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 03, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 03, 2016

Food-o-gram

Summer refreshers

The heat is unbearable this year; whenever I am out in the open, my skin feels like it's burning red. What better way to cool down than having an icy cold drink with your feet up! You also have to remember that when you are drinking all these drinks you will be having a great intake of sugar, because no matter how much I give the amount of sugar to a minimum you will be adding some more.  Keep hydrated and absolutely love these drinks below!

PINEAPPLE COCONUT BLITZ 
With cool mint, tropical fruit and zippy lime — chilled out with (*shocking*) coconut water.
Ingredients 
4 cups fresh pineapple
1 cup coconut water
¼ cup mint simple syrup (recipe below)
Twist of lime
Ice
Additional lime and mint for serving (optional)

Method
Add pineapple, coconut water and simple syrup to a high-speed blender and process until very smooth and frothy, about 30 seconds. Pour over ice with a generous twist of lime and a sprig of mint and allow a few minutes for the pineapple froth to float on top. Cover and chill leftovers for up to a day, stirring before serving. Enjoy!

MINT SIMPLE SYRUP
Typical simple syrups are 1:1 sugar to water, but as I have mentioned earlier, I like mine on the lighter side. Since you still need enough liquid volume to steep the mint, I have just reduced the sugar by half.

Ingredients
1 cup water
½ cup organic raw sugar, or
Generous handful mint (about 20 leaves) 

Method
Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer, stirring or swirling until sugar is dissolved. Add mint, pressing down to ensure leaves are submerged in syrup. Remove from heat, cover, and steep for 15 minutes. Strain out mint leaves before using syrup.

PEACHY FIZZ
Way to simple and minimal! It's a two ingredient drink and personally I love it. You must do individual serving and not put it all in a jug. 

Ingredient
1 can peach
1 bottle of sparkling grape juice (available from Almas to Agora) 

Method
Place the contents of the whole peach can in a blender till it is smooth. The use of the water (juices) that the peach comes in will help loosen it all up. Take a tall glass and put in two tablespoons of the blended peach. Place three ice cubes and top it off with the sparkling grape juice to the top. 

MANGO MINT 
Tangy, fresh and cool! A great summer cooler to keep you hydrated and love the green mangoes.
Ingredients
2 large raw mangoes
¼ cup mint leaves 
4-6 wedges of lemon
¼ teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of black salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
4-6 glasses of cold water
1 cup ice (crushed) 

Method
Wash the mangoes thoroughly and pressure cook it until 2-3 whistles. When it is cool to handle, squeeze all the pulp from the mangoes and discard the rind and the stone. Alternately you can roast the mangoes in an open fire until the mangoes are soft. Roasting the mangoes gives a distinct flavour but it is a bit time consuming. 
In a blender add the mango pulp, washed mint leaves, black salt, salt and sugar. Blend it well. Give a taste test and adjust accordingly.

Now add the crushed ice and give a final whizz. Divide the mixture between 4-6 tall glasses and add chilled water. Squeeze in a wedge of lime, if using. Serve chilled with a ripped lemon leaf in the glass for more fragrance.

THAI TEA
We need to make Thai tea! All the time! As far as the creamy layer goes, many people use different ingredients such as half and half, whole milk, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk and even low-fat milk. Choose your creamy poison.

Ingredients
4 cups water
4 black tea bags
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 green cardamom pod, smashed
2 whole cloves
1 cup milk 
1 tablespoon condensed milk
Ice

Method
Bring water to boil and add tea bags, sugar, cardamom pod and cloves. Stir until all the sugar dissolves. Gently boil tea for about three minutes. Remove from heat.

Allow tea to steep for at least 30 minutes and allow it to cool. The more concentrated the tea flavour, the better the Thai tea tastes. I prefer to allow the tea bags to seep for about 2 hours for maximum flavour. During this time, the Thai tea can cool.
Remove the tea bags and spoon out the cardamom pod and cloves. If tea is still warm, refrigerate so it can be chilled.
You can make this ahead of time and have the organic Thai tea chilling in the fridge.
Fill glasses with ice and pour in organic Thai tea leaving enough room to fill in your milk and condensed milk. For an 8 oz. glass we like to add about 2-3 tablespoons of milk for a creamier flavour.

CHI CHI
The Chi Chi mocktail is a heavenly concoction on a hot summer day. Garnish Chi Chi with fresh fruit and paper umbrellas.
Ingredients
2 ounces pineapple juice
1 ounce coconut milk
1 ounce soy milk
½ ounce coconut extract
½ teaspoon honey
Crushed ice
Method
In a blender, add crushed ice, pineapple juice, soy milk, coconut extract and coconut cream. Blend mixture until smooth and creamy. Pour into a stemmed glass and garnish with pineapple slices and paper umbrellas.

FRUIT MIX CHILLER
Who can resist a gorgeous, fruit-filled pitcher of icy juice on a hot summer day? Fill your glass with this wonderful drink.
Makes large pitcher or punch bowl
Ingredients
¼ cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
½ fresh lemon, sliced
½ fresh orange, sliced
1 small apple or peach, cut into wedges
4 cups club soda or seltzer water
4 cups grape juice
Method
In large pitcher, combine orange juice, sugar and grape juice. Add cut fruit and stir until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate until cool and add seltzer water or club soda just before serving.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Coolers prepared by Westin, Dhaka

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