With the heat wave slowly seeping back into our daily days, our bodies are about to take on the brunt of it, aka becoming highly dehydrated. Gone will be the days when a bottle of water is sufficient to quench your thirst. Your body needs more to hydrate and replenish the lost vitamins and minerals. Truly, what better than a flavourful burst of lemonade?
Traditionally known as ‘lebur shorbot’ in Bangladesh, this drink was once served by vendors having small carts in every corner of the main junctions. People stopped for a quick glass of chilled lemonade with jaggedly cut ice cubes sprinkled on top. This heavenly beverage gave every individual a sense of relief and serenity against the scorching sun. As the chilled water created condensation around the glass, people would drink slower than usual to savour the drink for as long as possible.
Of course, over the years, with our bustling city progressing towards modernisation, the classic lemonade has gone through many renditions in the restaurant culture. Today, if you visit any restaurant, you will often come across iced lemon tea being served to the customers as a staple drink with meals. This version of lemonade is served in tall wide-brimmed glasses. This is a mixture of iced tea with lemonade and a dollop of sugar syrup. Albeit, it may not be the classic lemonade that we normally have at home, but it is still a creative interpretation of the same.
The beverage industry has also commercialised the homely feeling of classic lemonade. Many companies have introduced carbonated drinks that are infused with lemon flavour. Although these are easier to carry and dispose, the health factors do not remain quite the same with the extra load of sugar that are mixed in such drinks.
A healthier alternative would be the lemonades served in cafes around the city. They have generous amounts of lemon and mint infused in their lemonades. These drinks have different names in different eateries, but all carry the essence of vitamin C and a dash of mint leaves.
If you ask me, the varieties of lemonade are all diverse in taste and flavour, but what remains quite the same is the classic lemonade whipped up in our own kitchens. Our mothers have made us so habituated to the classic beverage of chilled ice cubes, lemon juice, mixed with sugar and salt-- served in a glass with lemon slice on top. Indeed, no other drink could ever really hit the spot the way a tested and true lemonade can.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed