With just a few weeks of summer left here in the Northeast, the summer heat may still have you craving cool, icy refreshment.
And while we can’t bring back the summer, we can sure celebrate to keep the memories alive. That’s right, it’s time to go international – with some of the world’s best warm-weather drinks (both non-alcoholic and with a bit of a twist!).
Here at Arts & Cultural Travel, we’re happy to take to our kitchens to whip up some of our remembered favorites from far-flung destinations. We’re happy to take one for the team, sampling, sipping (and sometimes chugging) our way to celebrate the end-of-summer.
And to make it simple, we’ve chosen beverages with easy-to-find ingredients. So stay cool and savor those memories!
Let’s start with non-alcoholic:
On a warm day (or a leaf-raking day, ugh), when you’ve spent several hours sweating, chances are you need to replenish your sodium. Turkey steps in with an ayran, a typical concoction of thick, creamy and ice-cold yogurt, water and salt.
If you’ve ever been to an Indian restaurant, you’ve probably sampled the famed mango lassi. But did you know? Lassis come in many forms. Your basic lassi blends yogurt, water, sugar and ice; drink it like that, or add in nut butter, fresh fruit or even dried fruits to suit your tastes and cravings.
Pipa (Costa Rica)
Agua Fresca (Mexico)
Travel to Mexico (and many other Central and South American countries), and every menu pays mention to agua fresca, or natural fruit juices. Grab whatever looks good at the market – watermelon, strawberries, papaya, pineapple, starfruit or cantaloupe – add in some water, and blend your way to refreshment.
Now moving on with a bit of a twist:
Sangria is one of those drinks that happily straddles the alcohol line: half-wine, half-juice (and with a good helping of fruit thrown in), you can almost get away with sipping some at lunch. (We won’t tell if you won’t.) Whip up a batch in red or white, as the weather requires.
Caipirinha and Caipiroska (Brazil)
There are few things more refreshing than ice-cold lemonade, but ice-cold spiked lemonade is one of them! Brazil’s national drink, the caipirinha, blends limes, sugar and cachaça (sugarcane-based hard liquor). If you can’t find an aguardiente at your local supermarket, sub it out for vodka and call it a caipiroska. Throw in a pretty umbrella, and your drinks ready for summer.
When good drinks go bad (in the best way possible!): Chile’s terremoto earns its name – it’s Spanish for earthquake – with its killer mix of pineapple ice cream and pipeño, a fermented white wine. Shop your local liquor store for pipeño, although in a pinch you can substitute wine made from grape stock/young grapes.
More popular in Mexico than the you-would-have-thought-iconic margarita, the paloma is fruity, tasty and definitely refreshing. Combine your favorite tequila with lime juice and grapefruit soda (e.g. Fresca, although Mexican Jarritos soda is a shoe-in if you can find it), pour over ice, and rim that sucker with salt. ¡Salud!
Pisco Sour (Peru)
This wouldn’t be a bests list without mentioning the pisco sour, Peru’s iconic drink. Two shots of pisco, a bit of lime, a pinch of sugar and a frothy egg white combine in this mouth-watering, thirst-quenching, cool nod to Peru.
The Pain Killer (Caribbean)
Oh my. Ohhhhh myyyyy. There’s a reason we saved this one for last! This calorie-laden, rum-soaked cocktail is absolutely delicious – and absolutely deadly. Blend pineapple, dark rum and cream of coconut, throw in some orange juice and nutmeg, and you have yourself a juicy piña colada-esque drink that will make you forget the approaching cool (and everything else).
Savor the memories of summer!