All around the world, summertime is celebrated with fun activities, relaxing days at the beach or swimming pool and delicious barbecues. Unsurprisingly, the consumption of water, lemonades, iced teas and other refreshing drinks reaches all-time highs.
Inspired by the most exciting season of the year, we’ve decided to conduct a poll on Twitter, where we asked a simple question: “What’s your favourite summertime drink?”. The replies were evident, and the winners were clear – five classics have made the list. The unrivalled lemonade, the healthy iced tea, the energy boosting iced coffee and last, but not least, the wonderfully sweet milkshake were mentioned. But where do these drinks come from? Below we lay out the origins of each drink that you’ll be sipping all summer long.
India was most likely the first nation to consume lemon water, called nimbu pani, as both lemons and sugarcane were native to their land. However, the earliest written evidence of this exquisite drink dates back to AD 1000 in Egypt. Locals consumed bottles of qatarmizat, made of lemon juice with sugar. Lemonades are ideal for keeping you hydrated and restoring important minerals, many of which are depleted from our bodies due to high temperatures. For a tasty variation of the traditional lemonade, we recommend nam manao. This drink encapsulates summertime in Thailand, where tourists can buy it from street vendors. Prepare it at home with lime juice, sugar and a pinch of salt – perfectly paired with spicy Thai dishes such as curry.
While tea has an impressive history dating back to 2737 BC, iced tea is a fairly more recent invention. Nevertheless, it’s still nearly impossible to pinpoint a decade when iced teas became popular. Especially considering that each country has its own unique recipe with a small twist in the ingredients. Perhaps we owe this one to the Americans, who invented the nationwide beloved sweet tea. Southern states cherish this mixture of brewed black iced tea and sugar – lots of it. Its popularity is undeniable, and most supermarkets, petrol stations, rest stops, and even drive-thru advertise sweet tea to take away in a cup. The recipe isn’t complex, doesn’t leave a mess in the kitchen and its history has been passed down through generations.
It’s hard to track down the origins of this internationally renowned drink. Its most commonly agreed roots, however, date back to 1840 in Algeria. That was the birthplace of mazagran, a sweet and iced beverage prepared with coffee syrup and cold water. Nowadays, different regions have various names and recipes to create this pick-me-up drink. From the ones served with ice cream, to those with whipped cream, crushed nuts and even chocolate flakes – iced coffee is without a doubt a brilliant summer treat.
First accounts originally describe milkshakes as eggnog drinks with whiskey. However, the sugary dessert-like beverage as we know and love today, was invented and popularised in the United States, by a drugstore chain in the 1920s! Many creations have come after that, although the basic recipe consists of a few delicious ingredients. Fresh milk, ice cream and toppings such as fruit syrup, caramel or chocolate sauce are common. Add a few chocolate sprinkles and a cherry on top, and you’re good to go. Milkshakes are a mouthwatering treat, and quite heavy in dairy products. For those in need of something healthier, why not replace ice cream for frozen bananas, and the cow milk with any kind of plant milk?
We couldn’t end this article without suggesting something a little bit stronger. But only for those of age, or those without the responsibility of driving that day. This quintessential drink has acquired legions of British and international fans throughout decades. Pimm’s No. 1, a dark red, gin-based liqueur is used as the base for the Pimm’s Cup. It was first produced in 1823 by James Pimm, a farmer’s son in Kent. Adding it to a pitcher with lemonade or ginger ale, chopped fruit and mint makes the perfect summer beverage. But before you say cheers, we recommend you try one of the many variations of this drink. These recipes include Scotch, rum, and even rye – all of them are true crowd-pleasers.
We hope these drinks can help you keep cool during summer and that you’ve found their origins interesting. Let us know on the comments below which recipe is your summertime go-to, and which ones we have missed!