Drinks to keep you cool this summer
When the temperatures peaked here in Alanya last week, all I wanted to do was drink some cool beverages. Unfortunately, water was just not hitting the spot so, I investigated some alternatives available here in Turkey.
I admit to being shocked that this drink actually originated in Egypt and not the UK as I first suspected. Originally it was just lemon juice mixed with honey and water. It is thought that it became popular when Islam forbade the consumption of alcohol and people wanted something other than water to drink. It’s a super simple drink to make and there are a multitude of recipes to choose from. This one is my favourite:
Zest the lemon (avoid the bitter, white pith)
Juice the lemon
Add to juice and zest to the water
Add honey to suit your taste buds
Cool in the fridge
Enjoy sitting around the pool or basking on the balcony
This drink is traditionally drunk in the south-eastern regions such as Diyarbakir where they make this drink in the Summer. Now liquorice is normally associated with alcohol such as Sambuca, ouzo and absinthe but in this case, it makes a truly delicious alternative to water. Normally its linked to natural medicine because of its health benefits. You’ll need to source some liquorice roots but other than that it's very easy to make.
Scrub the roots
Crush with a pestle and mortar
Add water and cover for a few hours
Sieve the liquid when you notice it has changed colour (remove all wooden bits)
Add honey (or sugar) to sweeten
Sumac has traditionally been used a substitute for lemons for hundreds of years. Its gorgeous red colour lends this refreshing alternative a lovely hue. Also, super easy to make and can be frozen in little ice cube trays so that it is always cold. So for this recipe you will need warm water, juice of half a lemon, 100 grams of sumac and honey to sweeten. Again, its best left to steep to deepen the flavour and of course you will need to sieve the sumac out.
All of these drinks rely on a bit of forward planning but I promise when the sun is sizzling, you’ll be glad you did.