Drink and derive: The joy of guilt-free beverage

The morning cuppa tea/coffee and cricket are religion in India. For most Indians, the morning cuppa is literal ‘eye opener’ in the morning.

Besides, it’s daily routine for office goers to make their mandatory visits to the chai-thela (pushcart tea) that dot outside their swanky buildings. And stirring up a strong cuppa coffee for late night weekdays is a given. But too many cups of caffeine at unearthly hours can bring along its own set of health issues.

Let’s begin by looking at some twists to our regular tea to enhance your tea-experience:

Tea with a twist

Apart from the most popularly consumed Assam tea, the other options available in the market are the flavored ‘long leafed’ Darjeeling tea, the Chinese Oolong tea, the much hyped “antioxidant-rich” green tea or white tea. There is a plethora of other herbal varieties on your hypermarket racks,  but why spend on the processed stuff when you can brew your own concoction at home. Here’s how:

Zesty lemon-mint-almond tea

 All you need is:

  • 1 tablespoon of any regular tea. ( For better results, Darjeeling long leaf tea is preferred in this recipe, however, any tea used to make milk tea can be used here.)
  • 5-6 strands of lemon grass
  • 9-10 mint leaves
  • 10-15 Soaked chopped almonds


  1. Boil a cup of water in a tea-pan and add your preferred tea. Boil for about 30 seconds. If you want it stronger, you can boil it longer (wow, that rhymes!) Caution: do not boil long leaf tea as it becomes soapy; instead; soak it in hot water with a pinch of black tea for color.
  2. Add sugar to taste.
  3. Soak in some chopped almonds (with or without peels) into the hot concoction.
  4. Add milk per the desired color.
  5. Now add chopped mint leaves and lemon grass and cover the pan.

This tea will surely help you pull up your boots for the day.


image courtesy: plumdeluxe

Other herbal additions:

  1. Add rose water and lemon drops to black tea.
  2. Turmeric in combination with tea is what you call a power punch to immunity. Just add a pinch of turmeric powder to your black tea with some orange juice (about 30 ml)along with a pinch of black pepper powder.
  3. Want  a ‘date’ with tea?  Just add a few soaked dry dates/ black dates to a cup of your green tea have it with honey

Alternative beverages

When you think of summery alternatives to tea, beverages with fresh fruits rule the roost. Undoubtedly, they are refreshing. But here we will talk of non-fruity options. (For more summer drinks click here.)

1. Spicy buttermilk: Buttermilk ranks very high in a dietitian’s advice list. And here we are going to spice it up so that it tops your list too.

All you need is:

  • 5 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 inch ginger stick(grated)
  • Curry leaves (as much as you like)
  • 2 green chilies coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 7-8 Mint leaves for garnishing
  • salt to taste


    1. In a wok, heat canola oil and add mustard seeds till they crackle.
    2. Add some curry leaves, green chilies, ginger and stir.
    3. Pour in the buttermilk and add the spices.
    4. Turn off the flame (do not cook it else the fat would separate).
    5. Garnish with chopped mint leaves. Serve it chilled or lukewarm

chhaasimage courtesy: foodista

2. Amla (Gooseberry) Sharbat: Try the wonder berry recipe to quench your thirst the healthy and tasty way.

a9ea13237c0502159263f017095ec8e6_Limage courtesy: archanaskitchen

3. Minty Lemon Cucumber drink: This drink is not just refreshing but also detoxifies your body. Here’s the recipe .

lemon-mint-and-cucumber-the-delicious-detoximagecourtesy: beautyglimpse

4.Ginger Sharbat: Gingery taste to lemonade makes it divine for digestion. Try the recipe.

Minty-Ginger-Ale-0image courtesy: foodpunch

5.Almond Date Shake:   Need a drink which is  healthy and filling? You will find it here.

Almond-Date-Shake2-668x445Image courtesy: meghantelpnar

Embrace your summers with a twist. Stay hydrated, stay refreshed!

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