Halo Halo, Gazoz, Butterfly Pea
This is what the world drinks in the summer
30.06.2022, at 11:24 (updated)
Apple spritzer, Spezi, Berliner Weisse – these are some of the most popular thirst quenchers in Germany in the summer. Different countries, different drinks: from Bangkok to Cape Town, a wide range of trendy drinks are popular with which to get through hot days in a good mood.
When it’s hot, people around the world crave cool thirst quenchers to refresh their sweaty bodies from the inside. Almost every country has an insider tip ready. Some drinks are traditions, others are just becoming trendy drinks. A summer trip around the world between herbs, infusions, purple soda and resin paste.
Cha Yen iced tea is very tasty to Thai people – namely quite sweet and still very refreshing in the high temperature all year round. The famous cold drink is available at every corner from Bangkok to Phuket. The color is unmistakable: Thai iced tea shines in sunny orange. First, strongly brewed black tea is poured into the glass, refined with spices such as star anise, cardamom, tamarind or orange blossom water. This gives the drink a unique taste. The tea is then mixed with a good amount of sugar and sweetened condensed milk and poured into a glass with crushed ice. With the perfect balance of creaminess, spicy aromas and sweetness, this revitalizing blend not only inspires locals but also tourists.
And another drink in Thailand has a striking color: Butterfly Pea Soda. The trendy drink shines in seductive purple-blue tones and is made from the flowers of the plant “Clitoria ternatea” (butterfly pea). Among other things, it is said to have a calming effect, but it is also said to have other health benefits. In Southeast Asia, it is commonly used in dishes and drinks. Butterfly pea is extremely refreshing as a soda with its herbal notes.
Lemon and Paeroa, or L&P for short, is “World Famous in New Zealand”. This is a clever advertising slogan for a drink from the other side of the world, which was invented back in 1907. It is made with lemon juice and mineral water from the small town of Paeroa on the North Island. Water has its own taste, with a citrus note, a perfect balance between sweet and sour. L&P is also used for alcoholic mixed drinks, which comes in a brown bottle with yellow print. In Paeroa, a seven-meter high monument – in the form of a copy of the famous bottle – was dedicated to the cult. The slogan “World famous in New Zealand” has since become a byword for things that are commonplace in the small Pacific state – but mean nothing to the rest of the world.
In the tourist metropolis of Cape Town, cocktails infused with local botanicals are on trend this season. A classic is the Table Mountain, a shaken tart brandy cocktail with a dash of locally made vermouth. There’s also mint, cardamom, lime juice, orange bitters, rooibos syrup and a tart note from fynbos leaves, which are shrubs typical of Cape Africa. The drink is served with a foam cap symbolizing table mountain clouds and decorated with edible wild flowers. “The aromas of native plants are all the rage, not just fynbos, but also bacon, elderflower and pumpkin,” says bartender Michael Tonderai at Cause Effect Cocktail Bar, where you can admire Table Mountain while enjoying the sunset.
When talking about the concept of submarine (ypovríchio in Greek), the first thing that comes to mind for food lovers from Athens to Alexandroupolis is a viscous mastic that is dipped in ice-cold water with a dessert spoon. For the chewing gum, sugar and vanilla are mixed with the resin of the mastic tree, which grows only on the island of Chios. The resin has a rather peculiar – just resinous – taste. Every Greek grandmother knows how to delight her grandchildren with a mixture. The mastic mass dissolves slowly when mixed in cold water – but some sweet tooths lick the paste straight off the spoon and then drink the cold water to cool off in the Greek summer heat.
During the hot summer months, a sweet and slightly bitter traditional drink is available on every corner: citronnade. Not only is lemonade an effective thirst quencher, but many fans swear by its health benefits. Citronade strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure and improves digestion, say Tunisians. Some people swear that the cloudy yellow drink is also a slimming product. However, the drink consisting of pureed lemons, their peel and still water also contains sugar. When it comes to production, there are two camps in the country: some cook the lemon mixture first, others don’t. A few mint leaves or almonds finish the filtered drink, which is consumed chilled.
On hot summer days, Israelis like to drink the sweet carbonated drink Gazoz. Tel Aviv has a particularly trendy version of the traditional fruit lemonade: fermented fruit is mixed with fresh herbs, ice, mineral water and spices. At Benny Brig’s iconic kiosk in Levinsky Markt in the south of the city, each drink is a unique blend. The taste of the drink is somewhat reminiscent of the fermented tea drink Kombucha. But the specialty of Tel Aviv’s Gazoz is the beautiful floral arrangements and fresh herbs that decorate it as a bouquet – as if made for impressive social media pictures.
The average German vacationer almost always orders a cold beer or sangria on hot summer days – whether in Mallorca or Madrid. Tinto de Verano – or summer red wine – is at least as popular among the Spanish themselves. The drink is said to have been invented around 100 years ago in Cordoba, Andalusia. The mixture is not only more refreshing, but also more tolerable in the heat than undiluted wine. The recipe? Very simple: half red wine and half sparkling lemonade. A few slices of lemon or orange, ice cubes – and that’s it! Difference with Sangría: It is usually made with fruit, juice and often other alcohol and is much sweeter.
Sugarcane juice is very popular in India, where the temperature is currently well over 40 degrees. Many people in other Asian countries also appreciate green juice. It can be found everywhere on the roadside, where vendors prepare it on the spot. They press the sugar cane through a diesel powered machine and then mix it with lemon, ginger, salt and ice. Ice is often not completely hygienic, but it makes the drink even more refreshing. A glass costs about 10 to 40 cents in the capital, New Delhi, says vendor Salman Khan. He later sells the rest of the sugar cane to farms where they end up being eaten by cows and other animals.
The island country’s most famous and most colorful dessert is also a drink: halo-halo, something like mix-mix in English. It is made by covering shaved ice with sweetened fruits such as bananas or coconut strips, candied mung beans or beans, and chunks of red and green jelly. It’s all drenched in condensed milk and topped with leche flan (the Filipino version of crème caramel) or purple yam ice cream and topped with toasted baby rice. Then the glory is destroyed and everything is mixed up (hence the name). The thick liquid is drunk, fruits and beans with a spoon. The ingredients are different in different regions.
Quenching their thirst, the Swiss turn to Rivella. Carbonated lemonade is considered a secret national drink. Citrusy, with nectarine, apricot and slightly nutty notes – this is how the wine taster describes the aroma in the advertisement. The recipe is secret, the original drink has remained unchanged since the founding of the family company 70 years ago. There are now fewer variants with sugar or fruit flavors. Only this much is known: Rivella is made on the basis of milk serum. Cultural scientist Walter Leimgruber says about the secret of success: “Some feel that the Swiss have milk in their veins, not blood.”
(This article was first published on Sunday, June 26, 2022.)