A couple of summer chillers – A spicy lemonade and a Chili Chiller

Spicy Lemonade (Left) and Vodka Chili Chiller (Right)

It has been unusually hot this year. With drought conditions in a record number of counties in the US, this has been a hot summer. In fact, just yesterday, temperature reached a high of 109F in Dallas where I live.

Nothing quite hits the spot in this heat than a tall glass of a cold beverage. Given the recent heatwave, I thought I’d post a couple of recent favorites of mine. The first is a variation on lemonade that my friend Avanti in New Jersey, who also taught me this baby eggplant dish (click here) taught me. The second drink is alcoholic and works equally well with Gin, Rum or Vodka. I first had this at an old friend, Susmit Sen’s place in Delhi, where he also inspired me to make pizzas on a tawa (see here).

Very simple drinks to make and well worth a try. You may want to change proportions of the various ingredients to suit your palate.

FOR THE SPICY LEMONADE (makes 1 glass)

1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

2 Tbsp Sugar Syrup

1/8 tsp of Himalayan Black (or Rock) Salt – Sold as Kaala Namak in Indian stores

1/8 tsp of roasted, ground cumin powder

Some torn mint leaves


A glass of water


1. Mix the water, lemon juice and sugar syrup.

2. Add the cumin and the salt. Stir.

3. Add mint leaves and ice. Serve.

FOR THE CHILI CHILLER (for one drink)

A pour of Gin, Vodka or Rum

1 hot Thai chili sliced along the side

A generous squeeze of lime

Soda water



1. Steep the chili in the alcoholic beverage of choice for 5 mins.

2. Squeeze the lime

3. Top with soda water and ice.


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