Panakam: A Chilled And Delightful Drink From South India

Beat the heat during the summer season with Panaka or Panakam. It is a traditional Indian cooler, which is famous in South India. The drink has sweet, mildly tangy, and warm flavours. It is easy to prepare and specially prepared on the occasion of Ram Navami. It is served with spice buttermilk as well as a lentil salad on this occasion.

The drink is similar to lemonade but has different proportions. It has earthy flavours because of tulsi and has a fragrance of freshly ground cardamom. One of the main ingredients of this Panaka drink is jaggery.

Mostly ginger is added to the drink as it has a lot of health benefits. It is known to cleanse the body of toxins. Ginger also brings an earthy flavour to the Panaka drink while making it mildly hot.

It is also known as a nectarine drink. With such healthy ingredients, it is said that this drink touches the soul. Panaka drinks are much healthier and better than soft drinks. Here’s how you can prepare this drink at home and enjoy it with your friends as well as family. 

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Servings: 3


  • ½ cup chopped jaggery
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp dry ginger powder
  • ⅛ tsp black pepper powder
  • ⅓ to ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps lemon juice
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of edible camphor (optional)
  • A few tulsi or holy basil leaves (optional)
  • A few ice cubes (optional)


  • Take a bowl and put ½ cup chopped jaggery and 2 cups of water in it.
  • Mix the ingredients well and let the jaggery soak in water for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, until it gets dissolved properly. If you spot any impurities in the jaggery syrup, you can filter the solution.
  • Next, put 2 tbsps lemon juice into it and mix again.
  • Now, add ¼ tsp ginger powder, ⅓ to ½ tsp cardamom powder, ⅛ tsp black pepper powder, and salt to the mixture.
  • Put a pinch of edible camphor. 
  • Now, mix all the ingredients.
  • Your Panakam is ready to serve. You can also garnish it with a few holy basil leaves.

Points to remember:

  • It is preferred to add fresh ginger. But if you cannot find it, substitute it with dry ginger powder.
  • You can always change the quantity of water, lemon juice, and spice powders added to prepare the drink as per your need.
  • Pankanam tastes best when served chilled, so you can add an ice cube before serving