Summer Drinks: Five Types Of Sharbat To Try This Summer
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It may be difficult to choose from nimbu pani, lassi and sharbat when it comes to which summer drink is India’s favourite. However, sharbat enjoys a place of pride in the hands of many, especially guests during the summer. It’s customary for hosts to offer a cooling glass of sharbat to anyone visiting them when the sun is at its harshest. Here’s a list of five types of sharbat for you to drink or offer to guests:

Roof Afza

Rooh Afza translates to ‘soul refresher’. The ruby-coloured, rose-flavoured syrup is a household name in both India and Pakistan, and makes a rejuvenating drink when mixed with cold water and served with ice. Some people even add Rooh Afza to cold milk for a more wholesome and filling drink during the summer. The main ingredients used in the syrup are rose water and kewra essence, both of which are considered to be cooling. Rooh Afza has gone on to become synonymous with sharbat, even earning a place in Old Delhi’s popular ‘mohabbat ka sharbat’. 


This emerald green syrup is made with khus (vetiver) essence, citric acid and sugar. It’s very effective for quenching thirst and has cooling properties. Diluted with cold water and served with ice, it becomes a sweet soft drink to be enjoyed on hot days. Khus sharbat tastes especially good when served with a dash of lemon juice. Add a pinch of chaat masala for extra flavour. Khus is also used in the making of India’s favourite ice lolly or chuski. Crushed ice is gathered and stuck together around a stick, and bright green khus syrup is poured over it.


Also known as wood apple, stone apple or Bengal quince, bel is native to the Indian subcontinent. The juice extracted from the bel fruit is drunk as a refreshing sharbat when water is added to it. Bel is pulpy and has a slightly tangy flavour. Besides being cooling, it helps fight unwanted bacteria in the body. It also strengthens immunity and helps with hydration. Bel also contains vitamin C, vitamin B and protein, which help in fighting diseases. Antioxidants in bel help reduce the risk of cancer and also keep the skin healthy by keeping infections at bay.


Made with jaggery powder, gur sharbat helps replenish energy that the body loses due to heat. It’s quick and easy to make, only requiring mixing gur with water until the gur dissolves and the liquid turns light brown. Lemon juice may be used to add some tang to the sharbat. Some people even like to add salt, chaat masala or cumin powder for added flavour. Gur sharbat is popular at iftar during Ramadan as it helps keep energy levels up after a whole day of fasting. It is an excellent, healthy alternative to other sharbats made with synthetic and sugary syrups.


Made with roasted gram flour or sattu, sattu sharbat is both tasty and healthy. Sattu is made by soaking chana dal, boiling it, and then drying under the sun. The dried dal is roasted to get rid of any remaining water and then ground into a powder. Sattu sharbat is rich in calcium, other minerals and iron, which helps blood circulation. It has a low glycemic index and is hence suitable for those with diabetes. Sattu sharbat is usually salty, unlike most other sharbats which are sweet. It can be served with a pinch of black salt and cumin powder for added taste.