The five best summer drinks of all time

All of us have our favorite summer drinks from fruity British favorites, such as a cup or goblet filled with thirst-quenching Pimms, to refreshing Italian Aperol-spritz or non-alcoholic favorites like a tall glass or lemonade.

Why not try something new this summer? Over time, many drinks have become obscurities. They deserve to be celebrated. Oxford Nightcaps was published in 1827 and contains detailed descriptions of these drinks. These five international drinks will add variety to your collection.


In 16th century France, lemon juice mixed with water was served as a refreshing drink. The summer of 1630 saw the drink’s popularity soar after its debut in Paris when effervescent spring water was used to make the drink.

Lemonade seller selling the refreshing beverage from a container on the back. Trustees of British Museum CC-BY-NC

In 1676, the French love of fizzy lemonade was so strong that vendors formed a guild known as Compagnie de Limonadiers. The licensed sellers distributed their products from Limonadieres, which were ornate dispensers that they strapped on their backs.

In the 1700s, artificially carbonated drinking water was developed by an Englishman. In a 1772 paper, Joseph Priestly described thedescribed’s process as “impregnating fixed air into water”. In 1783, this research led to the launch of Schweppes – a household name that we still know and love today.

The limonadieres have all but disappeared, and commercially available sparkling French lemonade can be found almost everywhere. However, nothing beats the freshness of the classic version. For two servings, follow these instructions:

Method: Mix sugar and water together in a small pan. Stirring over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then add the lemon peels. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool, then stir in the juice of the lemon. Remove the peels from the lemons. Pour the lemon juice into a small glass and add sparkling mineral water. Serve.


Switchel is a drink that originated in the Caribbean. However, New England can also be credited as its source. It was there where it rehydrated colonists of 17th century New England. The drink, also known as Haymaker’s punch or Haymaker’s brew, hydrated the fieldworkers who toiled under the scorching sun during the hay harvest.

It was also used to calm Washington’s Senators and Congressmen during heated meetings in Congress. This recipe can be made with honey instead of molasses if you don’t like it. For eight servings:

Nimbu Pani

During the Raj, colonists discovered Nimbu pani, the bright cousin of lemonade. Kala Namak is the surprising twist. It is a dark salt. Even in the most elite clubs of Bengal, Madras (now Chennai), and Bombay (now Mumbai), ice was a luxury. It’s amazing how salt can chill the palate just as much as water and cool the drink to the very last drop.

Nimbu Pani is a refreshing lemon drink that comes from India. It’s unique black salt keeps it fresh. Dinodia Photos/Alamy

Nimbu Pani, a popular Indian thirst quencher, can be found in street corners all over the country. For two servings, follow these instructions:

Julepum Stomachicum

The 1753 edition of William Lewis’ New English Dispensatory featured a mint julep that adventurous 18th century Brits sipped. This Julep was thought to help with stomach problems.

The original recipe included a hydrosol of mint (a non-alcoholic distillate), but the whiskey infusion and bouquet of mint sprigs placed in a julep glass (a metal tumbler), will make up for the extra step. For one serving, use:

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