Heat Retreat – Watermelon To The Rescue

Summer tends to put in its most illustrious performance just before it ends. The respite of the rains is all but gone, and summer heat is on, with vengeance. The land is still moist with the rains, and with the sun beating down, these last few days of summer heat become far more oppressive than the pre-monsoon summers. This kind of heat does bad things for one’s health and skin. Add to that the perennial problem that even the sanest people have to be constantly reminded that hydration isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Hydration works at beating the heat internally, while helping you fight off heat related ailments, and keeping your skin healthy. And I don’t need to remind you that with the festive season just around the corner, we all want to feel well, and look our best.

I do buy the point that for most people, the very act of staying hydrated is… oh… so… dull. Water, while great for hydration, isn’t full of flavours. It’s boring. But that can’t really be an excuse to walk right into the trap of dehydration. Perk up your imagination a little and all seasonal fruits will be waving at your happily, all too eager to help. Yes, you heard me right. Seasonal fruits are the best, and delicious way to beat the heat in style. And one particular fruit is my favourite, mostly because it’s so full of nutrients, and so versatile. It lends its flavor effortlessly to an army of summer coolers, mocktails, and even cocktails. 

Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for the sweet and humble watermelon! Made of almost 92 percent water, this fruit is packed with nutrients like vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids, and even some potassium. Cutting the science aside, in layman terms, watermelon works hard to keep your heart and kidneys healthy, your brain sharp, boosts your immunity, and… wait for it… helps in weight reduction! It loads serious arsenal in the hydrating department, and that, people, is one great way to stay healthy and in shape.

My favourite weapon against this heat is munching on chilled slices of watermelon, and sipping cold lemonade. The recipes I am about to share combines these two seasonal favourites. You can substitute the watermelon with cantaloupe or honey dew melons for an added twist to the flavor. I usually find all varieties during my grocery run at the Hypercity, and the freshest seasonal fruits, all in the same section, make for some quick brain storming while coming up with recipes.

Summer Delight: Watermelon, Dill and Cucumber Cooler (Serves 6) 


  • 600ml water
  • ½ tsp Dill
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 2 tbs mint leaves
  • 50ml fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large lemon, sliced (optional)
  • 500ml watermelon juice
  • 75ml cucumber juice
  • Sprigs of dill, to garnish
Start by making the dill ice cubes. Mix the water and dill and pour into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight.
Muddle sugar, mint and lemon slices in the base of a cocktail shaker or a pitcher, mashing slightly with a large spoon until sugar dissolves.
Add lemon, melon and cucumber juice and shake. Strain and pour over the dill ice cubes and garnish with a sprig of mint, cucumber or a spring of fresh dill.

Beat The Heat: Watermelon – Jalapeno Refresher (Serves 4)

  • 500 ml watermelon juice 
  • 2 sweet limes, wedged
  • 1 bunch of mint and cilantro
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers, deseeded
  • 300 ml club soda
  • Castor Sugar to taste
  • ice cubes
In a large pitcher, muddle lime, mint and cilantro leaves, and 1-2 jalapeños. Use a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass bottle if you don’t have a muddler.
Stir in the watermelon juice, soda, and sweeten to taste.
Serve in ice-filled glasses and garnish with mint and jalapeño slices.

TO MAKE WATERMELON JUICE:Cube the watermelon into 1" cubes and blend in a mixer, in batches until liquefied. Strain the watermelon juice through a fine mesh strainer. For a frozen drink, you may freeze some of the watermelon pieces before adding them to the chilled ones.

TO MAKE CUCUMBER JUICE:Cube the cucumbers into 1" cubes and blend in a mixer. Add a little chilled water to liquefy completely. Strain the cucumber juice through a fine mesh strainer.

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