15 Iced Drinks From Around the World
As the encroaching dog days of summer weigh heavily upon us, you may be envisioning a dreamy far-off getaway filled with cultural culinary delights. But you don’t have to mess with costly travel planning to satisfy that craving. Just create a beverage that not only captures your ideal escape, but also brings a sweet icy chill to the palate on these sweltering days. We’ve got 15 libations from around the world for you to choose from. Whether boozy or virgin, creamy or juicy, bubbly or smooth, these delightful iced drinks will hit the spot!
This beloved traditional drink has its roots in 13th Century Spain, as well as variations found in West Africa, Mexico, Guatemala, and other regions. The classic Mexican version is based on chilled rice milk and sweetened with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cheers!
This yogurt-based drink from India is like a silky-smooth milkshake, a perfect complement to the spicy, aromatic Indian dishes it normally accompanies. While there are other flavors, mango is the iconic lassi fruit with its dulcet flavor profile. Plus, it’s the national fruit of India!
Need a sweet, java-boosted quencher? Affogato, meaning “drowned,” requires authentic Italian gelato in order to truly shine. Vanilla gelato drowned in freshly ground espresso begins to melt into a frothy, creamy coffee splendor — a total dream for coffee-and-sugar lovers.
Malian Ginger Juice
From the heart of Mali, West Africa, comes this fabulously refreshing drink. Fresh ginger is chopped and blended into a pulp, which is then strained. The ginger juice is combined with fresh lemon juice and sugar. Water dilutes the flavor bomb for a spicy, acidic, sweet beverage that is perfect for a hot day.
Classic Spanish Sangria
Sangria is one of the most popular drinks in Spain, and in one sip, you’ll understand why. This fruit- and rum-laden, chilled red-wine cocktail is dangerously delicious. Feel free to mix in the fruits you love — whether it’s apples, pears, nectarines, berries, or citrus fruits — then enjoy!
Simple Bubble Tea
Bubble tea, a.k.a. pearl milk tea or boba, originated in Taiwan and has become wildly popular across the globe. Although there are millions of different variations now, in its most basic form, bubble tea is tea mixed with milk and chewy tapioca pearls. Make sure you have a wide straw on hand for those yummy bubbles.
There are many spins on the iconic Mexican margarita these days, but this version is a solid representation of the classic. “I have been asked by everyone, 'How do you make your margaritas?'” says recipe creator Katherine. “Everyone says I make the best. I like them; maybe you will too.”
Really Simple Bellinis
This is the oft-overlooked sister beverage to the popular mimosa. However, instead of orange juice, freshly blended peach puree adds texture and depth to this Italian champagne cocktail. Give her a splash of grenadine for a touch of added sweetness and color!
Iced Soy Milk Matcha Tea
Matcha, a fine powder ground from green tea leaves, is used in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, which is regarded as a meditative, spiritual experience. This iced matcha tea latte gets added flavor from sweetener and vanilla soy milk, just perfect for a chill meditation on a steamy day.
Forty minutes of prep and cook time plus three weeks of aging pay off in this (usually homemade) lemon liqueur originating from Southern Italy. Often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink, this chilled “digestivo” contains all the zing you’d expect from aged vodka, lemons, sugar, and water.
Chef John's "Sunset" Michelada
The Mexican Michelada can be loosely described as a Bloody Mary meets a nice, crisp “cerveza.” That might sound unpalatable, but trust us: It’s delicious. Vegetable juice, spices, and hot sauce give added depth and flavor to the brewski, making it fit for a king’s brunch.
Strawberry, Ginger and Mint Sekanjabin
Sekanjabin is a Persian recipe that incorporates sometimes ginger, fruits, and often mint with the unexpected addition of vinegar — in this case balsamic vinegar. But don’t shy away! The result even converts kids into devoted sekanjabin fans. Give this Persian libation a chance; you won’t regret it.
The Real Mojito
The Cuban mojito entered the US food scene and promptly stole the limelight from the beloved margarita, at least for a time. This killer cocktail starts with muddled fresh mint, limes, and sugar topped with white rum and a splash of bubbly club soda. Clean, sweet, citric, aromatic … perfection.
Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca
When it comes to unforgiving summer days, this is Chef John’s favorite tasty hydration solution hailing from Central America. “There's nothing as refreshing, as revitalizing, and as restorative as ice-cold watermelon agua fresca,” he says. “It's one of life's great drinkable pleasures."
Sparkling Hibiscus Cooler
Popular in everything from drinks to tacos in South America, hibiscus is the star of this bubbly drink. If you have trouble finding dried hibiscus petals, look for “flor de jamaica” in Hispanic markets.