You may not be able to get to the pool, but you can still beat the heat by drinking something cool. If you need help getting to the collection, I will help you create a drink that is more exciting than lemonade. One sip of this refreshing drink will take you back to your poolside cabana.

The citrus drinks Nimbu pani can be found in India and South Asia. The recipe can vary depending on where you are or what you like to add, but the essential ingredients always include sugar, lemon, or lime. You can add black pepper, cumin, or fresh ginger. Mix your concoction and then top it off with plain or soda water.

I first tried it via a sparkling canned version of a data-ga='[[“Embedded Url,” “External link,” “,” “metric25:1]]’ Bollywood sold a sparkling canned version of. Its lime/basil/cumin taste surprised me, and I decided to make my own. Once you’ve mastered the technique and found your perfect sweet-tangy balance, you will feel like a number mixologist. You can make this drink as complex or simple as you like. It’s only a few ingredients, but it packs a lot of flavor. The temperature directly impacts my energy levels, so I make it simpler the hotter the weather is.

Nimbu panis can be customized in endless ways.

You’ll need a quarter-cup of citrus juice to make your own. Grapefruit or lemon works just as well. Add a teaspoon of sugar and stir until it dissolves. Decide whether you want the muddled herb aroma or the muddled herb in your drink. Add the spices and sugar to a glass, then muddle the mixture for a few seconds to release oils. I wouldn’t say I like a lot of particles floating in my drink, so I bruise mint or basil leaves by stacking them two or three times and rolling or twisting them vigorously without breaking the leaves. Pour the crushed herbs into a glass, then fill it with ice. Pour the citrus juice sweetened over the ice. Fill the drink as cold as you can. If you like fizz, you may use seltzer.

Spices can be used to enhance your nimbupani. Add a pinch to the sugar mixture when adding the sea salt. Use volcanic sea salt if you have it. The saline taste will balance out the fruit’s acidity, and the salt’s sulfur-like essence will add another layer of flavor.

Add a pinch of cumin or a quarter teaspoon of micro-planed ginger root to your drink. The two ingredients will help you reduce your beverage’s sweetness without making it bland. Cumin, less than 1/8 teaspoon, will give the glass a savory taste that will subdue the sweetness. Ginger adds some bite.

You can customize nimbupani to your mood at any time. This recipe is light and straightforward, with a hint of spice to accent the herbs. It’s easy to change it by using herbs you already have (perhaps the ones your garden is overproducing?). Or the citrus fruit that you can’t get enough of. You could also try a mixture of grapefruit and lemon or go unsweetened. Although my recipe is not alcoholic, you could celebrate with a Collins of nimbu-pani-vodka.

Thyme for Lemon Nimbu Pani


  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (about one large lemon)
  • Four whole sprigs (plus one extra for garnish) of thyme
  • Add sugar to taste.
  • Black lava salt pinch
  • Pinch of ground cumin
  • Fill soda water

Add the first five ingredients to a measuring cup and mix. You can bruise the thyme with your stirring tool.

Fill the rocks glass with half the ice, then strain the mixture in the cup. Fill the glass with soda water, and top with a sprig of thyme. Enjoy it in the coldest part of your house.