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Jul 18, 2010 11:38 AM

Refreshing Drink/Food in the Heat

Hi 'hounds,

I remember a post on the California board (before we got our own :) that was about the best refreshing items to have on a hot day. Can't seem to find it using the "wonderful" search option on CH. So, I thought I'd revive it!
It was through that post that I discovered the avocado smoothies at K Sandwiches and the idea of cold ramen (which would have never occurred to me). My current favorite relief is actually Som Tum (Thai papaya salad), which, when nuclear-arly hot, gives great relief in the form of the sheen of sweat which develops over your entire body, starting with your head. I live in PB, so this invariably ends up coming from Thai Village, but I am also a big fan of Sab E Lee's version too - when I dare to venture East of the 5.

What's your release from the heat? (Now that summer is here at last!)

K Sandwiches
7604 Linda Vista Rd, San Diego, CA 92111

Thai Village
4618 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

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  1. No necessarily something to get at a restaruant, but this is something I make at home when it gets hot. It's basically a Margarita Spritzer.

    6 oz. Blaco Tequila (I'm currently using El Jimador)
    3 1/2 - 4 oz Lime juice (from Key Limes, freshly squeezed)
    3 oz Cointreau
    Agave nectar to taste, usually somewhere between 1-2 Tablespoons depending upon how sour the limes are
    Shake it all together in a cocktail shaker with (or without ice)
    Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, pour the margarita in to fill the glass half way, fill the other half with club soda, stir to combine. This is a surprisingly refreshing variation on the margarita and goes down very smoothly and very easily on a hot day.

    You can, of course, vary the proportion of tequila and lime to suit your tastes

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Thanks DD - enjoying one right this second. Deceptively dangerous in lack of alcohol taste and wonderfully refreshing! The recipe is for a single, right ;)

    2. You've already covered the Summertime classic of Hiyashi Chuka Ramen (cold Ramen - ), but along similar veins are the other Japanese Summertime staples of cold Soba and Somen.

      Soba is certainly easy to prepare yourself at home, and is also available at most Japanese non-specialty eateries. I personally like Kaito Sushi's version which is topped with a colorful and crisp combination of vegetables and seasonings. ( ) It's a bit of an improvised dish so the mix may vary from visit to visit, but is always satisfying.

      Somen is a thin wheat flour noodle that's synonymous with Summer, and is sometimes served at festive occasions in the form of Nagashi Somen, which means flowing Somen. A hit with the kids, this version of Somen is served in a chilled trough of iced water which constantly flows along either in a closed looped or a linear track. (Marukai even sells such a table-top device, though of course it's not necessary at all...) Guests simply pull out a serving from the trough with their chopsticks, to be dipped into a cold soy-based broth.

      One of my favorite desserts is Milk Kintoki Kakikoori, which is a bowl of powdery fine shaved ice topped with sweetened Azuki beans and sweetened condensed milk ( ). It used to be served at the concession in Mitsuwa where the Kabaya is now, but since then I can no longer find a proper version here.

      One can approximate it at the Korean cafes Cafe Venti or Big Joy Family Cafe by customizing their Patbingsoo "Five Easy Pieces" style (a reference to the movie with Jack Nickolson - ), but it really comes out quite different due to the different starting ingredients. Rather I've given up "customizing" a Milk Kintoki at these cafes and instead enjoy a straight Patbingsoo. ( ) It's an overload of ingredients compared to the much sparser Japanese ices, but it'll definitely chase the heat off and is a great snack to share with friends.

      If you want a nice Summertime beverage, Calpis / Capico always hits the spot. It's in the class of the Asian "lactic acid" drinks, which sounds terrible but is actually very delicious and good for you. Think of a drink with a sweet/tart yorgurt-like taste in a refreshing beverage with ice, and you get the picture. I like it non-carbonated, but you can find it pre-bottled in both versions. However I'd much rather mix it myself, as I find the pre-mixed ones to be too sweet. You can buy the concentrate, sold in a small milk-container-like package, and dilute it with either plain water or soda water to your liking. The concentrate could be found in any Japanese or Korean market.

      Kaito Sushi
      130-A N El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024

      Big Joy Family
      4176 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

      Cafe Venti
      4681 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

      2 Replies
      1. re: cgfan

        Very descriptive post, your more pedestrian Japanese restaurants might have zaru soba on the menu. Very nice in the summer.

        1. re: thirtyeyes

          Thanks 30! BTW I didn't mention Zaru Soba as for me it's a year-round dish, but it certainly is a good choice when you have a feel for something "not hot".

      2. A drink that my parents simply called "melon"

        Get strings of cantaloupe.
        Mix with sugar and water to taste.
        Add ice, let chill, and serve.

        There are equally delicious variations of this.
        I've had one in a taco shop in which the cantaloupe was cut/mushed into a pulp, allowing you to drink bits of cantaloupe with every sip through a straw.
        I've also it in a (Japanese?) beverage that had no cantaloupe meat but instead added milk to the mix.

        For me no other drink offers such a combination of heat-busting refreshment and childhood nostalgia in such a deliciously simple package.

        1. Last summer I became a big fan of White Sangria. Very light and refreshing. It's a very simple standard recipe with infinite variations:

          - 1 bottle white wine
          - 3 cups sparkling water (lemon-lime soda if you like sweeter)
          - Cut fruit (citrus, berries, melons, pears, apples, etc)
          - a couple tablespoons of sugar or honey if you wish to be sweeter.

          1 Reply
          1. re: steveprez

            That's pretty much what I've been enjoying lately-

            White wine, fresh (homemeade) limeade, and lemon-lime soda in equal parts- serve with sliced fruit and ice.

            I tried it with sparkling water during my grueling taste-testing session in the hammock a few weeks ago, and it seems to work best for me with the soda. So good on a warm afternoon!

          2. The foot of Chalcedony St is my relief...that and a Vuelve a la Vida or a good ceviche from any number of places,