Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams
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A wandering vendor sells cups and cold drinks in Palestine in 1927.
Photograph by Maynard Owen Williams

Your Shot: Keep Your Cool With a World of Refreshing Drinks

What cooling treat do you long for on a hot day? Well, ice cream, naturally. But sometimes even a drippy cone won’t hit the spot when you’re wilting in the sun.

You could always grab a cold soda, of course. But wherever you are in the world, it’s worth seeking out a regional specialty to cool you off. In Turkey, street vendors fresh-squeeze pomegranate juice to order, sometimes with an orange thrown in for a citrus twist. In Japan and Korea, roasted barley grains are steeped and chilled to make deliciously roasty mugicha. And throughout Latin America, colorful aguas frescas, made of tamarind, guava, pineapple, rice, or local seeds are a go-to refresher.

But not everyone turns to cold drinks on a sweltering day. Millions of people in some very hot countries swear a steaming cup of tea is just the thing to cool down. That may seem counterintuitive, but as the folks at Smithsonian Magazine explain, there’s actually some science to support it. Hot drinks can cool the body down—if the surrounding air is dry enough to evaporate the increased sweat on your skin. In other words, a hot drink won’t do the trick in a humid place like the Southern U.S. So, if you can’t do without your cuppa on a sticky day, best to enjoy it in the comfort of air conditioning—if you can find it.

Whatever thirst-quencher you reach for today, enjoy it while taking a look at some refreshing beverages shared with us by the Your Shot community. Cheers!