We’re making shikanji – the most refreshing summer drink! This Indian spiced lemonade is sweet, tangy, and thirst-quenching!
Warning. This drink is going to ruin all other varieties of lemonade for you. Love regular lemonade? Think pink lemonade is exciting? This Shikanjvi laughs at all its lemon drink competitors. HA. (Gosh, now that I think about it, Shikanji is a bit arrogant. I guess it can be, though, because it’s so remarkably refreshing and delicious… and it knows it 🤷🏽♀️🍋 ).
Really though, as soon as you take a sip of this Indian spiced lemonade, you’ll never want to go back to lemonade sans spices. This summer cooler is the ultimate thirst quencher, made with both sugar and salt to help rehydrate as well as spices to boost flavor.
“Well. OK. I’m not gonna lie, the first sip was an attention-getter for this lifelong southern lemonade drinker. LOL! But not in a bad way, more of a “Whoa! Where has this been all my life!” way. I had never even heard of black salt and had to order it from Amazon — thank goodness I did! Pretty sure that stuff sealed the deal. Thanks for sharing this — none of your recipes have ever disappointed! <3”– Jan
What is Shikanji?
Shikanji, also known as shikanjvi or nimbu pani, is essentially Indian lemonade. Nimbu pani translates to lemon water. This popular north Indian drink is refreshing, hydrating, and very flavorful.
Never had shikanji before? Imagine sweet lemonade with spices like roasted cumin, tangy amchur, and black salt added to it. If you’ve never tried these spices before, then just imagine that lemonade’s parents left town and lemonade decided to go totally wild and throw the coolest party ever. Now imagine drinking it… yep, that’s a party in your mouth.
Shikanji is a drink that varies by region and even by household. My family loves this khatta-meetha (tangy and sweet) version of shikanji. It’s perfect for any hot summer occasion – serve it at family barbecues, drink it while hanging out on the porch, or enjoy a glass while working in your un-airconditioned home office (this last one may not apply to everyone… maybe just me 😂). You get the point – if you’re hot, pour yourself a glass. Cheers!
How to make Shikanji – Nimbu Pani:
This drink is extremely easy to make – just combine a few ingredients together and stir, then pour over ice and enjoy! You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Lemon or Lime Juice: freshly squeezed! You can use lemons or limes to make this drink. (In India, the lemons are typically smaller and look similar to limes – so again, either will work). Switch it up to give this drink some variety!
- Water: I use plain water to make this, but you can always experiment by adding some bubbly club soda or ginger beer.
- Sweetener: I always use sugar, but you can try other sweeteners if you’d like. Let us know if you do!
- Spices: black salt, roasted cumin, salt, amchur, black pepper. You can taste and adjust the spices to your preference, but my family and I think that the ratio of spices listed in the recipe below is perfect!
- Mint leaves: for garnish
- Ice Cubes: gotta have ice! Or you can chill it in the fridge for a few hours and drink that way, but I prefer ice with my shikanji.
I hope shikanji becomes your go-to beverage on a hot day! If you’re looking for more cooling drinks to try, check out some of my other recipes below.
Try these other summer drinks!
- mint leaves garnish
- ice cubes
- Combine the lemon juice, water, sugar and spices together in a pitcher. Taste and adjust sugar if needed.
- Serve over ice and garnish with mint.