Saturday, June 19

The Telegraph savors all on a summer special juice and sherbet trail

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North Calcutta

The famous lanes of north Calcutta is known for some of the oldest sherbet stops in the city, many of which have attained heritage status over the decades. Their secret recipes have been alluring the taste buds across generations.The Telegraph took a nostalgic trip and visited four such places.

Founded in 1978, the small roadside shop on Bidhan Sarani, still has the look of an age-old sherbet shop. It serves a variety of cool summer drinks including lassi, thandai and smoothies.

“My father opened the shop and since then we have been maintaining the quality of our sherbets, which is why people still visit us. We have been serving people using our age-old recipes and it has appeased their palate over the years. Our signature sherbets that have remained as the favourites, include Kesar Badam, Kesar Thandai, Mango Lassi and Rose Lassi,” said Pramod Gupta, the second generation owner of the shop.

The Telegraph picks:

Green Mango: The slightly sour, curd-based sherbet is prepared with a green mango flavour, ice and a bit of milk. Rs 30 for a glass

Pineapple: The sweet thirst-quencher is prepared with pineapple flavour, ice and curd with a dash of milk. Rs 30 for a glassParamount @ 1/1/1D, Bankim Chatterjee Street

Established in 1918, the heritage sherbet shop of Calcutta is synonymous with College Street. A visit to the boi para is incomplete without a glass of sherbet from this legendary shop. With simple decor, Paramount can seat 15 to 20 people.

“My late father Nihar Ranjan Majumdar started this shop. We had a German wood fridge where all the ice creams and sherbets used to be stored. During those days a variety of curd and malai-based sherbets were served. This place holds historical importance too, as it used to be the den of revolutionaries from Bengal. During those days, only the Bangali babus would indulge in drinking sherbets and not the ordinary people. Earlier named as Paradise, it was renamed as Paramount in 1937 after the British found out about the revolutionary connect. My father desired to start a business that would be Calcutta’s pride, the best in town, next to none. The shop used to be frequented by Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy and other such personalities. The sherbets being served at present were gradually introduced one after the other around 30 years back. Coco Malai was started by me,” said Mrigendra Majumdar, the second-generation owner of the shop.

The Telegraph picks:

Daab Sharbat: Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy introduced this signature sherbet at Paramount, specially for college students as green coconut is good for the stomach. The essence used in its preparation was created by him and it is still prepared following his recipe. The tender coconut is sourced from a particular region and the water is served with sugar, ice, essence and tender coconut meat. Rs 80 for a glass

Passion fruit: This was started around 1992, where the passion fruit was sent all the way from the US. The rabri-based sweet and rich drink is prepared with essence and dry fruits like almond, cashew, raisins and cashew dust. Rs 150 for a glass.Adi Kapila Ashram @ 204/2, Bidhan Sarani

Kapila Ashram now renamed as Adi Kapila Ashram, has been in operation for over 110 years. The north Calcutta shop remains as a nostalgic sherbet den for most Calcuttans. Known for its special malai sherbets and curd-based ones, this place is frequented by college students and office-goers for a quick refreshment on the way. One can choose to have its thick, sweet and creamy sherbets in bhaanrs (earthen cups) too, in true Calcutta style.

“Kapila Ashram was established by my grandfather’s sibling, Hrishikesh Srimany. After a partnership division, we renamed it as Adi Kapila Ashram recently, but serve the classics like my grandfather. In 2007, Kapila Ashram completed 100 years. Many famous personalities have come to enjoy our sherbets over the years. Kesar Malai is our signature preparation. We provide 200ml, dense semi-solid content with ice and water at just Rs 30. The combination of curd and khowa kheer in our sherbets, make it unique. We serve both essence and pulp-based sherbets,” said Pranabendu Srimany, the third-generation owner of the shop.

The Telegraph picks:

Kesar Malai: The signature drink of the shop, and its most famous sherbet is a strong, kesar-flavoured creamy and thick drink made of curd, khowa kheer, sugar, ice, water and kesar. Rs 30 for a glass.

Strawberry Malai: A hit with the kids, this drink has a hint of chocolate alongside the taste of strawberry. It’s prepared with strawberry essence along with curd and malai. Rs 30 for a glassRalli’s @ 172, Mahatma Gandhi Road

Established in 1898, Ralli’s syrups are a summer-must. While passing by the Ralli’s shops in Calcutta, one can hardly hold back the desire to indulge in its variety of colourful and flavourful sherbets.

“The Burrabazar shop on MG Road was our first brand outlet started by my grandfather Ralli Singh. He used to make syrups at home and sell from the shop. Slowly he managed to make a big brand out of his productions. It was a small shop earlier. Rose and badam were the initial sherbets served. Gradually, we have introduced new flavours and have around 70 variants today. We supply our syrups all over India and online as well.

What made us popular in Calcutta was serving our rose syrup in the mud pots or bhaanrs. That was and is still the main attraction of the shop. We have slowly expanded from water and syrup sherbets and serve our syrups with milk too. We have introduced milk and ice cream shakes in popular fruit-based flavours,” said Vikash Arora, the third-generation owner of the shop.

The Telegraph picks:

Rose Sherbet: The refreshing and soothing summer drink with a sweet smell and taste is prepared with 30 to 40ml rose syrup, ice and water or milk. Rs 40 for a glass for water-based, Rs 60 for the milk variant.

Thandai: The milk-based signature, Holi-special drink is sweet-and-spicy and is prepared with the thandai syrup that has a sprinkle of black pepper. Rs 70 for a glass
 South Calcutta

Much akin to the spurt of cafes, a variety of juice parlours too have come up in this part of the city in recent years, serving a wide range of sips. While many of them have health enthusiasts in mind, some serve new and exciting flavours for a cool Instagram post. t2 checked out four such stops.  The Yellow Straw @ 7, 1, Sarat Bose Road, Bhowanipore

Catering to juice lovers for the past seven years, this brand serves fresh fruit and vegetable juices using the cold-pressed process. The variants available include single fruit juices, mixed juices under different categories like refreshers,  energisers, detox and skin glow. With an aim to serve juices with maximum health benefits, the brand caters to taste as well by adding natural ingredients like ginger, lemon and turmeric along with its main ingredients.

“When we started seven years back, our challenge was to come up with a place with plenty of options for juice lovers in a chai-loving city. We wanted to cater to the aspect of health and hence came up with cold pressed juices in the retail format. Shifting away from traditional preparations, we started serving juices without any adulteration with water, artificial flavours, preservatives or sugar. People are moving towards a healthier lifestyle and with that our clientele is also expanding. Earlier we used to serve only health aspirants, but, post the outbreak of Covid, we have been a choice for anyone opting for a healthy lifestyle — from students to working professionals,” said Vikram Khinwasara, co-founder.

The Telegraph picks:

Red Berry Straw: A mild, naturally sweet blend of fresh apple and strawberry, the juice comes in an interesting red hue. Rs 180 for 300ml

Mint Cooler: This refreshing water-based lemonade variant is prepared with the goodness of fresh mint leaves and sugar. Rs 70 for 300mlRasna Buzz @ 5A, 1A, Lord Sinha Road

Catering to people from all walks of life, the brand’s motto is to offer healthy and fibre-rich fruit juices. Other blends with house-special syrups and masalas, house-special sweet-and-sour juices, served with ice and soda, also clicks well with the city people.

“Our cold-pressed juices are fresh fruit based and our USP are the blends that we serve, which are made from uniquely flavoured syrups from the house of Rasna. These are only available at exclusive Rasna Buzz stores. Our clientele has been growing… from catering to just quenching the thirst with summer coolers to the health-conscious ones,” said Harsh Vardhan Dugar, master franchise owner, West Bengal, Rasna Buzz.

The Telegraph picks:

Grilled Orange Mojito: A concoction of the brand’s special orange syrup, a tinge of house-special masala, some ice, soda and a slice of orange, goes into making this rejuvenating drink. Rs 149 for 400ml

Mix Juice: This delicious cold-pressed juice is a blend of fresh orange, pomegranate, black and green grapes. Rs 99 for 250mlDrunken Monkey @ 143/D, Sarat Bose Road

Blending different kinds of fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables along with ingredients like dry fruits and seeds like sunflower, basil and chia, the brand has been offering an interesting range of fruit and healthy seasonal smoothies since 2016.

“We have over 200-plus blends of smoothies, which are also categorised based on their functional benefits. All the blends are completely natural and fresh with zero addition of any artificial flavours, sugar, preservatives or any kind of concentrates. We are proud to be the only smoothie chain in the country,” said Samrat Reddy, founder, Drunken Monkey.

The Telegraph picks:

Mango Epic (Queen of Dragons): This one is an interesting blend of mango, dragon fruit, coconut and basil seeds. Rs 179-plus for 350ml (in-store price)

Date Night: This rich smoothie is a tasty and sweet blend with the goodness of dry fruits and fruits like dates, apple, banana, almonds, cashews and dairy.Rs 169-plus for 350ml (in-store price)Juicy Fresh @ 1B, Elgin Road, Near Bhowanipore

With an aim to serve innovative juice blends with fresh fruits and vegetables, the brand started out 16 years ago attempting to cater to different age groups with regard to their various health requirements without compromising on the taste quotient.

“As the brand name suggests, all our juices are based on fresh ingredients. As compared to the earlier culture of serving single fruit-based juices, we have unique blends of juices up our sleeves. Moreover, we do not dilute our juices by adding any water, we keep the original taste intact. Also we try to keep our citrus-based juices as pulpy as possible to ensure added fibre intake,” said Girish Patwari, director.

The Telegraph picks:

Kiwi Pataka: A slightly sour drink with a hint of spice, this blend of kiwi-and-pineapple with a tinge of green chilli, can take your palate by surprise. Rs 140 for 200ml

Healthy Beetroot: A fruit-and-veggie combination of beetroot, pomegranate and fresh mint leaves, the juice is a quick refresher. Rs 110 for 200ml

Which is your favourite juice stop in the city? Tell

Source: Telegraph

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