RAWALPINDI: Though all cold drinks are popular in the summers, chilled milk with various flavours has remained a favourite in the garrison city this summer season as well.
Many shops in the city have started offering different varieties of cold milk, as have makeshift stalls across the garrison city. These include milk shakes, almond mixed milk, doodh soda and rabri doodh.
People prefer to have a glass of cold milk to soft drinks as it is healthier. That so many milk shops and stalls have opened in the downtown and cantonment areas of the city is a testament to the popularity of the drink.
Dhoodh soda is a mix of milk, sugar, and soda of various flavours. However, in the older milk shops, 7Up is usually mixed with milk and lots of ice to make doodh soda.
“Mixing milk and soda water with crushed ice is an art. Most people take the drink with a breakfast of hot kulchas from their nearby tandoors,” said Mohammad Akram, the owner of a milk shop in Bhabara Bazaar.
He said doodh soda is a popular drink in inner Punjab and that most people who come for a glass of the drink say they like it as it is easier to digest. Mr Akram’s family is from Amritsar and have been running the milk shop for 40 years now. For all this time, he said, doodh soda has been one of the most popular drinks.
“In the winters, we make the drink with hot milk,” he said.
The owner of another milk shop in Saddar, Abdullah said that most of his customers visited the shop in afternoon for a glass of the chilled drink and that they asked for various flavours to be added as well, the more popular of which are sharbats including Rooh Afzah.
Doodh soda sells more than salted and sweet lassi as well, he said, adding that he does not use artificial flavours in the drinks. Abdullah added that he uses almonds to flavour the milk as well.
To make almond milk, milk is boiled with sugar and almonds and then cooled before being served with ice.
“People have doodh soda in the mornings or at night as it is easier to digest. It is a healthy and refreshing drink for the summers and a lot of people have it as a replacement for their midday meal,” said Nadir Raja, a resident of Bhabara Bazaar.
The drink is also quite popular with children, he said, though they do not usually like drinking milk. Older people also prefer the drink as it is easier to digest.
“I have always preferred a glass of doodh soda instead of a soft drink when I am shopping. It is the best alternative to fizzy drinks. Almond milk used to be available at College Road but many shops have opened across the city with time,” said Ammar Ahmed, a resident of College Road.
On College Road, he said, one can get almond milk at samosa shops as well.
“A drink of chilled almond milk feels so refreshing after a plate of spicy samosas,” he said.
Originally published in Dawn, July 25th, 2016