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Summer Coolers: What You Can Get From Street Vendors, Bars and Restaurants

Updated on March 24, 2011

Quenching your thirst on a hot summer days

The hot weather of summer always see a boom of summer coolers being vended on the streets, shabby eatery up to the posh bars and restaurants here in the Philippines or even in other parts of the world.

You cannot go to the beach without cold refreshments, from simple ice to complicated mix of fruit desserts and cocktail drinks. But it’s important to know the ingredients of what you eat or drink this summer. We should be careful, while we enjoy going out or taking a night out in the bar with our friends and families.

For safety reasons you can prepare your ‘summer coolers’ at home. This will ensure that you’ll truly enjoy the outdoor.

The “magic sugar” scare

Police authorities have been alerted by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to inspect the contents of summer coolers being vended by small business entrepreneurs on the streets. This is because of the “magic sugar” scare that poses deadly effects for people who will drink “coolers” concoction such as the popular ‘halo-halo’ (grated ice with mixed fruit cocktails, sweetened with sugar and cream), gulaman (gelatin) and sago (tapioca) with food colors and sugar and ice cubes.

This summer season, concocting refreshments like I’ve mentioned are the source of livelihood of many mothers who are helping their husbands to generate more income for the family here in my place.

But, due to the high price of commercial sugar in the market, most of them use the so-called, “magic sugar” that is banned by FDA due to its harmful effects to the human body (mainly affecting the liver, kidney and other bodily functions that can lead to serious disease, like cancer). Magic sugar contains the much dreaded ingredient of sodium cyclamate that causes such serious diseases, like bladder cancer.

So, FDA laboratory is always on alert by testing ingredients of imported foods to ensure the safety of the people. You can imagine the panic of many mothers,before, when the ‘melamine scare’ invaded the country, the dangerous additive in many baby milk products imported from China.

Visiting tourists and local enthusiasts as well who will be lured to drink summer coolers along the streets of Manila or at the place you’d like to visit in the Philippines, like Boracay in Visayas, Anilao dive resort in Batangas (Luzon) or Davao in Mindanao should be careful about those cheap drinks. It’s better you always carry bottles of mineral water to safely quench your thirst. If you want to drink young coconut juice, you should choose, first a whole young coconut fruit then let the seller prepare it in front of you, while watching.

Prepare your own summer coolers

What are the fruits in season this summer? Tropical fruits that are usually available during this time are papaya, mango and pineapple. You can have a pureed mix of these three fruits, called princessa or whatever you want to call your unique concoction. You can let it cool in the fridge then serve it to you guest as non-alcoholic beverage. Cold ginger ale is also a safe drink. Just serve it with cracked ice, then presto, you already have another summer cooler in the house! For the children, they tend to like lemonade more than any other drinks. Citrus drinks are good for their health.

You can also mix your own cocktail drinks. A bar of wine and liquors at home along with cocktail mix can ease your problem when searching for a type of mix drinks top serve when you have visitors. Summer coolers have lesser alcoholic content. You just equip your bar with basic mixing utensils (jigger, shot glass, wine glass, etc.) and of course basic kinds of wines and liquors (one item each will do) plus lots of mineral water, soda water and ice cubes. Don’t forget lime, orange and angostura bitters. I’m sure you’re on to a good night cap.

Top Ten Drinks for the Summer by xTheHighLifex


Cocktail mixes in many bars and restaurants

Here are some of the cocktail drinks you can order if you happen to drop by at your favorite bar and restaurant near your place or while you're traveling. Most of the cocktails being offered in the said establishments consist of tonic water, the liquor, spirit or wine as base and the mix like orange juice, lime and bitters (angostura or juniper). So, choose, enjoy and savor some of summer coolers that Travel Man recommend for you, guys.

Campari Waterloo Cocktail
It is popular during opening ceremony in many exhibits or ribbon-cutting ceremonies. What a way to enjoy this tart, aromatic aperitif, but with your love ones.

1 oz. Campari
3 oz. gin
6 oz. ripe watermelon
Squeeze of lemon juice

Blend all the ingredients together and pour into a highball glass filled with

Daiquiri with Benefits
Philip Ward, head bartender at Death & Co. in New York's East Village, is a man
of many skills. Not only does he mix a superb cocktail, but also he takes great
delight in the inventive naming of his creations.

2 oz. Barbancourt White or any good white rhum agricole
0.5 oz. cane syrup
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice
0.25 oz. Batavia Arrack

Shake well over ice and pour into well-chilled martini glass.

Ward's substitution of rhum agricole—from the French-speaking Caribbean
islands—gives this daiquiri a woody, aromatic quality, and provides an
interesting twist on a traditional summer favorite.

D'Artagnan, the fourth musketeer, came from Gascony, home of Armagnac, the other
brandy, hence the name for this variation on the champagne cocktail.

1 tsp. Armagnac
1 tsp. Grand Marnier
1 tbsp. fresh orange juice
Dash simple syrup or half-packet of Equal
4 oz. chilled champagne
Orange peel spiral

Mix Armagnac, Grand Marnier, orange juice, and sugar in a champagne flute.
Top with champagne.

Jalisco Sidecar
In this variation on a traditional cocktail created by mixologist Duggan
McDonald for Don Julio, something about the Grand Marnier, or perhaps it's the
bitters, enhances and intensifies the agave flavor of the tequila.

1.5 oz. Don Julio Anejo Tequila
1.5 oz. Grand Marnier
Juice ¼ lemon
3 dashes orange bitters

Shake ingredients over ice and pour into a well-chilled martini glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

Myra Breckinridge
This is a refreshing summer cocktail using Laphroaig, that most peaty of all Islay's peaty single-malt scotches, but Ward has concocted a gem where the smokiness of the Laphroaig makes for a highly unusual, and extremely refreshing, summer swizzle.

0.5 oz. cane spirit (available at gourmet food shops such as Whole Foods)
A few dashes of absinthe
1.5 oz. Laphroaig 10-year-old single-malt whisky
0.75 oz. fresh lime juice

Half-fill a pilsner glass with crushed ice and add all ingredients.
Swizzle for at least one minute.
Top up glass with more crushed ice and swizzle again.

I'm sure you have your favorite mix, too. Can you share it with me? Willingly, hmmn?!  I'm waiting for your "tub", fellow hubbers.


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @none: Thanks for your comment. I hope this hub will alert those buyers to ask first the content of the summer cooler before buying the refreshment.

    • profile image

      none 6 years ago

      dpat hlihin n ang mga ngamit ng magic sugar...

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @suxmee: You're welcome. Refreshments keep your cool. This is the easiest way to concoct something affordable at home.

    • suxmee profile image

      suxmee 7 years ago

      Thank u for coolest things...

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You bet, the sailor. This halo-halo stands among other coolers here in the Philippines. With just crushed ice as base, plus ingredients like the available tropical fruits and sweets, add milk and sugar. Presto, you can savor the cold, succulent taste of summer in the country.

    • thesailor profile image

      thesailor 7 years ago from Seven Seas

      I wold go for homemade summer coolers, like the famous halu-halo.

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 7 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Hi, sarovai. Sodium cyclamate is the chemical name for magic sugar. It is often transported to the Philippine shore through 'backdoor trading' wherein these products are illegally entered in the country without the approval of the Bureau of Customs. Saccharrine is a sweetener that has lower calorie and is recommended for diabetic persons. It is often sold in cubes.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 7 years ago

      Thank u for coolest thing for hot summer. Are you talking about saccharrine as magic sugar?