Known as Doogh, Ayran or Lassi depending on where you are sipping it, this savory summer drink is common throughout the Middle East. Though exotic to us, it is super quick to make. Creamy, satisfying Anita’s Yogurt is shaken with refreshing cucumber juice and served over crushed ice. Fresh ground black pepper adds a kick. For extra refreshment, muddle some mint in the bottom of your glass before straining the drink.
Backstory: The first time I had a version of this drink was in a Lebanese restaurant with my Grandma. I was just a little kid, but I got to eat in all kinds of restaurants, and have home cooked food from all over the world, because Grandma was an ESL teacher and second mother to students from all over the world. (That is actually how my parents met. My Mom came here from Colombia to study Chemistry. Grandma was her ESL teacher. Inevitably Mom met Dad when he came home from college and the rest is history.) The restaurant was a short drive down Wisconsin Avenue from my Grandma’s townhouse in the Cathedral District in Washington, DC. I remember she was sitting at the head of the table, and there were students filtering in and she was smiling, laughing and talking with them. Although we had not ordered yet, the waiter knew her and brought her this cold, milky drink. As soon as he set it down, I was curious. I asked what it was and instead of telling me she said “Do you want to try it?”
Even though it was not something I wanted to order for myself (I probably asked for a sugary soda), the experience made an impression on me. Trying something new was fun. I wanted to be like my sophisticated and worldly Grandma.
That sense of adventure with food continues to this day, and definitely helped me find my way to experimenting with yogurt.
⅔ cup fresh cucumber juice*
1 cup Anita’s Coconut Yogurt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Crushed ice for serving, plus more ice for shaking
Add half of each the cucumber juice, Anita’s Coconut Yogurt, pepper, and salt to a cocktail shaker. Fill the rest of the shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain over fresh, crushed ice and garnish with chopped mint and freshly ground black pepper. Repeat with the second half of the ingredients.
*Don’t have a juicer? Peel and roughly chop a medium cucumber and blend in a high-speed blender until smooth. Strain the pureed cucumber through a mesh strainer or double layer of cheesecloth.
Look out for our pistachio milkshake recipe coming soon!