Refreshing Indian Drinks At Masala Wala | LES, NYC

The Masala Wala takes its summer coolers seriously

Throw a samosa one block in this town and you'll hit a mango lassi.

Those neon-orange drinks are delicious, sure, but they're a hackneyed way to hydrate.

Roni Mazumdar, owner of the Lower East Side's Masala Wala (also home to our favorite foul-weather-warming chai), knows that New Yorkers need fresh options for staying cool in this concrete jungle. The inspiration for the new drinks menu came straight from the sweltering streets of India.

Indian Iced Tea ($5): Simply made with bracing black tea and heaps of fresh lemon juice, mint and honey, this is a brew suited for guzzling.

Mango Panna ($6): This drink's striking Kermit the Frog hue and pleasant pulpiness come courtesy of green mangoes. First roasted in a clay oven, the mangoes are then blended with black salt, sugar, black pepper, cumin and mint for a kicky-sweet emerald drink.

Jal Jeera ($5): Think of this drink as the original sweet-and-sour answer to Gatorade. Jal (water) and jeera (cumin) are mixed with rock salt, coriander, ginger, mint and lime for a serious thirst-quenching result. Mazumdar swears by the drink's purported immunity-boosting, cooling, detoxifying and digestive properties.

The Masala Wala, 179 Essex St. (at E. Houston St.); 212-358-9300 or