Fruity smoothies and creamy shakes to enjoy in Dubai
Time Out Dubai staff
With summer rearing its over-heated head this month, it’s time to start sipping Dubai’s best cold drinks.
Dubai is enamoured with cool fruity drinks: 250 million litres of fruit and vegetable juices were sold in the UAE in 2009, and there’s been significant annual growth since then. Is it the long hot summer months (now just on the horizon) that make these iced concoctions so appealing here? Or perhaps it’s the juice-drinking culture of Asian expat groups, and access to tropical specimens (think chickoo, jackfruit and custard apple) that has made Dubai’s mocktail menus exotic and exciting, as well as accessible in humbler budget cafés. Here, we’ve selected the city’s most appetising, indulgent and refreshing cold drinks to keep you cool this summer, including mocktails, milkshakes and juices, with the odd lassi and bubble tea to boot. Enjoy –and let us know if you have more to recommend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Basil breeze This cooling mocktail, made with cucumber, basil, lemonade and Patiala’s house sours mix, is exceptionally light, fresh and fragrant.
2 Computer mocktail A thick sweet blend of mango, strawberry and chickoo (a tropical fruit, almost a cross between a mango and a jackfruit) is one of 26 mixed juice options at this café.
Refreshing factor: 3.5 From Dhs6. Al Ijaza Cafeteria, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 344 4874).
3 Cranberry spritzer Cranberry, lime, ginger ale and a smattering of ice cubes are combined to make this delicious, zesty drink. It’s easy on the eyes too.
Refreshing factor: 5 Dhs20. The Lime Tree Café, Media City (04 435 6340).
4 E-San Served with a pretty lotus flower, the Lemongrass E-San is an amazing energy booster, made from watermelon, lime juice and strawberry.
Refreshing factor: 5 Dhs19. Lemongrass, near Lamcy Plaza, Deira (04 334 2325).
5 Iris breezer Black Iris Café’s signature mocktail is a light, refreshing and zesty mix of apple and lemon juice.
Refreshing factor: 3 Dhs22. Black Iris Café, Uptown Mirdif, next to Starbucks (04 255 9749).
6 Love Potion Despite the banana, this mocktail is actually quite thin, and the blend of peach, strawberry and orange juice provides just the right balance of sweet and tart flavours.
Refreshing factor: 4 Dhs26. Shakespeare & Co, various locations including The Springs Town Centre, Emirates Living (04 360 8886).
7 Mint cooler Usually served as a shot-sized welcome drink before dinner, diners can (and have) requested full-sized glasses of this wonderful Indian-style mint and lemon concoction, packed with spicy, earthy cumin and coriander notes.
13 Chocolate malt fuel shake A meal in itself, this thick, creamy ice-cool surge of chocolatey goodness is made with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Refreshing factor: 3 Dhs15. Burgerfuel, various locations including The Dubai Mall (04 325 3416).
14 Mulberry and banana milkshake It is only a slight exaggeration to call your first experience of this creamy shake life-changing. The combination, to put it simply, works and we reckon this might be the only mulberry milkshake in Dubai.
Refreshing factor: 2.5 From Dhs15. Fruit Shop on Greams Road, Internet City Food Court (04 437 7539).
15 Ferrero Rocher milkshake Popular with Hollywood celebrities, if not Justin Bieber fans (the tykes graffitied the venue recently when Justin was expected to visit the Dubai branch and failed to do so); try milkshakes named after famous figures (‘Justin Mania’ contains bananas), or build your own. The Ferrero Rocher milkshake is exceptionally thick and smooth, with a nutty, chocolatey flavour.
Refreshing factor: 1 From Dhs18. Millions of Milkshakes, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 325 3999).
16 Hersey’s chocolate original malt shake More indulgent than refreshing, sweet-tooths will find it hard to pass up this milkshake made with Hershey’s chocolate sauce, milk and vanilla ice cream.
Refreshing factor: 3 Dhs28. Johnny Rockets, various locations including Marina Walk, Dubai Marina (04 368 2339).
17 Maltesers milkshake If you’re not tempted by one of this gelato shop’s ‘extra thick’ milkshakes (vanilla, banana, strawberry, chocolate, coffee, caramel and mango), the Malteser milkshake, which features vanilla gelato blended with chocolate sauce and crushed up chocolate malt balls (topped with whipped cream, naturally) is sure to satisfy your sugar cravings.
18 Rose pista The rose pista is made with pistacchio, rose water and milk making it lighter than the average milkshake with a sweet and floral taste. The almond cinnamon is also worth trying.
Refreshing factor: 3 Dhs18. Mama Tani, Town Centre Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 385 4437).
19 Strawberry milkshake Expect juicy chunks of fresh strawberries, blended with whole milk and vanilla ice cream. This well-balanced mixture is a great, not-at-all-sickly treat.
Refreshing factor: 4 Dhs24. More Café, various locations including Mall of the Emirates (04 395 0967).
20 Strawberry shake More sweet than strawberry-flavoured, this dessert drink combines frozen custard and whole milk, and you might struggle to finish the whole thing. Shake Shack also does ‘concretes’ which, as the name suggests, are much more dense frozen custard blends, and served with a spoon rather than a straw.
Refreshing factor: 1 Dhs25. Shake Shack, Mall of the Emirates (04 347 5513).
21 Vanilla milkshake Swirls of caramel stick to the inside of the glass and sweeten the thick vanilla ice cream and milk that make up this indulgent shake.
Refreshing factor: 4 Dhs20. Public Café, 1 Lake Plaza, Cluster T, JLT (04 451 9670).
22 Vanilla shake This sweet, creamy and surprisingly vanilla-y option is served with a gigantic squirt of whipped cream on top.
Refreshing factor: 2.5 Dhs20. FatBurger, various locations including Jumeirah Beach Road (04 394 5296).
23 Viva la Shake Viva la Shake, from the signature selection at this revolution-inspired new milkshake shop, is a decadent mix of Cadbury’s chocolate, Oreos and chocolate chip cookies.
Refreshing factor: 3 Dhs20. Shakeism Milkshakes, near Mall Of The Emirates, Barhsa (04 325 5360).
And even more to try...
24 Bubble milk tea We love the variety of Bubbles & Boba’s Taiwanese-style drinks, made with chewy tapioca pearls, but our favourite is the traditional Assam milk tea.
25 Estivo iced coffee As iced coffees go, the Estivo is particularly refreshing as it is not overly sweet, heavy or milky. The elegant drink is made with ice cold, strong, black espresso, topped with a frothy milk ‘foam’.
26 Pineapple juice Mashawi’s pineapple juice is something special. They don’t filter the juice, so it arrives frothy, almost creamy with just the right balance of sour tang and sweetness.
Refreshing factor: 5 Dhs20. Mashawi, The Greens, (04 361 7755). Other locations: Ibn Battuta Mall, The Dubai Mall.
27 Very berry smoothie We love the texture of this sweet and easy smoothie, which adds a great mix of berries and apple juice to frozen yogurt to give it an extra taste. Also try the Chillberry.
Refreshing factor: 4 Dhs17 (regular); Dhs19 (tall). Pulp Juice Bar. Various locations including Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4644).
Ayervedic doctor Chandy George from Balance Wellness Centre suggests five edible ingredients that will help cool you down.
Cucumber has a high water content of approximately 92 percent. It also contains vitamin A, C and K, anti-oxidants, potassium and alpha-carotene, which are cooling when digested.
Baby Coconut is up to 95 percent water. The easily-digested carbohydrates (in the form of sugar and electrolytes) from both the soft flesh and water have been shown to help make the body cooler and have been found to help you rehydrate.
Watermelon, like cucumber, has a high water content to help hydrate you. It is also packed with vitamins A, K and C, which have cooling properties.
Fenugreek contains protein, vitamin C, niacin and potassium, which all have cooling properties.
Zucchini has soft cells and proteins which cool the digestive system. It is also 95 percent water and rich in potassium, as well as vitamins A and C.