Sparkling Panakam Recipe

Sparkling Panakam Recipe

The following recipe is from the June 8 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

[Photographs: Heidi Swanson]

This Sparkling Panakam from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day is an Indian-accented summer refresher—think of it as cool limeade meets spicy chai. Lime and sugar are muddled with classic chai spices (ginger and cardamom), making a base for this cooler. The base is dissolved slowly in sparkling water until it just dissolves and is then chilled with plenty of ice. The tiny amount of salt adds to the thirst quenching qualities of this traditional Indian warm weather drink.

Swanson's panakam also makes a great mixer with a little bit of gin or vodka, or you could swap out the sparkling water for sparkling wine, making for a sweet and lightly spiced take on a mimosa.

Reprinted with permission from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson and her blog, 101 Cookbooks. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:makes 1 liter, serves 4
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup / 1.25 ounces / 35 grams fine-grain natural cane sugar or muscovado sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 4 cups / 1 liter sparkling water, chilled
  • Ice cubes


  1. 1.

    In a medium pitcher, make a thick paste by stirring together the sugar, ginger, cardamom, lime juice, salt, and a small splash of the sparkling water. Stir until any lumps have dissolved. Add more water, a little at a time, stirring all the while. The mixture will get quite fizzy, so just take it slow. Serve as cold as possible with as many ice cubes wedged into the pitcher as possible.