It’s going to be quite warm in Melbourne today and what I’d really like to drink is sugarcane juice, an incredibly refreshing and delicious drink that can be bought all over India. In the photo are two essential ingredients (apart from the sugarcane itself) – pudina (mint) and nimbu (lemon).
To make sugarcane juice, the vendor, working from his roadside or shop front cart, will use a pick to break up some ice and put it into a container, which is set at the end of a tray from which the sugarcane juice will pour. Several sticks of sugarcane are passed through a set of rollers, run by a generator. Juice will start to flow. After a few passes, the sugarcane will be quashed and soft enough to fold in two. The vendor will tuck a lemon and some sprigs of mint into the sugarcane, and maybe some ginger too. The sugarcane will be passed through the rollers a few more times, maybe 5 or 6 times altogether, until it’s nothing but a pulpy mass, and all its juice has been relinquished. The juice, cloudy and mossy green in colour, will then be poured into a cup through a strainer and handed to the buyer, who, if they’re me, can hardly wait to drink it! The buyer, if they’re me, might order another one.