When the air itself gets humid enough to drink, it's time to call in reinforcements.
5. Mango lassi. At least hot weather means that mangoes are in season. This better-than-a-smoothie drink of sweetened mango pulp, yogurt, milk and a sprinkling of pistachios is tropical enough to remind you of the days when summer meant vacation. (Chaat House, 16338 Kensington Drive, Sugar Land)
4. Vietnamese iced coffee. Not only is it iced, it's caffeinated. If you especially dread the heat, stay in your air-conditioned car and use the drive-thru at Lee's Sandwiches, but stick to the coffee and avoid the sandwiches. (Lee's Sandwiches, 11210 Bellaire Blvd.)
3. Aguas frescas. The only reason watermelon didn't make the list is because it's technically not a drink. A sandía-flavored agua fresca tastes like summer. Horchata, made with rice, almonds, cinnamon and sugar, is also excellent. (Mi Tienda, 1630 Spencer Hwy.)
2. Gingerbeer. Get the real stuff, with a kick to it, and poured over a huge cup of ice. Sadly, Houston doesn't have enough Jamaican restaurants, but there's always the supermarket.
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1. Iced tea. It's not the most exotic option on the list, but don't underestimate the cool relief in a tall glass of Southern grandma love.