Video by Jessica Leibowitz

Summer in India is a sweltering affair. During the pre-monsoon months of April and May, temperatures on the subcontinent can climb well above 100 degrees. In hopes of keeping cool, millions of people drink lassi, a yogurt-based drink flavored with spices, fruit, or rosewater. Lassis are a staple of Indian restaurant menus all over New York City, too, and like any refreshing beverage, they get even better when you shake in a little 80-proof booze.

Pouring Ribbons bartender Shannon Tebay has perfected a lassi-inspired cocktail that brings yogurt, rum, gin, and coconut together in one very happy place. Tebay calls it the Snake in the Grass, which begins by mixing plain greek yogurt with muddled makrut lime leaves. From there, coconut water simple syrup, fresh lime juice, Tanqueray gin, and rhum agricole. "I wanted to make a drink that fit within the context of the theme, but that didn't necessarily feature a heavily spiced component," Tebay said. "I concocted this particular flavor combination based around the yogurt specifically."

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Tebay's Snake in the Grass cocktail (Jessica Leibowitz/Gothamist)

Yogurt's thick, milky texture might seem like the last thing you'd want during a heat wave, but Tebay's final product blends in enough sweet and sour flavors to keep things light and delicious. The cocktail gets an aromatic finish thanks to toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes, which only adds to its Indian flavor profile.

Tebay is a partner at Pouring Ribbons and was instrumental in the design of the bar's new Silk Road menu, a drink list dedicated to the ingredients and flavors found along Asia's spice routes.

Beyond India, yogurt drinks are a regular summer fixture in places like Iran, where doogh mixes yogurt with water and savory spices. Chileans and Eastern Europeans alike frequently enjoy kefir, both a popular drink and sometimes serves as an ingredient for baking. Along with lassi, doogh and kefir are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., and bartenders across the country are experimenting by shaking yogurt into absinthe, vodka, and soju recipes. With a thickening effect similar to egg whites but with none of the accompanying foam, yogurt cocktails could serve as your smooth secret cooling agent until fall arrives.

Pouring Ribbons is located at 225 Avenue B in Manhattan // Open 6 p.m. - 2 a.m. daily // Website