India never fails to amaze thirsty souls. Talk about drinks and beverages, India has a variety of alcoholic/non-alcoholic refreshing yet healthy drinks that works like a charm every time you sip these mind-invigorating beverages. There are so many options to beat the summer hear, but the satisfaction of slurping these drinks cannot be comprehended into words. If you are a hardcore tea lover, it’s time to divert your attention to something cool and energizing.
We bring you the most popular Indian drinks and beverages to enjoy with your friends no matter if you are on a vacation or just chilling after a tiring lecture. These traditional Indian summer drinks are worth sipping at least once in this lifetime (though we bet you won’t be able to resist sipping it again and again). It’s high time to ditch scotch, beer, or whiskey, and quench your thirst with these simulative drinks for a change.
The luscious drink of Punjab, Lassi is touted as one of the oldest smoothies in the world. Lassi is a yogurt-based drink blended with sugar and a little amount of water (sometimes fruits too!). This cool and refreshing drink comes in different variety and flavor too. When served with Malai, the drink becomes a perfect elixir to fight the scorching heat of summers. Stop by any Punjabi Dhabas and sip the drink to uplift your mood.
A glass of Chaach a day can work wonders for your mind and body. A slight variation of lassi, chaach is a curd-based drink perfect to sip for hot summer days. Chaach is a drink flavoring mint leaves, roasted cumin seeds and spices. Adding a glass of buttermilk to your meal is perceived to aid your digestive system. Smother your taste buds with this energizing drink to kick-start your day with a bang.
Goa is popular for its nightlife, beaches and booze. Fenny/Feni is the specialty of the place that is certainly not meant for those having a low tolerance for alcohol. Made either from coconut or cashew apple, fenny/feni has a pungent aroma and can take a little time to acquire the taste. Feni due to its alcohol content is prohibited to be sold outside Goa. But for its invigorating taste, Feni is worth enjoying with friends.
Served commonly during Holi and Mahashivratri, Thandai is popularly consumed as shiva’s elixir. The drink contains marijuana leaves, almonds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, fennel seeds, saffron, milk and sugar. These assortments of mixtures make the beverage flavorful and refreshing.
The ultimate thirst quencher ‘Aam Panna’, made from raw mangoes is the best choice among cool summer drinks to beat the heat. Popularly consumed in northern India, this energizing and tangy drink is prepared during the peak summer season. When toasted cumin seeds and an assortment of spices are added, the flavor of Aam Panna becomes unbeatable. The drink is healthy and a good source of vitamin B1, B2 and C. Those having gastrointestinal problems are often suggested to sip the drink every day.
Made from ripe mango pulp, milk and sugar, Aam Ras is a sweet dish that is often categorized under traditional drinks of India. The drink has a shake-like consistency and is known to help when you have an upset tummy. It is heartily devoured by Gujarati and Marathi to escape the piercing heat of summer sun. Aam Ras has many health benefits whether you want your skin to glow like moon or keep your heart healthy, drink this squishy potion and you’ll feel the difference.
Made especially during Holi, Kanji is a fermented drink prepared with water, black carrot, beetroot, cumin seed and mustard seeds. It is indeed a mind-rejuvenating drink that leaves a zingy and salty flavor in your mouth. Black carrots are considered to have health benefits aiding in digestion issues and possess anti-inflammatory properties to fight diseases. Often perceived as a winter drink, Kanji is a perfect drink to enjoy with friends and family.
A popular drink of Maharashtra, Kokum Sherbet is another digestion aiding drink commonly consumed by the people of Konkani region. Rich in flavor, this energizing beverage is prepared from coconut milk and Kokum fruit (bittersweet taste) that grows only in this region. The eye-pleasing red color of the drink gives it a look that is ‘too-hard-to-resist’. It is undoubtedly the best drink to have when exploring southern India during summers.
Dubbed as a traditional drink of Chhattisgarh, Mahua got its name from ‘Mahua flowers’. Made from fermented Mahua flowers (known for its medicinal properties), the drink is actually a wine cherished by tribal population of the region. However, you can stop by at any local eating joint where you can quench your thirst with this drink. Mahua flowers are considered sacred by the local and tribal populace. But it’s definitely worth sipping once in this lifetime. So next time you plan to explore Chhattisgarh, don’t forget to taste Mahua on your way.
The traditional beverage of Sikkim (originally a Nepalese/Tibetan drink), Chaang (served in wooden mugs) will make you feel as if you are at a pub in Wild West sipping beers in those big wooden mugs. Prepared by fermenting rice in barrels of bamboo, Chaang is a sibling of beer that tastes as good as a beer tastes. To combat the harsh temperature in winters and keep their bodies warm, locals in Sikkim drink Chaang heartily. These days, you can also relish this drink when travelling to Leh-ladakh too.
Talk about non-alcoholic yet soul-satisfying drink in India and we have Rooh-Afza, a concentrated squash made from rose petals and 70+ herbal ingredients to boost vitality and keep you energetic throughout the day. As the temperature in summer soars high, this exhilarating beverage soothes your mind and gives you much-needed relaxation.
You must have sipped a hot steaming cup of sweet tea in India that comes in different variety but have you ever tasted a salty tea? Nun Chai is a pink colored tea, a staple brew of Kashmir that is extremely refreshing in taste and consumed by locals to fight extremely chilled weather. The distinct taste of this gulabi tea is worth savoring once in life when you are holidaying with friends.
Kahwa is the traditional tea of Kashmir that helps fight indigestion, headache, inflammation and several other ailments. The tea is prepared by boiling tea leaves with saffron, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom pods and dry fruits. This yellowish drink is a great immunity and metabolism booster. The teal can be enjoyed at all times. Kahwa is not exactly a thirst quencher but more of a soul-satisfying drink to enjoy while chit-chatting with friends.
A popular alcoholic drink of Manali, Lugdi is relished by the locals to fight the merciless winters in the Himalayas. Made from fermented barley/millets, jaggery and apples, this potent drink must be enjoyed with your friends when on a trip to Kullu-Manali. Lugdi is smokey white in color and a drink to embrace when you want to try new options instead of going for clichéd beer or rum. So if you want to challenge your taste buds, make a plan to visit Manali during winters to devour this invigorating drink.
When in Delhi, drink like Delhites. Masala soda or Banta is a legendary drink made from soda, lemon, mint leaves, powdered spices and sugar. You can find this carbonated lemon soft drink in a codd-neck bottle at every nook and cranny of the city. Also called lemon soda, banta is loved by people of all ages. The beverage is one of the great options to revitalize your mind no matter the season.
Like north India, south too has its fair share of soothing drinks. Panakam is a household drink enriched with the goodness of jaggery, cardamom, pepper and ginger. This energizing Indian beverage helps fighting heatstroke and indigestion problems. One sip of this lip-tantalizing drink will make you yearn for more.
Tangy and flavorful lemonade sprinkled with crushed/roasted cumin, pepper and black salt, Jal Jeera is the ultimate potent drink of India that is relished at every home during the summer season. This magical drink keeps your body cool and refreshes your mind. It is also a great appetizer taken after a heavy meal. During peak season, Jal Jeera helps fighting dehydration. You can easily buy Jal Jeera powder from any departmental store near you. Simply mix the powder in water and enjoy the drink with your buddies.
Bel (wood apple) is known for fighting viral and bacterial infection and is a cure for many diseases as well. This typical Indian drink is relished mostly during the summer season and monsoon. Commonly found in every nook of corner of the northern India, Bel Sherbet is prepared by soaking the fruit pulp in water, adding lemon juice and jaggery to it. This potent juice can cure everything from heatstroke to constipation and ulcers to respiratory diseases. Bel is undoubtedly one of the best summer drinks to have with friends when the scorching heat becomes unbearable.