Here is a list of 28 Indian drinks:
1. Lassi from Punjab
The land of five rivers and butter chicken has a drink that’s loved and had almost everywhere else in the country too! The humble lassi is a tall glass of goodness that everyone needs. The Punjabi variant is sweet and served with lots of fresh cream in flavours like mango, kesar, rose to name a few.
2. Chaach from Haryana
Taking on from its neighbour, Haryana has its own variant of lassi which is salted called chaach. A watery counterpart of the lassi, it is more palatable to some. Lightly flavoured with ginger and mint, it’s famous in southern parts of the country as well. It’s a drink which is truly diverse and unifies the country at the same time!
3. Pannah from Gujarat
When the summer comes at your doorstep, the humble Pannah comes to your rescue. Being a dry state doesn’t make Gujarat a boring one. Pannah is a drink relished by all, made with the king of fruits – the mango. Mango pulp, spiced with cardamom, pepper and salt, it makes for the perfect drink to beat the heat!
Komal is a gujarati drink on the lines of chaach. Spiced curd is mixed with tender, sweet coconut milk along with green chillies, making it a perfect drink for the Gujarati summer. It has a kick to it with the different sweet and spicy flavours coming together.
4. Mahua from Chattisgarh
An Indian moonshine, Mahua is a traditional drink in Chattisgarh. It is made with by fermenting the flowers of the mahua tree, which are edible and have medicinal uses. An essential drink amongst the tribals, it is also during celebrations.
5. Fenny from Goa
One of the most famous country liquors in India has to be Fenny, indigenous to Goa. Made from either cashew nuts or coconuts, it has a pungent aroma and is one of the most widely available liquors. Those with low alcohol tolerance should steer clear of this drink.
6. Neera from Tamil Nadu
Neera is sweet, palm nectar famous in Tamil Nadu. Not to be confused with the juice of palm, Neera extraction is done before sunrise and it becomes Toddy once it’s fermented. It’s made by fermenting the sap of palm trees like date and coconut palms. It has a sugary taste, given the main ingredient being palm tree sap.
7. Noon Chai from Jammu and Kashmir
“Noon Chai” also known as pink tea is a traditional beverage from Kashmir. It’s generally served 2-3 times a day and makes an accompaniment to pastries like lavasa. It’s a savoury tea as it has a pinch of salt as the name “noon” signifies and baking soda gives it a distinct pink colour. Cardamom, almonds, pistachios and cinnamon balance the saltiness of the tea to give it a warm, spicy flavour.
8. Sattu Sharbat from Bihar
Sattu ka sharbat is a popular drink in Bihar which is basically made of roasted gram flour. Packed with protein, this savoury drink is a real energiser and a meal in itself.
9. Handia from Madhya Pradesh
Handia is a rice beer made by the indigenous people of Madhya Pradesh as well as Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh. Generally, take a week to be prepared, it is a combination of 20-25 herbs and ran tablets acting as a fermentor of the drink. Served cold, it is lower in strength than other Indian country liquors.
10. Buttermilk from Andhra Pradesh
Spiced buttermilk is the essential drink in Andhra, as no meal can be complete without it. Similar to the chaas of north India, it is spiced with curry leaves, coriander, ginger and is watery in consistency to serve basically as a replacement for water, as an accompaniment to food.
11. Thandai from Uttar Pradesh
With the cuisine having influences of Mughals, drinks fit for royalty – like thandai, is famous here. It’s made with milk as the base and almonds, fennel seeds, rose petals, cardamom, saffron, and sugar. Consumed mostly in summer, it is also had as an energy drink. Cannabis is also added to it sometimes on occasions like Holi.
12. Kallu from Kerala
Kallu, contrary to the name, is a white, palm wine produced from the sap of palm trees and is also known as Toddy. It’s produced locally and commercially. With quite a strong hit, this sweet concoction is not one to be taken lightly!
13. Zutho from Nagaland
Another rice beer, Zutho is made by an elaborate fermentation process. A fruity aroma with a sweet-sour taste is the hallmark of the drink. It is a frothy beer that the locals serve with roasted millet, soya bean and red chilli.
14. Chaang from Sikkim
Originally a Nepalese drink, chhang is made by fermenting millet and is a close relative of beer enjoyed elsewhere. The millet is cooked and fermented in bamboo barrels called dhungro. The fermentation can take anywhere from 7-10 days to 6 months. Served hot, it’s a popular drink during the harsh winters.
15. Kesar Kasturi from Rajasthan
The state of royals has drinks that are nothing short of royalty themselves. Kesar Kasturi – potent and a well-guarded secret of the royal family can now be had to be common folk. A mix of up to 76 different spices, it’s a drink you should definitely try one in your life.
Gulab Sharbat is another favourite here for when the temperatures soar, the rose drink keeps you cool.
Rice Beers :
16. Apo from Arunachal Pradesh
Apo or Apong is another famous fermented rice beer of Arunachal Pradesh, also served in Assam. The rice is roasted till it turns black. Then, bhut jolokia, one of the spiciest peppers in the world is added as a preservative after it’s allowed to ferment. It’s served at room temperature. A sweet, mellow taste with a fiery kick that hits you at the back of your tongue, it’s a gastronomic delight.
17. Raj from Assam
Like most northeastern drinks, Xaj from Assam is another rice beer made from fermenting rice. The rice is fermented with herbs and then served up in copper vessels.
18. Kyat from Meghalaya
Kyat is the rice beer famous in Meghalaya. Slightly sweet yet tart and pungent, it’s low on alcohol content and will leave you with a nice little buzz after a glass or two!
19. Yu from Manipur
“I love Yu” is something you can hear a Manipuri say given that one of their most famous drinks is called Yu. Made from fermented rice and smooth as vodka. Used for medicinal, relaxation and offerings, you decide how you want to drink your Yu!
20. Kokomo from Maharashtra
Sol Kadi is a famous drink in the Konkani regions of Maharashtra. It has a light coconut base with a hint of kokum. It has a distinct colour and a pungent yet refreshing taste.
Kokomo sherbet is another drink famous in Maharashtra. Made with kokum squash, it refreshes the body by keeping you cool and also improves the digestion.
21. Kinnaur Ghanti from Himachal Pradesh
Kinnaur Ghanti is a drink made from apples – a Himachali speciality – and has a taste akin to vodka. It’s consumed by locals mostly, as they would have any other beverage, no occasion needed!
22. Mandia Pej from Odisha
A drink to be relished in summer, Mandia Pej is one made by those indigenous to Odisha. It’s made with ragi powder and the stale water from boiled rice. The two ingredients are mixed together and then covered and kept aside for a few days to ferment. Once it gets sour, you can enjoy it on a hot, summer day.
23. Cholai from West Bengal
Bangla, as the name suggests is popular in the state. It’s a strong, distilled country liquor made from fermented starch.
Cholai is another preparation of the state, made from rice and mahua flowers. So it’s like the rice beers but not like them at all, with distinct undertones of the flower, both equally vying for your attention in the drink.
24. Zawlaidi from Mizoram
Zawlaidi or the “potion of love” as it’s called is a wine famous in Mizoram. A slightly sour wine, the region it comes from is also vying to become one of the largest grape producers in India. It’s a premium quality wine of the state.
25. Buransh from Uttarakhand
Buransh is a drink that can masquerade as a rose sherbet but the taste is distinctly sweet and of a jelly-like consistency. Made from the flowers of rhododendron, it’s free of preservatives as the locals just pluck the flowers and drink the nectar. It’s served as a squash and the flowers are also ground and served as accompaniments with food.