Exotic Flavours of the Local Drinks of India: A Complete List




Feni @ Goa

Feni is a heritage drink of Goa. Feni is an in-house spirit prepared either from coconut or the cashew apple juice, thus decently bifurcated in two types:

*Cashew Feni
*Toddy Palm Feni

However, it’s just the ingredients which give birth to the difference. If you are a Goa freak and still don’t know about the Goan staple drink, this section is for you. 

Image credit – Burrp

Classified as the “Country Liquor”, the law prohibits the sale of Feni outside the state of Goa.

The word “Feni” somewhere matches with the word “Froth”. The analogy may lie because of the light froth formed by the bubbles on dribbling this drink into a vessel. Although the Goan spirit is widely used in cocktails, but the natives of South Goa prefer to consume it neat or over ice. However some also enjoy the mixing of Coca-Cola and Juices in Feni giving it altogether an incredible flavour.

So the next time you & your pals make up an instant plan to witness this beautiful sea shore, do give Feni a well deserved try!

Kahwah @ Kashmir

This traditional green tea preparation is loved by all the Kashmiris in the valley and is also a major beverage in some parts of Afghanistan. Besides excellent taste, Kahwa tea also has a list of health benefits.

‘Kahwah’ is basically a popular breakfast beverage among the people here. It is prepared by boiling green tea leaves, where a further addition of saffron strands, cinnamon barks and Kashmiri roses enhances the aroma.

As per the taste of Kashmiris, they prefer to consume Kahwah after having taken their food.

Image credit – emperorakbar.com

Hot Toddy @ Kerela 

Being a blend of different ingredients, Hot Toddy has a master taste.

Named as “Hot Toddy”, the drink serves as a complete blend of spices, herbs and liquor. Hot toddy is basically a mixture drink constituted with liquor and water with add-ons of honey, spices and herbs.

Preparation: A mixture of a spirit (Whiskey, Rum or Brandy), Boiling Water, Honey. Additional ingredients consist of spices such as Cloves, Cinnamon, Lemon Slice.

Despite being alcoholic, Hot Toddy helps save medical expenses by relieving the symptoms of cold & flu. However, traditionally this incredible drink is consumed before retiring for the night or in a cold weather.

Lassi @ Punjab

Lassi is a popular traditional yogurt based drink from the Indian Subcontinent and originates from the Punjab. 

It is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and sometimes, fruit. Traditional Lassi is a savoury (salted) drink, sometimes flavoured with ground and roasted cumin seedSweet Lassi, however, contains sugar or fruits, instead of spices. 

There are many variations of Lassi present nowadays. 

Mango Lassi

Ingredients –  Made up of yogurt, water and mango pulp. 

Image credit – silk

Kesar Badam Lassi

Ingredients – It is made from yogurt, water, kesar and badam.


Image credit-  recipeshubs

Salted Lassi

Ingredients – salt, mint, water, spices and yogurt  

Sweet Lassi

Ingredients – sugar, rosewater and/or lemonstrawberry or other fruit juices and yogurt. 
Image credit – sailusfood

Sosyo @ Gujarat

Sosyo is Gujarati historical drink.. This aerated drink links its origin to the Pre-Independence period, when it was launched as a competition to a UK based drink “Vimto” and was basically used in order to allure alcoholics to the dry state of Gujarat. Sosyo was included as a Swadeshi movement product during the freedom struggle. Even today this drink is a dear one for many people in Gujarat. Amazing!

Sosyo is a blended mixture of grape and apple cider with some add on ingredients usually imported from Germany and Italy. It even gained popularity on international grounds and consequently large quantity of bottle crates started being exported to far-off nations like UK, USA, South Africa, UAE and New Zealand, where Sosyo proudly represented its homeland with a backdrop remark of “An Indian Drink” supported by a tri-coloured strip and is still doing the same

Image credit – Hajoori

Banta @ Delhi

This is something which every Delhiite is familiar with and specially the youngsters. Being the cheapest mouth watering carbonated drink, Banta makes itself even more beloved than the Big shot brands.

Image credit – Scoopwhoop

-Banta is a common chilling agent for students in Delhi.

Also known as Goli Soda, the drink is a term for carbonated form of lemon and orange flavours. Banta is ideally served mixed with Lemon Juice, Crushed Ice, Chaat Masala (an Indian spice), Black Salt.

Reason being its retiring age, this tarty drink is packed in an antique style. That is within heavy glass bottle whose mouth is shut by a round marble instead of a cap. The high pressured carbonated contents keep the marble lifted, thus sealing the bottle.

Interestingly the “pop” sound waters the mouth when the marble is pushed in order to unseal the bottle.

So this summer do wander around in the National Capital to enjoy its world-famous food with fizzy sips of Banta.

Jigarthanda @ Tamil Nadu

Jigarthanda is originated in Madurai, TamilNadu. Jigarthanda means “cool heart”. It is generally prepared and seved by road side stands in Madurai during summer. 
Ingredients – Milk, Agar agar, Sugar, Rose syrup/nannari, Icecream, javarishi / sabudana.
Image credit – wikipedia

Neera @ Kerala

Neera is drink of kerela prepared from kaipuzha plant in kollam.

Neera, also called sweet toddy or palm nectar, is a sap extracted from the inflorescence of various species of toddy palms and used to quench thirst. Neera is generally extracted before sunrise. It is sweet, translucent in colour, and high in nutritional value. It is susceptible to natural fermentation at ambient temperature within a few hours of extraction. Once fermented, Neera becomes toddy.

Image credit – metrovaartha

Mastani @ Pune

Mastani is Pune’s original mango drink. Mastani is your very own thick mango milkshake topped with pieces of cut fruit, dry fruit and whipped cream. This name from the legend of the famous Peshwa ruler Bajirao and his lover, the beautiful Mastani. According to the proprietor of an age-old Mastani joint called Gujjar Cold Drink, initially when this drink was served to people they used to appreciatively remark ‘mast’ or awesome thus, this drink is called Mastani. Also, Punekars are extremely proud of their cultural heritage and hence this delicious, famous dessert has been named after the effervescent, beautiful courtesan who stole the mighty Bajirao’s heart.

Image credit – foodviha.com

Shikanji @ Modinagar

Shikanji is what french called lemonade. It is made from lemon or lime juice, ginger juice, some sugar, ice and water. Though Shikanji is available in every part of India, but Shikanji in Modinagar has altogether different taste. Jain shikanji in Modinagar is famous for its branded Shikanji all over india. They are over 50 years in this business. You can also take Shikanji masala to try your own lemonade at home.

Image source – sailusfood.com

Which of these have you tasted, share them in comments.

About the author, Liya James

Hi, I am Liya!! I first traveled the globe when I was four months old when we immigrated to the United States from Indonesia, and I have been roaming the world every chance I get ever since. I've been to 15 countries and counting. I am passionate about experiencing new cultures and sharing my adventures with others. I believe that travel is the best education, and I am excited to continue learning and sharing these adventures with you.

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