Beverages are drinks that are popular locally to a region. Here we are today, to showcase the best Indian welcome drinks list for your next house party no matter if it’s summers or winters.
What comes to your mind when you listen to the word beverage? Cola, Sprite, Beer? This is what the commercial food chains have done to us!
Traditionally and locally we have so many drinks and potions that are healthier, cheaper, and much more satisfying than the fizz drinks we sip with our pipe straws sitting in a restaurant. Welcoming guests at home with fizz drinks does not sound good either, right?
Best Welcome Drinks
- Bel Sherbet, Uttar Pradesh
Bel is what the west calls Wood Apple. It is a potent summer cooler and has been in our homes since always. Once, broken into the wooden cover of the fruit, soak its core pulp into sweetened water with lemon juice, and there you go!
- Noon Chai, Jammu & Kashmir
The pink tea is a famous traditional beverage of the valley. The noon chai gets its name from its peculiar ingredient that is salt. Yes, this tea has salt in it. It also has baking powder that gives it its characteristic pink color. Cardamom, almonds, pistachios and cinnamon are also used to balance out the sourness of salt in it.
- Sattu Sherbet, Bihar
Sattu is the flour of roasted gram. It is a very household drink that every guest is served with, in the state and around. It is high in protein content and is a source of instant energy for many hardworking manual workers. Often, it is served along with meals too.
- Kesar Kasturi, Rajasthan
As the name might have already suggested, this one has a royal lineage. It was originally served and consumed only by the royal families. This was due to the exquisite spices needed to prepare this drink. Not every common folk could afford to savor it. It is made using 76 different spices each adding a unique essence to the drink.
- Solkadi, Maharashtra
This drink belongs to the Konkan region of the state. It is made from coconut milk and amsol fruit. Amsol is a fruit that is dried up and used to make many other native drinks and dishes. This drink, sol kadi is a drink that is often served to guests in summer. It also provides relief to the digestive system.
- Buransh, Uttarakhand
Buransh is a beautiful fower tree native to the Himalayas. Its flowers are the main ingredient for this drink. It is majorly consumed in the hilly regions and is quite a common welcome drink. It has a tangy and sweet taste with a jelly-like texture. It is bright red in color due to which people often mistake it to be a rose or strawberry drink.
- Khus Sherbet
Khus or Vetiver is the main ingredient of this drink. People often confuse khus with khus khus but they are entirely different.
Khus Sherbet is a green-colored concoction of khus syrup and water with added ingredients. The other ingredients include sugar and citric acid syrup.
It has many health benefits like boosting blood circulation, reduces excessive thirst, and removing toxins from the body. It is readily available across the country and is consumed alike.
More Traditional Welcome Drinks
India is an old civilization. Many of its older habits and practices are still prevalent in modern times. People have embraced the developments in the west but are still rooted in their traditions.
Many of the older traditional beverages are still an active part of our daily lives and our occasions. We have already come across some of them in the above sections, namely aam panna, sattu sherbet, lassi, shikanji, tea, panakam etc.
Mahua is a tree that bears yellow lemon-like flowers. They are native to the Indian state of Chhattisgarh. People of the state use these flowers to make a traditional drink from these flowers. It is consumed majorly by the tribal communities residing in Chhattisgrah and its neighboring states. This drink has a mild alcoholic effect.
It is a much-loved beverage of mainly Gujarat and Maharashtra. It is a delicious creamy blend of buttermilk, shrikhand, nutmeg, saffron, and a lot of dry fruits. It is popularly called Amrit, the Drink of Gods.
- Taal Sherbet
This one is a traditional cooler called by a variety of names across the country. Ice apple(taal) of the palmyra tree is what it is made of. It has a sweet mild pink shade with an abundance of tender flavors.
- Phalsa Sherbet
Phalsa is a blueberry sized fruit with a delicious tart flavor. It is a healthy chiller that used to be a regular in our homes traditionally. But with time, it has lost its essence.
- Mango Mastani
Mango Mastani is nothing but a luscious, royal version of the parlor mango shake. It has diced mango, dry fruits, cherries, crunchy nuts, cream, and even a tinge of mint atop. This is how our grandmothers use to make milkshakes traditionally until recently we started going to ice cream parlors for the same.
- Chandan Sherbet
Did you know you could even consume sandalwood? Chandan sherbet is a lost traditional drink that was served on the finest occasions to celebrate. It has remarkable medicinal properties and has a great taste too.
- Gondhoraj Ghol
This is the traditional version of buttermilk in the state of West Bengal. Godhoraj is citrus of the lemon family native to the state. Adding its pulp to buttermilk with sugar, black salt and water, produces the finest of drinks that you would have ever known.
- Imli Ka Amlana
This is traditionally from Rajasthan. It is prepared very easily at home and is consumed to get respite from the sweltering heat of the desert. Its ingredients are tamarind, black salt, roasted spices, and mint leaves. Also, it has its peculiar health benefits too.
South Indian Welcome Drinks
Due to its close proximity to the equator, Southern India experiences a rather sultry and humid climate almost all around the year.
When you have such conditions, you are bound to require refreshing energizing drinks. South Indians boast of a variety of such drinks and most of them are prepared from locally available herbs, roots, or flowers.
- Nannari Sherbet
Nannari or the sarsaparilla roots are used to make this refreshing summer drink. The syrup is typically prepared by boiling the roots in sugar syrup with a hint of lime.
It is also readily available in many supermarkets. All, you need to do is mix it in water, add a dash of lemon, stir and there you have your soul replenished. It is also served in milk instead of water.
- Sharjah Shake
Sharjah shake is a popular milkshake at the ice-cream parlors in the vicinity. It is made of bananas, dates (that is what a sharjah is), and a spoonful of any health drink(boost, horlicks, etc.) all blended together in milk. It is quite a hit with kids and adults alike. It quenches their thirst all the while soothing them from the heat.
Panakam is another of those refreshing drinks. It is made by dissolving jaggery in water with some cardamom, ginger, lemon, and mint. It is a real thirst quencher when the bright sun sucks away all your energy. Also, it refills all your vitals.
Sambaram is a variation of the good old buttermilk. This one is a spiced-up version. It is easy to find on any street vendor on a humid day. It has a tempering of chilies, onions, ginger and asafoetida.
Also, it assists the breakfast for most people and fulfills the lacking quotient.
- Vasantha Neer
Vasantha Neer is an improvised version of the plain regular coconut water. In a tender glass of sweet coconut water, add a dash of lime and a spoonful of honey and you are good to go.
This is a real quick fix on a summer day when you have guests over. Instead of standing in the hot culture of the kitchen, enjoy one of these with your guests.
This is a special drink in the city of Madurai. It has a blurred line between a faluda and milkshake. It has a scoop of ice cream dipped thick milkshake of condensed milk having tree gum. It is a popular drink on many renowned menus over the world.
Use These For The Perfect Summer Garnishing
It is common for people to experiment with drinks and food at home all the time. We bring to you a list of ingredients that might help you make a great cooler at home:
- Holy basil or tulsi – Mainly used for garnishing. You can also add it to various sherbets or even make a drink or sherbet.
- Rose petals or rose water: can be added to many drinks
- Gulkand or rose petal preserve: Can be added to milkshakes or sherbets.
- Fresh mint leaves: Can be added as garnishing while serving.
- Sabja Seeds: Also known as falooda seeds or basil seeds. It has excellent cooling properties. They need to be soaked in water for half an hour and then used in falooda or nimbu pani or other drinks.
- Saffron: Saffron is expensive but adds a good flavor to any drink or dish. Also has cooling properties so it’s great for your summer drinks.
- Cardamom powder: add it to Milkshakes like Banana milkshake, Mango milkshake, or Dry fruits milkshake.
- Almond Milk: Another cooling and healthy option for your milkshakes.
Barley water: made with barley grains.
India is a vast and diverse country. At every corner, we are bound to find something strange and astonishing. This is what happened in the case of beverages. Every state has at least 1 beverage that it can uniquely call it’s own.
Every traditional and local drink, along with being refreshing has a wide variety of health benefits imbibed in them. Precisely, this is the reason why our grandparents still yearn for these drinks and despise us seeing us consume some can of commercial drink.
If you enjoyed this journey across states, then do spread the love. Share us with your friends and family.
*featured image credits: Hari mahendara – Source
Meet the literarian of our group! She loves crafts, paintings, poetry, food, and can lip-sync dialogues from F.R.I.E.N.D.S all day. The world of words fascinates her, a true logophile. A typical millennial with an old touch.