Indian cuisine is famous in the world for its profuse inclusion of spices and herbs that give meats and vegetables their zesty flavor. In a large country such as India, there are bound to be culturally diverse regions, each with their own cooking styles and regional specialties. There are the subtly-spiced food in the north, unforgettable vegetable dishes in the south, mouth-watering fish specialties in the east, and fiery hot dishes in the west. What would be the best drinks to complement a wonderfully spiced Indian dish? Cooling and refreshing Indian drinks, of course! Aside from spicy dishes, the western cities of Goa and Bombay are also famed for their desserts and drinks—fruit ice creams, yogurts and fruit juices.
Indians are also fond of good-tasting drinks, both non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Coffee is the drink of choice in Southern India whereas tea is a favorite in Northern India. During hot days and in the summer, the lemon squash drink Nimbu Paani is a refreshing concoction against thirst and heat. Of course there is the distinctly Indian iced drink called Lassi, a refreshing yogurt or buttermilk drink that is flavoured with fruit juice or salt. On the streets of India, one can also drink coconut milk drank straight from the husks of young coconuts, typically through a straw. Other popular non-alcoholic drinks in the country also include apple juice, plain soda and global brands like Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
For special occasions, and for those who like some spunk in their drinks, alcoholic Indian drinks are also worth trying. The cost of alcoholic drinks varies—they are cheap in Goa but are really pricey in Tamilnadu. One popular local drink is Toddy, a mild alcoholic drink that is extracted from coconut palm flower. There is also the distilled liquor Feni, which comes from coconuts or fermented cashew nuts. The brands Golden Eagle, Rosy Pelican, Kingfisher and Cannon Extra Strong are some beers available in India.
Fruit juices are also widely available in India. Both located in the temperate regions of the south, Kashmir has an abundance of cherries and strawberries while Ladakh has plenty of apricots. Apples are grown in the northwest, especially in Himachal’s Kulu Valley. Meanwhile, melons, watermelons, mangoes and bananas that are available throughout India, are often eaten raw or served iced as excellent thirst quenchers.