Buzz Yourself Up With These 10 Indian Local Alcoholic Drinks
You don’t have to get drunk every time on the whiskey, the scotch, the expensive wines and the inexpensive beers. Put your imported alcohol back in the cupboard and bring out the Indian in you to get a taste of the madira! Next time when you are traveling, make an extra effort to get the local drinks from the localities to experience what it feels like to get drunk on the desi daru. Let’s get drunk with these local alcoholic drinks in India, most of them are prepared in the local households with the indigenous products. It’s time you experience the next level drunk, the one that comes after the blackout, because believe it or not some of these drinks are pretty strong even for an avid alcoholic. Take up the challenge! Will you?
1. BhaangThe Shiva’s Elixir, Bhang is probably the most common drink to get high on in the northern parts of the country where it is considered more of a Shiva’s devotion to consume bhang. You can find several babas on the Ganga ghats preparing and treating themselves with the bhang drink to keep themselves up for the day. The best way to intake Bhang is with milk or Thandie. At times it is also mixed with the food items such as sweets or an alternative intake of the product. The consumption of bhang is very common during the Holi festival all around the country when it is not seen as a drug or alcoholic drink but more as a ritual! (We need more rituals like this, please)How is it prepared? The main ingredient of the bhang is the cannabis or marijuana leaves. The leaves are crushed to make the paste. To the crushed cannabis leaves, milk, ghee, mangoes and certain Indian spices are added to obtain the final product of the bhang. It is consumed with milk, thandai and can also be eaten directly.Where to find? For the best quality Bhang, Banaras is the place to be, where Bhang is as easy to get as a candy from a local shop. There are government licensed shops in Banaras that sell Bhang.
2. ChhaangWhen in the mountains, you need a glass or two of alcohol to live up to the rising temperatures and high altitudes. We all need the feel to be more adaptive (read drunk) to the chilly winters. Originally an alcoholic drink belonging to the Tibetan and Nepalese region, Chhaang can be a good and local alternative to beer. It is believed to have medicinal properties and is widely consumed by the locals to cure cold, cough and fever.How is it prepared? The drink is brewed from the millet, barley, and rice. The ingredients are first boiled in the bamboo. After cooling down, yeast is added for fermentation and is left for three or four days before the final consumption.Where to find? The drink is very prevalent in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir and is still prepared in the households for personal consumption.
3. Feni or Kaju FeniThe unbreakable bond of Goa and alcohol is no surprise for any of us. But you must go out of your way of the very cliche cheap beer and vodka and try your hand out at the local feni. Few pegs of this drink and you are good to go, letting go all your sorrows in life. The drink is stronger than vodka and few of the whiskeys and knows your capacity before getting too drunk on Goa ki Feni.How is it prepared? Feni is prepared of the cashews, to be very precise the ripened cashew apples that are cultivated in Goa. The apples are crushed to get the juice which is called neero in the local language. The neero is poured in the earthen pots and is buried inside the earth for days for fermentation. The unique quality of this Feni is that no yeast is added to the preparation of this alcohol. After it is fermented, the drink is ready to serve to make you super drunk!Where is it find? Feni belongs to Goa. A small bottle costs Rs 40 and is enough for a person to make him drunk. It is declared as the country liquor and selling of Feni outside the state is illegal.
4. GudambaIf you are looking for an alcoholic drink one step above the normal darus, then Gudamba is your poison. Let’s make this a hush-hush affair because it is the illicit alcoholic beverage in Hyderabad. But beware, with the high amount of intoxication comes the high amount of side effects. Yes! This alcohol might take you to another world but it has its own effects so much so that government had to come up with the selling of local liquor at cheap prices to fight the consumption of Gudamba in local areas. My advice: you can make it a one time deal to get the taste of it.How is it prepared? The Gudamba is prepared from the raw mangoes, jaggery, and few Indian spices. The ingredients are left for fermentation for days in the home-made containers before it is ready for consumption.Where to find? Hyderabad is the place to try this poison, but try and score it at your own risk!
5. BanglaGods were no saints, even they needed a buzz every once in awhile. And, Bengalis know this better than anyone. Bangla is the alcoholic drink coming from the state of West Bengal which is often offered to the Goddess Durga Maa during the time of festivals. Bangla is the beverage which is Bengali’s favorite way to get drunk. It is highly consumed by the locals during the time of festivals and is offered to everyone (adults) to celebrate the spirit of festivity.How is it prepared? Rice is one of the most important ingredients of the Bengali cuisine, the local people experimented to make a local liquor out of their favorite ingredient. Bangla is prepared from the fermentation of the cooked rice.Where to find? The alcoholic beverage of Bangla comes from Bengal. It can be found more in the local areas than the cities.
6. HandiaComing to make some buzz from the North India is the local alcoholic drink called Handia. This beverage has probably the least amount of alcoholic content as compared to other local alcohols made in the other parts of the country. Handia is typically made from rice and some local herbs. And it doesn’t make the drinker dead drunk even after consuming several drinks of this beverage. The locals intake the drink quite frequently to ease their pain after the physical pain as it contains a number of herbs.How is it prepared? Handia is prepared from the ranu tablets which is basically a mixture of 10-25 local herbs which act as a fermentor. These tablets are mixed with the rice water and left for fermentation afterward to obtain the desired beverage.Where to find? Handia is consumed in the Northern part of Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Chhattisgarh.
7. ZawlaidiYou wouldn’t want to miss the alcoholic drink for the world if you a wine lover. Zawlaidi is the regional wine coming from the North-east region. The alcohol content in this drink is low but the taste is simply irresistible. It is the premium quality wine of Lubrusca which specializes in the grape wine. It has 11-14% of alcohol content and is prepared in the local household breweries.How is it prepared? The main ingredient of this exotic wine is grape. The grapes are crushed into the juice and are left for fermentation for several days to get the lip smacking taste of the wine.Where to find? Zawlaidi comes from the local vineyards of Mizoram. About 80% of the population of Mizoram is engaged in producing wine in the local breweries. However, it is illegal to take the drink outside the state. Best part: The wine costs only Rs 130 for a bottle.
8. MahuaCould you imagine the taste of all the beautiful flowers that you see everyone? Mahua is the exotic wine made from the flowers found in the Central and North India. The ingredients of this country liquor have some health benefits as well. It is consumed and produced by the tribals of the state.How it is made: The wine is extracted from a flower named Madhuca. After extracting the fragrant flowers it is allowed for the fermentation inside the barrel until the desired wine is obtained.Where is it find? The flower is abundantly found in Jharkhand and is considered sacred by the tribal people. But, the distillation of Mahua is illegal in the region the flower is sold to the nearby states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh where you can find this alcohol.
9. LugdiConsumed by the people in Manali to beat the chills of winters, Lugdi is the alcoholic drink made from the fermented barley and millets and it can also be prepared with the jaggery and apples. Lugdi is one step lower to the alcoholic drink of Chhang which is consumed in the much higher region of Ladakh and Jammu- Kashmir.How is it made? The procedure of making this country alcohol begins with the breakdown of rice or millets in the liquid state. The mixture is kept inside the covered container and is planted with artificial yeast for fermentation. It takes approximately a week to obtain the desired taste of the wine.Where is it find? Lugdi is highly consumed in the region of Kullu valley in Himachal Pradesh. The alcohol primarily comes from Manali where it is very common to take the drink to deal with the toe-freezing winters.
10. Kesar KasturiDitch the scotch the very Indian royal alcoholic drink that is known for its authentic Indian taste and the royal ingredients. As the name truly suggests, Kesar or saffron remains the main ingredient of the beverage. The 21 spices go into the making of this alcoholic drink. The drink was meant for the royal kings of Rajasthan and to keep them buzzing. The alcohol is taken in the small amount because that is enough to make you enough drunk.How is it made? The combination of 21 spices is made to get the taste of this exotic alcoholic beverage to treat the royal Maharajas of Rajasthan.Where to find? This saffron-made drink is served in Rajasthan.
It was a hot May day. The traffic and the monotonous life of Delhi was getting on my nerves. I needed a break from this busy schedule and ma... know more