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Thandai is a drink synonymous with Holi - the festival of colours. And of course, it must be laced with bhang to usher in the spirit of the festival. However, nowadays, new twists are being given to Thandai to make these unique, yet heady. A multitude of ingredients ranging from Gulkand, Kesar and Khus, are being combined with it to give it a different flavour and up the taste quotient. Yoghurt is also used to create invigorating drinks with interesting variations like flavoured Lassi and Payesh. So, this Holi be adventurous and opt for an innovative drink to gulp down as Mumbai offers plenty.
Gulkand Thandai at The Bombay Haveli, Charni Road
If you thought Thandai must be served only in the traditional way, think again. Those with a sweet tooth are bound to relish this version with the aromatic Gulkand paste blended with chilled milk. Laced with spices, dried fruits, the amalgamation of flavours makes this delectable thirst-quencher the ideal choice for Holi.
Traditional Thandai with crushed cookies at Tiqri, The Taj Santacruz
Traditionally, a paste made of almonds, cardamom, pepper and saffron is added to milk to make the perfect Thandai. No Holi celebrations are complete without it. So, if Thandai is still what you are craving, try this variation topped with crushed homemade cookies and dark chocolate shavings. The dash of chocolate enhances the flavours, and the cookies add a nice crunchy texture to this otherwise creamy drink.
Mango Dry Fruits Lassi at Kailash Mandir Lassi and Sweets, Dadar East
A glass of this creamy Mango Lassi laden with dry fruits is enough to get you into the spirit of the festival. The quality of the yoghurt used and the generous helping of dry fruits makes this drink outstanding, value-for-money and yes, filling too.
The Holy Freak at D:OH!, Lower Parel
If indulgence is what you have in mind this Holi, opt for the Holi Freakshake – a tall sinful glass of Rabdi churned with vanilla ice cream, cake and milk, layered with special homemade Jalebis and topped with colourful sprinkles. With this sugar rush, you are bound to be in your elements and enjoy Holi more than ever before.
Basil Cardamom Sherbet at Raasta, Khar
Milk based drinks are not all that one needs to guzzle down on Holi. Try the light and refreshing Basil Cardamom Sherbet made with rose water, cardamom, nuts, basil, Indian fennel or saunf and kesar with its distinct woody but energising flavours. The abundance of spices along with the fragrant rose water make it the perfect cooler for this weather.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.