21+ Popular Indian Drinks & Recipes

Thandai on a white plate.

A roundup of Indian drinks and beverages to inspire you to whip up a tasty treat! I’ve included my favorite traditional recipes. I hope this post gives you some new inspiration to create in the kitchen. 

Indian cuisine is renowned for its rich and diverse flavors, and that extends beyond the realm of food to include a wide array of refreshing and tantalizing Indian beverages. 

From sweet to spicy, hot to cold, India has an extensive range of traditional drinks.

Scroll through to learn about popular Indian drinks that showcase the country’s vibrant culinary culture.

Mango lassi with crushed pistachio garnish in a glass.

Since it’s a long list, I’ve broken it up into categories:

  1. Tea and Coffee
  2. Yogurt Based Drinks
  3. Cold Drinks
  4. Fruit Based Drinks
  5. Flavored Milks

The variety of Indian beverages is huge, so I’ll be updating this list! It’ll give you a good start and provide recipes including variations.

Tea and Coffee

1. Masala Chai

Masala Chai is India’s beloved spiced tea. This fragrant concoction blends black tea leaves, milk, aromatic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Served piping hot, Masala Chai is the quintessential Indian comfort drink enjoyed throughout the day.

Chai tastes like creamy black tea with a balance of spicy and sweet.  The quantity and balance of spices can vary greatly, which impacts the taste.

Chai is often made with chai masala powder.  It can also be made with whole spices, ginger, mint, lemongrass, and so many other ways.

how to make chai masala

Authentic Chai Masala Powder Recipe – Chai Spice Mix

Authentic, five ingredient, authentic Indian chai masala powder recipe also known as chai spice made in 5 minutes!  Use it to make a cup of chai, chai spice cookies, masala chai ice cream and more!
Get the recipe

Chai can be made in a variety of flavors and adjusted to your taste.

Some flavors include Rose Chai, Cardamom Chai, Mint Chai, and Ginger Chai to name a few.

Oat Milk Chai is a delicious way to have a dairy free version!

2. Filter Coffee

South Indian filter coffee, also known as “Madras filter coffee” or simply “filter kaapi,” is a traditional and popular coffee preparation enjoyed in the southern regions of India.

A coffee decoction is prepared using a traditional coffee filter called a “coffee percolator” or “drip brewer.” 

The coffee decoction is then mixed with hot, frothy milk and a sweetener like sugar or jaggery. The coffee is typically served in a stainless steel tumbler (glass) and a small bowl.

3. Cold Coffee

This is a beloved drink, especially among coffee enthusiasts in India. It is made by blending chilled milk, coffee powder, sugar, and ice cubes. It’s popular in cafes in India. It is often enjoyed with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Try Cardamom Cold Coffee which uses instant coffee just like the coffees you find in cafes in India.

4. Kashmiri Pink Chai

Pnk kashmiri chai in glass with flowers

Easy Pink Kashmiri Chai

Pretty in pink Kashmiri chai flavored with milk, cardamom, crushed pistachios, and sweetener.
Get the recipe

Kashmiri Pink Chai, also known as Noon Chai or Sheer Chai, is an Indian beverage that originated in the Kashmir region of India. It is a traditional tea preparation that is distinct in flavor, appearance, and ingredients.

Kashmiri Pink Chai gets its unique pink hue from the inclusion of a special ingredient called “sodium bicarbonate,” which is added during the brewing process. The tea leaves used are typically green tea leaves, which are boiled for a long time along with milk, salt, and baking soda. The prolonged boiling gives the tea a rich pink color and a creamy texture.

Yogurt-Based Indian Drinks

5. Lassi

Creamy lassi is a traditional yogurt-based drink. Lassi is a refreshing treat, perfect for beating the summer heat.

It is made in sweet and savory variations. 

Sweet lassi is flavored with sugar, fruit pulp, or rosewater

Savory lassi is seasoned with spices like cumin and salt. 

Mango lassi is probably the most popular drink ordered at an Indian restaurant in the US!

I have many lassi recipes up, here are a few:

Sweet lassi in a glass with crushed rose petal garnish.

5 Minute Creamy Sweet Lassi Recipe (Plain Lassi)

Creamy sweet lassi recipe is easily made in 5 minutes and with a handful of ingredients.  This frothy classic sweet lassi (meethi lassi) is a yogurt-based drink. It is a simple, classic recipe!
Get the recipe
Mango lassi with crushed pistachio garnish in a glass.

What Is Mango Lassi? + Recipe Using Mango Pulp (Fresh or Canned)

Indian mango lassi is a popular and delicious Indian drink made in 5minutes with either canned mango pulp or ripe, fresh mangoes to make mango puree. I have a tip on an ingredient to use for restaurant style lassi.
Get the recipe
Rose lassi in a glass with pistachio and rose petal garnish.

Rose Lassi

Rose lassi, made in 5 minutes, has a beautiful, light floral taste. I have a tip on an ingredient to use for restaurant-style lassi.
Get the recipe
Top view of a glass of strawberry lassi with pistachio crumbles.

5 Minute Fresh Strawberry Lassi

Strawberry lassi is a delicious Indian drink made in 5 minutes with either fresh strawberries or frozen. I have a tip on an ingredient to use for restaurant style lassi and ideas for variations of the drink.
Get the recipe

6. Chaas

Chaas, also known as Indian buttermilk, is a popular yogurt-based drink.

The drink can be made simply with yogurt, water, and a dash of salt.  Or it can be made as masala chaas. This version entails the addition of spices like cumin powder, salt, and mint leaves.

Chaas is a cooling drink that is commonly consumed alongside meals to provide a cooling accompaniment to spice-filled meals.

7. Bhang Lassi

 Bhang Lassi is a traditional drink often associated with the festival of Holi and consumed in certain regions of India. It is a potent concoction made by blending yogurt, milk, spices, and the cannabis-infused paste called “bhang.” 

Cold Drinks

8. Thandai

 Thandai is a cooling drink associated with the festival of Holi. It is made by blending a mixture of nuts, seeds, and spices like almonds, melon seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, and cardamom with milk and sugar. Thandai has a unique flavor and is often garnished with saffron strands and rose petals.

You can make a delicious Thandai Masala Powder that will make this drink easy for you to have at home.

It is also popular to have around Maha Shivratri.

Thandai powder in a small white dish with a gold spoon.

10 Minute Instant Thandai Powder (Thandai Masala)

Ready in 10 minutes, this homemade thandai powder is a blend of nuts and Indian spices that gives delicious, deep flavors that are SO much better than store-bought thandai masala powder.
Get the recipe

9.  Masala soda

Masala means spice blend so this drink also known as spiced soda or masala soft drink, is a carbonated beverage infused with a blend of spices and flavors.

 It typically includes ingredients like black salt, roasted cumin powder, lemon juice, mint leaves, and sometimes ginger or chaat masala. 

Masala soda in a tall glass with mint garnish.

5 Minute Masala Soda or Jeera Soda

In 5 minutes enjoy masala soda, a tangy spiced lemonade made with simple ingredients that is refreshing and lip-smacking!
Get the recipe

10. Jal Jeera

Jal means water and jeera means cumin. Jal Jeera is a tangy and refreshing drink made with jeera powder or cumin powder, mint leaves, tamarind, and other spices. This thirst-quenching beverage is known for its cooling properties.

11. Nimbu Pani

Nimbu Pani, also known as Indian lemonade, is a classic Indian summer drink. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is mixed with water, sugar, and a pinch of salt to create a revitalizing citrus beverage.

Alternative versions of the drink include adding roasted cumin powder and Chaat Masala.

Nimbu pani in a glass with mint leaves garnish.

5 Minute Tangy Nimbu Pani

Nimbu pani is a tangy sweet Indian lemonade with a touch of spice. It's super refreshing and simple to make.
Get the recipe

12. Falooda

 Falooda is a delightful dessert drink that originated in Persia but became immensely popular in India. It consists of rose syrup, vermicelli, basil seeds, milk, and ice cream. Falooda is a visual delight with its colorful layers and offers a perfect blend of textures and flavors.

13. Paneer Soda

Paneer Soda is a popular carbonated beverage originating from Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. Unlike its name suggests, it does not contain paneer (cottage cheese). 

Instead, it is a unique and refreshing drink made by mixing soda water with a special syrup known as “rose syrup” or “sherbet.” 

The rose syrup gives Paneer Soda its distinct flavor and vibrant pink color. The drink is often garnished with a squeeze of lemon juice and a few mint leaves, enhancing its refreshing qualities.

14. Sugarcane Juice

Sugarcane Juice is a natural, sweet, and energizing drink extracted from fresh sugarcane stalks. It is a popular street-side beverage, especially during the summer months. Sugarcane Juice is known for its refreshing taste.

Fruit-Based Drinks

15. Aam Panna (Mango Panna)

 Aam Panna is a tangy and sweet drink made from green mangoes. The raw mango pulp is mixed with sugar, salt, and a blend of spices like cumin and black salt. 

This is one of the more popular Indian summer drinks as it aids in preventing dehydration.

Glass of aam panna with a mint spring garnish.

Aam Panna (Mango Panna – Keri No Baflo)

Aam Panna is an authentic Indian drink that is easy to make with green mangoes, mint leaves, and a few spices.  I have an easy way to prepare it. Perfectly balanced between sweet and sour –  this drink is the perfect blend of flavors to serve at your next gathering.
Get the recipe

16. Chikoo Milkshake

Chikoo Milkshake, also known as Sapodilla Milkshake, is a creamy and delicious beverage made from ripe chikoo (sapodilla) fruit. The fruit pulp is blended with milk, sugar, and ice cream to create a thick and flavorful milkshake. Chikoo Milkshake is popular for its natural sweetness and unique caramel-like flavor.

Chikoo milkshake on a plate with coconut shred garnish and a slice of chikoo.

Creamy Chikoo Milkshake (vegan option)

Creamy chikoo milkshake with or without ice cream ready in 5 minutes! Plus, three yummy ideas for additional flavor.
Get the recipe

17. Kokum Sherbet

Kokum Sherbet is a refreshing drink from the coastal regions of India. It is made by extracting the juice from kokum fruit, which is then sweetened with sugar and flavored with spices. Kokum Sherbet has a unique sweet and tangy taste and is believed to have cooling properties.

18. Lychee Juice

This fruit is are widely cultivated in some parts of India, especially in states like Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh, contributing to their availability and popularity in the country.

litchee juice lemonade in a glass topped with a lemon slice and lychees in a white bowl on the side.

Lychee Lemonade or Litchee Juice Lemonade

Litchee juice lemonade is a refreshing cold drink on its own or as a base for mocktails or cocktails. Litchee or lychee gives a sweet fresh light floral and tangy taste.This can be easily made from either fresh or canned lychees.
Get the recipe

19. Bel Sherbet

 Bel Sherbet is a sweet and tangy drink made from the pulp of the bel fruit, also known as a wood apple. The fruit pulp is mixed with water, sugar, and sometimes a hint of lemon juice to create a refreshing beverage.

Flavored Milks

Flavored milks are popular Indian drinks. You’ll see they’re a variety and can be enjoyed cool or warm.

20. Kesar Doodh

Kesar Doodh, also known as Saffron Milk, is a luxurious and aromatic drink infused with the essence of saffron. This Indian beverage is made by steeping a few strands of saffron in warm milk with sugar, allowing the flavors and vibrant yellow color of saffron to infuse into the milk. 

Kesar Doodh is often enjoyed as a festive drink during auspicious occasions.

Saffron milk in a glass.

Kesar Milk

Kesar milk or saffron milk is a quick treat flavored with saffron, crushed almonds and a hint of cardamom. A traditional Indian drink!
Get the recipe

21. Rose Milk

 Rose Milk is a popular beverage made by blending rose water and sugar or rose syrup with chilled milk. It is a fragrant and soothing drink that is often served as a welcome refreshment during Indian weddings and celebrations.

22. Badam Milk

 Badam Milk is a rich and creamy almond milk beverage. 

Ground almonds are ground and mixed with milk, sugar, and aromatic spices like cardamom and saffron. Badam Milk is often consumed as a nourishing drink during winters.

23. Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh)

Turmeric Milk, also known as Haldi Doodh, is a traditional Indian beverage. It is made by heating milk with turmeric, black pepper, and other spices.

Turmeric milk in a glass.

5 Minute Authentic Haldi Doodh (Traditional Indian Golden Milk)

Turmeric milk (haldi doodh) is a soothing traditional Indian drink. Ready in 5 minutes, it's the perfect cozy drink.
Get the recipe

24. Mango Milk

Mango Milk is a delightful fusion of fresh mango pulp and chilled milk. It is a popular seasonal beverage that combines the sweetness of ripe mangoes with the creaminess of milk, creating a luscious and refreshing drink.

Mango milk in a glass with saffron strands and crushed pistachio.

Mango Milk

Refreshing mango milk is a delight to drink and easy to make. Mango pulp or fresh mangoes are mixed with saffron infused milk for a sweet treat.
Get the recipe

Hope you enjoyed this list of Indian drinks and Indian beverages!

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