It’s no secret that that Goa is a major player when it comes to producing some kickass in-house beverages; Alcoholic or otherwise. After all, you’re in Goa. And as a certain saying goes ‘When in rome, do as the romans do’, you should by all means, drink only the best of Goa’s very own, especially if you want your Goan comrades to take you seriously.
Here are 7 of only the best Goan drinks that every traveler should have a sip of.
7. Kokum Juice or Sherbat
It would be a sin if we didn’t start with this centuries old Goan classic. A native to Goa, Kokum berries are an essential component of the Konkan food culture. But they’re definitely a more essential component of a fresh glass of Kokum Juice.
You also get them in glass and plastic bottles all over Goa. Some are even carbonated. But these are known to have lots of sugar in them so try to get a freshly prepared one instead. Did we mention that Kokum Juice is great for health and is a part of Ayurvedic medicine? Keep on chugging 🙂
Unless you live under a rock on the far side of the moon and spend your days counting moon rocks, you’ve probably heard of Feni.
Using traditional pots and still distilling techniques, men and women alike work from dawn to dusk to produce only the finest expression of Goan Cashew Feni. Many have favourably compared the rich taste of Feni to Goa’s beautiful climate, exotic flavours and party lifestyle. Be very cautious when drinking Feni as it contains 43% alcohol and can get anyone drunk with just a few shots. (Beer, for comparison has 2%-5% alcohol)
5. Desmondji Pure Cane
This refined and smooth, 100% pure sugarcane Goan spirit is distilled in small batch Pot-Stills. Desmondji can be used with your favourite mixer or in premium cocktails such as Caipirinhas, Mojitos, Daiquiris.
This 100% pure & smooth sugarcane spirit is made from specially selected sugarcane species growing in India’s Deccan Plateau. It belongs to the International family of sugar cane based spirits like artisanal Brazilian Cachaςa, and Rhum Agricole from the French West Indies.
P.S. it is not to be confused with molasses based rums.
Urak is the first distillation of Feni and contains ~15% alcohol. However Urak, unlike feni, is meant to be drunk with Limca or lemonade. While you pour only a quart of feni, Urak servings are a taste more generous, filling almost half the glass, since the alcohol volume percent is only 12 – 15 % when compared to around 45 % of feni.
P.S. Do not drink vodka immediately after drinking Urak or vice versa. Urak and vodka can be quite a lethal combination that has indeed led to many deaths.
Based on a family recipe that has been in the maker’s family since the times of the Portuguese Empire, this spice liqueur is still handcrafted in small batches.Made without artificial colours, preservatives or flavours, this all-natural concoction is supposed to make unique cocktails. Armada is eminently drinkable as a traditional digestif, and it can also be used to make superb cocktails. You can even use it to cook with !
It goes really well in many sweets – from profiteroles to ice-cream, chocolate brownies to Christmas cake – adding a sophisticated, decadent spicy taste layer.
2. Sol Kadi
Sol Kadi is famous and evergreen Goan drink. Freshly prepared from Kokum or Aamsol and coconut milk. Sol kadi cools down the digestive system after eating spicy food. It is a natural digestive. Kokum itself is supposed to be an excellent antidote for acidity.
Goans generally mix Sol Kadi with rice alongside the regular fish curry. It can also be drunk on its own and can be made on short notice using nothing beyond the usual kitchen supplies.
1. King’s Pilsner Beer
Are you tired of drinking the same old boring beer? Are Budweiser and Heineken just not cutting it for you anymore? Then you’re in luck. Goa is the home of King’s Pilsner Beer. This Goan beer is a bright golden coloured, full-bodied beer with a refreshing taste. It delivers a soft texture, complimented by the proper balance of malt and hops. King’s beer has 0.5% less alcohol content than normal beers and has no after taste as all other beers have. Way too many plus already, isn’t it?
It’s that kind of pale lager which makes you wonder why other pale lagers aren’t as outgoing.
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Featured image courtesy- Goa Streets