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Food & Beverages

Make Diwali All About These 7 Desi Cocktails

By Trishi Dhingra

Updated - May 9, 20245 min read

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This Diwali, we upgraded your festive cocktail menu. And it's all desi! That's right. So, no more Dirty Martinis or Bloody Marys, this season, let's colour our favourite concoctions, Indian and delicious!


Here are 7 yummy ones you can start with.


1. Martini with Jamun

If gin is your poison, this sweet-and-sour martini cocktail will win you over. This Diwali, take our advice and don't gulp down your gin with that left-over bottle of Sprite. It probably has no fizz left in it anyway.

Image Courtesy: Tulleehha 


Your order: London dry gin with Jamun, lime juice, and some sugar syrup

Quick recipe:

  • In a shaker, combine vodka and fresh sugarcane juice.
  • Add ice cubes to the shaker.
  • Shake well for about 15-20 seconds, then strain the mixture into a glass.



2. Khus and Gin Sherbet

Diwali is the most awaited celebration of the year. Well, drinking gin with buds is a close second. But this time, we're giving you another reason to love both. Khus and Gin Sherbet! A unique cocktail with the goodness of Khus (our mom's favourite desi nuska) and a kick of gin. Serve cold with crispy corn on the side. 

Image Courtesy: The Whiskypedia


Your order: London dry gin, Khus syrup, lime juice, salt, Sprite/7-Up to top up

Quick recipe:

  • In a shaker, muddle a few fresh coriander leaves.
  • Add tequila, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, and ice cubes to the shaker.
  • Shake well, then strain the mixture into a glass filled with ice.



3. Orange Zinger

Add some zing to your Diwali parties and drinks! Next up we have an old-fashioned whiskey-based cocktail that comes with a hint of ginger and the oomph that comes with orange marmalade. Sidebar: Ginger cocktails are always a big hit and this one is a must-try for all whiskey fans.

Image Courtesy: All Recepies


Your order: Indian whiskey, orange marmalade, ginger, and soda

Quick recipe:

  • In a glass, combine vodka and lemonade.
  • Add a pinch of black salt and stir well.
  • Add ice cubes and garnish with mint leaves.



4. Chai White Russian

Cocktails are a great conversation starter. And this, in particular, is an amazing choice when you're hosting a Diwali party.

Image Courtesy: The Spice Train 


Your order: Vodka (vanilla vodka works great), chai, and cream (can use light or half & half)

Quick recipe:

  • In a glass, combine vodka, coffee liqueur, and chilled chai tea.
  • Add ice cubes and stir gently.
  • Pour a layer of cream or milk on top and serve.



5. Vodka Shikanji

Desi shikanji offers a next-level high that can't be matched. But this Diwali, crank it up a notch. Pour that bottle of vodka and give your shikanji the buzz it's missing. 

Image Courtesy: Vegan Rica


Your order: Vodka, lime juice, sugar syrup, mint leaves, and shikanji salt

Quick recipe:

  • In a glass, combine orange vodka, orange juice, and simple syrup.
  • Stir well and add ice cubes.
  • Garnish with orange slices.



6. Corrito

What do you do when you have a bottle of Thumbs up and some white rum? You add some chaat masala or tabasco and throw a Diwali party or head to one (and pre-booze, just in case). 

Image Courtesy: WikiHow


Your order: White rum, coriander leaves: 3-5 sprigs leaves, lime chunk, sugar syrup, Tabasco, chaat masala, and Thumbs Up to top

Quick recipe:

  • In a glass, combine gin and khus syrup.
  • Add ice cubes and top with club soda.
  • Stir gently and garnish with a lime wedge.



7. Ganne ka Vodka

There’s nothing quite like a tasty glass of plain sugarcane juice. But this season we are adding a little spice to the drink. Yes, it's vodka. 

Image Courtesy: Happy Sappy 


Your order: Vodka, sugarcane juice, cumin seeds, lime juice, and sea salt

Quick recipe:

  • In a mixing glass, combine gin or vodka and jamun juice.
  • Add ice cubes and stir well.
  • Strain the mixture into a martini glass and garnish with a jamun.



Aaaaaand you are now fully equipped to celebrate Diwali. Tell us in the comments if you know of more cool Indian cocktail recipes.


Q: What are some popular desi cocktails?

A: Classic choices include the Mumbai Mule, Spicy Mango Mojito, and Tamarind Margarita.


Q: Can I make desi cocktails at home?

A: Absolutely! Most recipes use common ingredients like spices, fruits, and regional spirits.


Q: What's a unique twist to a traditional cocktail?

A: Try the Chaatini - a cocktail infused with the flavors of Indian street food chaat.


Q: Which spirits work well in desi cocktails?

A: Rum, vodka, and whiskey are commonly used, but don't forget about regional choices like feni or arrack.


Q: Are there non-alcoholic desi mocktails?

A: Yes, enjoy a Virgin Mint Masala Mojito or a Pomegranate Lassi for a delightful alcohol-free option.