Welcome to the vibrant land of Goa, where the sun, sand, and sea are not the only things to experience but, there are many other layers too, that will captivate your inner soul. Nestled on the west coast of India, Goa has a rich and diverse beverage culture deeply rooted in its history, geography, and people.
From the famous coconut water to the local brew feni, Goan beverages are a true reflection of the state’s multiculturalism and hospitality. Whether you are lounging on the beach or exploring the quaint streets, a refreshing drink always cools you down and lifts your spirits. Join us on a journey to discover “Goa beyond cocktails” with 10 local drinks to try on your next visit.
Let us begin with Goa’s must-try beverages, and experience the flavours, aromas, and colours of this tropical paradise like never before.
1. Kokum Juice and Soda
When it comes to the refreshing and healthy beverages of Goa, Kokum juice and soda are two of the most popular choices. Kokum, also known as Garcinia indica, is a small fruit that is native to the Western Ghats region of India, including Goa. The fruit has a tangy and slightly sweet flavour, and its deep purple colour adds a beautiful hue to the drinks. Kokum juice is typically made by boiling the fruit in water and adding sugar or jaggery for sweetness. The result is a refreshing and rejuvenating drink that is packed with vitamins and minerals. Kokum soda, on the other hand, is a fizzy version of the juice that is made by adding soda water to the juice. The combination of the tangy kokum flavour and the bubbly soda water creates a delightful and unique taste that is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot day. Whether you prefer traditional juice or trendy soda, Kokum is a must-try beverage that embodies the tropical flavours of Goa.
While Goa is famous for its local brews and exotic tropical juices, the Mojito is a refreshing and popular cocktail that has made its way to the shores of this coastal paradise. The Mojito is a classic Cuban cocktail that typically consists of rum, mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, and soda water. However, in Goa, the Mojito has undergone a local twist with the addition of kokum, the tangy fruit that is indigenous to the region. The Goan version of the Mojito uses white rum, fresh mint leaves, lime juice, sugar, and a dash of kokum syrup. The result is a delicious and zesty cocktail that perfectly balances the sweetness of the sugar with the tartness of the lime and the tanginess of the kokum. Served in a tall glass over ice, the Goan Mojito is a must-try beverage that captures the essence of the tropics and the fusion of cultures in this beautiful state.
3. Sol Kadhi
Sol Kadhi is a refreshing and traditional beverage that is a staple in the coastal state of Goa. Made with kokum fruit, coconut milk, and spices, Sol Kadhi is a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavours that is sure to awaken your taste buds. The deep pink colour of the drink is derived from the kokum, which is first soaked in water to release its vibrant colour and tangy flavour. The water is then mixed with fresh coconut milk, garlic, ginger, and other spices to create a creamy and aromatic drink that is perfect for balancing out spicy and rich Goan dishes. Sol Kadhi is not only a delicious beverage but also a healthy one, as kokum is known for its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. Whether you are looking to cool down after a day in the sun or trying to beat the heat, Sol Kadhi is a must-try beverage that will transport you to the vibrant and tropical land of Goa.
4. Plum Bellini
The Plum Bellini, a speciality of the region, is a perfect blend of sweet and tart flavours that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
What sets the Plum Bellini apart from its traditional counterpart is the use of locally sourced plums. The plums, which are in season during the summer months in Goa, are handpicked and blended to create a rich and flavorful puree. This puree is then mixed with a chilled bottle of prosecco, creating a beautiful peach-coloured drink that is perfect for any occasion.
The Plum Bellini is a perfect cocktail for those looking to add a little bit of sophistication to their summer beach vacation.
Feni is a traditional alcoholic beverage that is indigenous to the Indian state of Goa. It is made from the fermented juice of cashew apples or coconuts and is a staple in the local culture and cuisine.
The process of making Feni involves collecting the juice from the cashew apples, which are then stomped on to release the juice. The juice is then left to ferment in earthen pots or plastic barrels for about three days. During this time, the sugar in the juice is converted into alcohol. After fermentation, the liquid is distilled in traditional copper stills to increase the alcohol content and create a clear, potent liquor.
Feni has a distinct and strong aroma and a slightly sweet and nutty flavour. It is typically consumed straight or mixed with soda, tonic water or lime juice. It is also used in traditional Goan dishes like fish curry and pork vindaloo, where it adds a unique flavour and aroma to the dish.
6. Watermelon Margarita
The perfect way to cool off and quench your thirst is with a refreshing Watermelon Margarita. Made with fresh, juicy watermelon, a splash of lime juice, and a generous pour of tequila, this cocktail is a delicious twist on the classic margarita. The sweetness of the watermelon is balanced perfectly with the tartness of the lime, and the salted rim adds just the right amount of savoury flavour. Sipping on this cocktail, you can taste the flavours of Goa in every sip – the sweetness of the watermelon and the kick of the tequila, all with a touch of tropical flair. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy the beauty of Goa, one sip at a time.
Urrak is a traditional drink that has been enjoyed by locals for generations and has recently gained popularity among tourists looking for an authentic Goan experience. Made from the first distillation of cashew apple juice, Urrak has a slightly sweet, tangy and earthy flavour, with a hint of nuttiness. It is traditionally consumed straight, but can also be mixed with soda or tonic water for a refreshing twist. The process of making Urrak is a labour-intensive one, requiring a keen eye and skilful hands to ensure the perfect balance of flavours. Drinking Urrak is like taking a sip of history – it embodies the spirit and culture of Goa, and is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the people who call this place home. So, if you find yourself in Goa, take a sip of Urrak and experience the unique and rustic flavours of this traditional beverage.
Armada is a lesser-known but equally delightful beverage that hails from the Indian state of Goa. It is a concoction of fermented sugarcane juice, mixed with herbs and spices to create a refreshing and aromatic drink. The herbs and spices used in Armada can vary, but often include cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, which lend a warm and cosy flavour to the beverage. Armada is also sometimes aged in wooden barrels, which can give it a woody and smoky undertone.
One of the unique aspects of Armada is its frothy texture, which comes from the process of fermentation. This effervescence gives Armada a light and airy feel, making it a perfect beverage for sipping on a hot summer day. Armada can be enjoyed on its own, but it is also a popular ingredient in cocktails and mocktails, adding a spicy and unique flavour to any drink.
Armada may not be as well-known as some of Goa’s other famous beverages like Feni and Urrak, but it is no less delicious or authentic. It is a drink that embodies the spirit of Goa – warm, welcoming, and full of flavour. So, the next time you find yourself in Goa, be sure to try a glass of Armada and experience the unique taste of this hidden gem.
Kasia may not be as well-known as some of Goa’s other famous beverages, but it is a testament to the state’s rich and diverse culinary heritage. It is a drink that embodies the essence of Goa – warm, welcoming, and full of unique and delightful surprises. So, the next time you visit Goa, be sure to try a glass of Kasia and experience the refreshing taste of this hidden gem.
One of the unique features of Kasia is its earthy and floral aroma, which comes from the khus grass. The grass is known for its natural cooling properties, which makes Kasia a perfect drink to beat the heat in Goa’s tropical climate. It has a mild sweetness that is balanced by the subtle bitterness of the khus extract, making it a refreshing and delicious beverage that is enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
Niro is a perfect drink to beat the heat in Goa’s tropical climate. It is packed with electrolytes, making it an excellent thirst quencher after a long day of exploring the beaches and attractions of Goa. It is also a popular ingredient in desserts and curries, where its delicate flavour and aroma add a unique touch to these dishes.
Niro has a delicate and sweet flavour that is complemented by the natural nuttiness of the coconut. Niro is a testament to the natural bounty of Goa, and its simplicity and purity make it a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Drinking Niro is like taking a sip of the coastal life – refreshing, rejuvenating, and full of vitality. So, the next time you find yourself in Goa, be sure to try a glass of Niro and experience the delicious taste of this hidden gem.
So, as we come to the end of our beverage journey in Goa, we hope you’re feeling refreshed and inspired to try something new. Goa offers a unique and refreshing range of beverages that can satisfy anyone’s taste buds. From the sweet and tangy Kokum juice to the spicy Solkadhi, each drink has its own distinct flavour and health benefits. These drinks not only help quench thirst but also offer a perfect way to beat the heat and refresh the mind and body.
If you are planning a trip to Goa, make sure to try out these amazing beverages and experience the taste of the Konkan coast. The local markets in Goa offer a variety of options to choose from, and you can even try making these beverages at home using locally sourced ingredients. So, next time you visit Goa, make sure to indulge in these refreshing drinks and add some flavour to your trip.
Our journey through Goa’s delicious and unique beverages may be over, but the taste of these refreshing drinks will linger on.