There are travellers who explore the ins-and-outs of a different culture and have fun while at it, and then there are drunk travellers, who do all of those things, only drunk. If you’re one of the latter {we sure are}, India has a lot of places for you to explore for their regional alcohol, some of it better than anything you can find at your local liquor shop.

Toddy In Kerala

Image courtesy: Wikimedia

Image courtesy: Wikimedia

No trip to Kerala is complete without a visit to the local toddy shops, aptly named after toddy, a locally brewed palm wine. While neither toddy nor toddy shops are exclusive to Kerala, the combination of local beef fry with toddy has always been a quintessentially Kerala experience. If you find yourself in the region and hungry {or not; you can just have the toddy, too}, look out for one of these.

Zawlaidi In Mizoram

The north-eastern part of India has a distinct, home-made alcohol culture that will probably require a whole article to chart out, but to pick the best, we have to go with Zawlaidi. Renowned for its taste across the region, Zawlaidi is a local wine made with high-quality grapes from the local mountains, and its price of about INR 200 per bottle {depending on where you buy it from} makes it a steal as far as wines go.

Chhaang In Ladakh

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Chhaang is pretty widely available in Tibet and Nepal, but to taste it in India, you’d have to make a trip to Ladakh {or some Himalayan regions in the north-east}. It’s essentially a type of beer commonly brewed with barley or rice grains, and a hot cup makes for the perfect accompaniment to the almost inhospitable winters of the region.

Tharra Across North India

Known to most of us because of its usage in jokes, when done right, tharra is actually quite a delicious {and potent} drink locally made in north India. It’s usually made up of fermented sugarcane, and if you’re going to try it, we’d advise you to check the source {it goes fatally bad soon after fermentation}. But if you happen to find yourself in some, say, local Punjabi village and get a chance to try some of it from a trustworthy brewer, it makes for some pretty fun times.

Feni In Goa

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

For many of us, Goa is that annual escape to sandy beaches and reckless abandon, and is best complimented by feni, their local alcohol. In the state, finding it isn’t that big of a problem, as it’s a favourite among the locals as well as abundantly available— unlike outside Goa, so bring as much of it as you can along on your way back. While we love the cashew variety, it can also be made by fermenting coconut sap.

Featured image courtesy: Wikipedia

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