7 Local South Asian Alcohols You Didn't Know About

Homegrown Staff

While these may all be acquired tastes they are certainly worth a shot (or five). Here is Homegrown’s curation of some local alcoholic beverages across South Asia that should be on your alcohol bucket list.

A specialty of the indigenous people of the Ribba region of Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh - angoori, also known as kinnauri, is a popular drink among the locals that is consumed at fairs and other religious gatherings.

Ara or arag is a traditional beverage from Bhutan that is usually creamy, clear, and white in colour. It is made by fermenting or distilling rice or maize and is mostly made for personal consumption due to the fact that the sale of ara is prohibited.

Native to the land of Tripura, chuak is an alcoholic beverage made with pineapples and jackfruit. Often consumed as a ritual on social occasions by the local population, chuak has a delicious, fruity taste.

Another popular local beverage of the Kinnaur district in Himachal Pradesh is chulli, a light drink with a sublime fruity taste. The drink is brewed by using dried wild apricots and apples and has a clear vodka-like appearance.

An indigenous alcoholic-fermented beverage, handia is a rice beer that is popular among certain indigenous tribes of India. It is considered to be the most sacred drink in the Munda and Santhal tribes and is offered for both religious purposes as well as for celebrations.

With hints of nutty spice and tropical fruit, it pairs well with citrusy drinks like Limca or just lime soda with a slit chilly, which might sound like an odd combination but actually tastes like a match made in heaven.

An alcoholic, fermented, traditional drink of many ethnic groups in Nepal, Tongba is a millet-based drink. Traditionally prepared by the Limbu Sherpas of Nepal, the brew was prepared for religious offerings, ceremonies and celebrations. It quickly gained popularity in the neighbouring regions of Sikkim, Bhutan, and Tibet.