3 Himalayan Drinks to Try Before You Die

The Himalayan region is famous for many things: its mountains, its diverse cultures, its wonderful people, its cuisine and its special drinks.

Here are 3 Himalayan drinks that will make you crave for more:

Himalayan Drink #1: Chiya

Every Himalayan home brews this beverage every morning and evening; it’s almost impossible to start your day in the Himalayas without a cup of hot “chiya”.  A cup of hot steaming tea is a catalyst to hours of conversations at homes, often interrupting daily chores. When you enter any Himalayan home the common question often asked is , “ Would you like a cup of “chiya”? one of the hallmarks of Himalayan hospitality. Himalayan tea is often brewed in a kettle.

Some important ingredients of “chiya” besides the tea leaves include milk, cardamom, ginger, and cloves which serve as tea masala. A hint of black pepper in a cup of “chiya” in winter season warms up the body. This spiced up tea assumes various roles like energy drink, after meal dessert, and thirst quencher. With the advent of tea bars in many cities people are getting introduced to new verities of tea besides traditional spiced “chiya.”

Himalayan Drink #2: Tongba

Topping the chart as one of the best and most popular alcoholic Himalyan drink, drinking Tongba is more of a cultural experience rather than getting high from drinking it. Close cousins with hot beer, Tongba is also made of fermented millet, but tastes rather sour. It is usually served in tall bamboo cup, filled with dark, grains.

Hot water needs to be poured into this cup and dense fluid comes forth. With a bamboo straw, the hot drink is sipped slowly. You keep adding hot water until flavor is worn out.

Himalayan Drink #3: Chhaang

Production of alcoholic drinks in Himalayan culture has always been purposeful. Chhaang for instance, is a drink that is mandatory in Tibetan festivals like Losar, wedding and even funerals. This fermented wine is usually made from barley, millet and rice. Yeast is added for fermentation with a dash of barm.

The result is called a glum and it is usually pressed with hands to squeeze out the cloudy concoction. The chhaang is then poured into cups and offered to guests. Himalayan hospitality compel the host to replenish the cups for the guests at least three times. Often the goal is to get the guests drunk, a sign that it was a great party.


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