Whether you party with alcoholic beverages or stick to virgin tipple, your Diwali drink should match the mood of the season.
It’s already stressful coming up with a whole meal plan, and the last thing many people want to do is spend time brainstorming a complex, multi-ingredient cocktail or pitcher drink to match their spread.
However, a celebratory Diwali drink doesn’t need to be complex to be delicious. Some of our favorite celebratory drinks are beautiful in their simplicity. Regardless of its complexity, a complimentary drink is the finishing touch that can push a festive meal from good to great.
Not sure where to start when selecting the perfect beverage for your Diwali meal? Let us help. Here are some of our best tips to create a signature celebratory festival drink, as well as some imaginative ideas to get you started.
WHERE TO START
- Begin with the base: Whether you decide to do alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks, every beverage requires a base ingredient. Pick one that your guests would like as a place to start. Whether you choose vodka, red wine, or even sparkling water, a single base beverage allows you to be creative without purchasing tons of ingredients.
- Match the ingredients to your meal: Whether you’re sticking with traditional snacks, such as samosas and pakoras, or opting for a larger main dish, such as a roast leg of lamb, your drinks should complement the flavors of your meal.
- Don’t overcomplicate things: When cooking, hosting, and serving, the last thing you want to be doing is taking time to whip up individual cocktails. That’s why we favor individual pre-made drinks or a pitcher cocktail that guests can pour out on demand.
OUR FAVORITE DIWALI DRINK RECIPES
There are lots of options for great drinks to add to your celebration. If you want to create one from scratch, follow the guidelines we laid out above. To help you get your creative juices flowing, here are some ideas that we love.
Nimbu pani is a great choice for a drink that can accompany a rich, savory meal. This summer staple translates well to fall or winter, as long as you’re celebrating indoors.
Plus, there are tons of variations. The classic version contains just water, juice from a lemon or lime, and black salt (kala namak). However, you can play with it to customize it to your taste, adding a bit of sugar or simple syrup for sweetness, a pinch of chaat masala, or even a little tipple of vodka or gin to make it alcoholic.
Celebrate the Diwali custom of eating sweets with a sweet dessert wine. This can be served with your dessert or solo, to help guests wind down after a large and decadent meal. Whether you opt for a Hungarian tokaji, an Italian vin santo, or a Canadian ice wine, there is plenty of variety to choose from, depending on your taste and sweet tooth.
Champagne with Extras
Everyone loves champagne, but you can make it just a bit more festive by providing extras that refashion it into a cocktail. Add fresh lemon juice and simple syrup to make a French 75; Grand Marnier to make a Grand Royale; or peach puree to make a Bellini.
Sangria doesn’t need to be limited to warm weather. There are lots of ways that you can customize this easy-sipping drink for cooler weather.
First, start with a rose or red wine. Then add in seasonally appropriate fruit, spices, and other extras. Our favorites are apples, pears, and cinnamon paired with red wine, or plums, berries, and pomegranate seeds with white wine. Your sangria can also be made with non-alcoholic wine, or even apple cider, to accommodate children and people who prefer not to drink alcohol.