Famous for the jaw-dropping panoramas of the majestic Himalaya, Nepal is a country of diversity as well. There are several religious and cultural groups in Nepal, each with their own drinking preferences.
In this article, we will go through the Top 8 must-try drinks in Nepal and talk about some of the substantial drinks offered in the country. Alcohol in Nepal being the superior topic of discussion, it is important to mention that alcohol in Nepal is not only used for parties but some significant cultural rituals. Home-brewing is still done in rural homes for traditional rituals or a get-together. Below are some of our favorite ones:
Made up from either millet, corn, rice, wheat, or barley, Raksi in Nepal means distilled alcohol or just ‘alcohol’. It is traditional yet strong and often made at home. Raksi is clear in color and tastes somewhat like Japanese sake.
Raksi is probably the most famous distilled alcoholic beverage in Nepal. Since ‘Raksi’ is more of a general term for any alcoholic beverage in Nepal, people often refer to distilled alcohol as ‘Local’. CNN has also recognized Raksi as 41st out of the 50 most delicious drinks.
Tongba is yet another delicious alcoholic beverage in Nepal. The drink is milky white in color. Mostly drank by Sherpas and Newars in Nepal, it is made after grains are stored in a copper pot to ferment with some boiling water.
After the fermentation, it results in a sweet and somewhat sour brew. Tongba is usually served in its iconic sliver cup-like bowels. The drink is severed warm in a wooden churn with a straw on top. The popularity of Tongba increases as you gain altitude in Nepal. People from the Himalaya absolutely love the drink. Plus, it’s perfect for cold nights in the Himalayas.
Similar to Tongba, Chhyang is one of the most enjoyed drinks in Nepal. Served usually at room temperature, Chhyang is an important part of the Newari and Sherpa culture. During cold winter days, Chyyang is also served piping-hot in either bowl made of brass or wood.
Chhyang tastes sweet and is usually less strong. Trust me, it does not burn your throat like Raksi. The drink is made in a copper pot with grains and boiling water in it. After fermentation, resulting in a milky white sweet plus sour brew ready to be enjoyed. Chhyang is equally popular throughout Tibet and Bhutan as well.
Brought from the Mustang District, Marphak Brandy is relatively rare in Nepal. But as the country advances, the availability of Marphak has been significantly improved. The brandy is mainly made from the famous apples of Mustang. Other times, it is made from fruit juices from pear, orchards, or apricot. Marphak is one strong brew from the Himalayas of Nepal. One suggestion – take it slow.
Served at hotels and bars of cities in Nepal such as Pokhara and Kathmandu, Aila is one of the strongest drinks in Nepal. Traditionally, Aila is served in decorative pitchers amongst the Newar community. However, its demand has risen as it gets served on a larger scale. It takes up to a week to ferment.
The same strong Local Raksi from Nepal with a touch in it. When hot ghee and grains of rice are mixed with Raksi, it makes a jhhwaiii! sound. The name was then kept after the satisfactory sound it makes. Although hot, this drink is strong as well. Jhaikhatte has an organic flavor that rural people are still fond of.
From pubs to tea houses, Khukri Rum is widely famous in Nepal. Khukri “Rum is a nuanced rum, smooth yet complex, mellow yet intricate, bold yet sophisticated.” – Khukri Rum
Khukri Rum still honors the rich past of Nepal, which is why it has been able to win the hearts of many and a worthy mention on this guide. If you are into beautifully integrated flavors with rich colors, you will love the Khukri Rum.
Take your pick out of a wide variety of Nepalese beers to calm down the evening. Nepal Ice, Gorkha, Everest, and Tuborg are some of the popular Nepalese beers. These beers are available almost everywhere in Nepal. Beers are less used for traditional purposes and more for celebration. Nepalese love beers.