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 its drinking preferences.
In this article, we will go through The Unconventional Guide to Drinks in Nepal 2023 and talk about some of the substantial drinks offered in the country. Alcohol in Nepal being the superior topic of discussion, it is essential to mention that liquor in Nepal is not only used for parties but also in 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 of 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 colour 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 Raksi’. 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. Mostly drunk by Sherpas and Newars in Nepal, it is made after storing grains 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 silver cup-like bowels. The drink is served warm in a wooden churn with a straw on top. The popularity of Tongba increases as you move to higher regions. People from the Himalayas 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 integral part of the Newari and Sherpa culture. During cold winter days, Chyyang is served piping-hot in a bowl made of brass or wood.
Chhyang tastes sweet and is usually less intense. 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, it results in a milky white sweet plus sour brew ready to be enjoyed. Chhyang is equally prevalent 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. We suggest you take it slow.
Served at hotels and bars of cities in Nepal such as Pokhara and Kathmandu, Aila is one of the most potent drinks in Nepal. It takes up to a week to ferment. Traditionally, Aila is served in decorative pitchers amongst the Newari population. However, Aila’s demand has been increasing as it gets more exposure.
Similar to Local Raksi, Jhaikhatte comes with a slight touch of natural flavour. When hot ghee and rice grains are sprinkled with Raksi, it makes a ‘jhhwaiii!’ sound. The name was then kept after the satisfactory sound it makes. The drink is hot and indispensable. Jhaikhatte has an organic flavour 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 honours the rich past of Nepal, which is why it has been able to conquer the hearts of millions and is a worthy mention on this guide. If you are into beautifully integrated flavours with rich colours, 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. The beers are available almost everywhere in Nepal. However, they’re less used for traditional purposes and more for celebration.
These are the common guide to drinks in Nepal.