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Holi Recipe: Vodka Lavender Thandai

March 26, 2021 12:55 IST
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This Holi, ditch the classic bhang drink for vodka and lavender-laced thandai.

Dipesh Sinha, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai, has a special concoction.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Sahara Star

Vodka Lavender Thandai

Serves: 8-10


  • 180 ml of unflavoured vodka
  • 100 ml lavender syrup, available in gourmet stores and online
  • 2 l whole milk or full cream milk
  • 300 gm sugar
  • 100 gm cashews + few extra for the garnish
  • 100 gm pistachios + few extra for the garnish
  • 100 gm roasted almonds + few extra for the garnish
  • 50 gm dried cranberries
  • 150 ml sweetened whipped cream
  • Kulhad, an unpainted, unglazed glass made out of clay, optional


  • In a bowl of hot water soak the cashews, almonds, pistachios and cranberries for 30 minutes or until they become soft.
    Drain the water and transfer the nuts and cranberries into a blender. Blend with as little water as possible till you get a smooth paste.
    Refrigerate the paste.
  • Heat the milk in a thick-bottomed saucepan or pot over low heat.
    Add the sugar and keep stirring until the milk thickens and reduces by ½ litre.
    Keep stirring or the milk or sugar may stick to the bottom of the saucepan.
    Take off heat and let the milk cool.
    Once it cools, transfer the contents into a tall container and place it in the freezer to cool for 15-20 minutes.
  • Pour the vodka, lavender syrup, reduced milk (once cooled) and the nut paste into a blender. Blend for a minute.
  • Pour the drink into a pretty-looking tall glass or a kulhad.
  • Top with whipped cream and nuts. Serve cold.

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