6 Famous Drinks of Ladakh, From Chhang To Butter Tea
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Ladakh is a beautiful part of India that is surrounded by majestic hills and beautiful lakes. People from different parts of the world visit this part of India every year to witness the unwavering serenity and intricate culture that this place has upheld through the years. The food in Ladakh, even to this date, has remained unaffected by any kind of globalisation or fusion of different cuisines. People in Ladakh make all dishes and beverages in the same way they used to be made decades ago. 

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There are not a lot of cuisines in India that have remained completely oblivious to any kind of evolution or development in the food scenario and preserved all the authentic dishes. A lot of people are aware of the food available in Ladakh. However, in this article, one will get to know the different kinds of drinks that one can find in Ladakh. 

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* Chhang

Chhang is popularly known as the beer of the Himalayas. It is a very famous drink that is prevalent in Nepal, Tibet, and Ladakh. This drink is also brewed in other parts of the Himalayas. It is a fermented drink that is made from millet or rice. The drink is made by pouring some semi-aged seeds of grain into a bamboo, and then boiling water is added inside it. After this, the fermentation process is carried out, and the water is added to the brew before it is consumed by people. Drinks are a very important part of most of the festivals in Ladakh, especially the Hemis festival, which is celebrated by the Lamas. 

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* Qahwa

Qahwa is called Kahwa and is a very popular drink not just in Nepal but also in Kashmir. This is a drink that originated in Afghanistan and travelled to India through the Mughals. It is a type of herbal drink very similar to green tea. It is made by boiling some green tea leaves along with saffron, cardamom, and cinnamon. Some people also like to add some Kashmiri roses to the drink, depending upon availability. The rose petals give the drink a very beautiful colour and an irresistible aroma. To add sweetness, people like to add honey and walnuts to give it a nutty flavour. The drink has several health benefits, including digestion and being good for the skin. The drink is consumed abundantly during the winter season as it provides immunity to the body.

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* Butter Tea

Butter tea is another quintessential Himalayan drink that is a favourite of the people of Ladakh. In Ladakh, people prefer using cow milk to make all kinds of dairy products. This drink is made with butter made from cow milk instead of milk itself. The butter is extremely thick and heavy, and the colour is generally pale yellow. People in Ladakh like to consume salty tea instead of drinking sweet tea. Also, the main source of hydration during winter is butter tea rather than water, as it's a great way of keeping the body warm and staying hydrated. This is a must-try for people who visit Ladakh as it is unlike any other kind of tea one will find. 

* Chuli Chhu

Chuli Chhu is a special kind of apricot juice that is made from the nectar of the special apricots of Ladakh. This drink is often served as a welcome drink to anyone who visits a typical household in Ladakh. Also, the geographical terrain of Ladakh causes people to face sporadic water shortages. During this time, instead of drinking or offering water, people resort to making apricot juice and hydrating themselves. The drink is made by mashing Apricot to extract juice and mixing it with some water to create a liquid that is hydrating and also very delicious. People in Ladakh consider this drink to be nature's gift during times when there is not enough water. 

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* Arak 

Arak is a type of Chhang only and is a distilled version of it. People in Ladakh, although they have limited resources, are extremely creative when it comes to making new beverages. Chhang is a very strong drink for a lot of people because it is made by fermentation. To make it likeable, it is distilled by adding water and making it less strong. Generally, Chhang has a higher amount of alcohol and different types of flavourful spices. Arak is simply the subtler version of Chhang for people who do not like such bold flavours.

* Rguntshang

Rguntshang is a drink in Ladakh that is made by using fermented grapes. The variety of grapes available in Ladakh is extremely tarty and naturally sweet. Upon fermenting these grapes, they get a very bold, sweet, and spirited flavour. At the same time, the drink is considered extremely soothing and quite resourceful, as it can be used for a lot of different purposes. The drink is brewed locally by a lot of families in Ladakh and is one of the many special delicacies. It is also an example of how people in Ladakh use natural resources to create drinks and foods that are tempting and easy to make.