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Boozy thandai, rose, fennel & almond milk cocktails

Boozy thandai, rose, fennel & almond milk cocktails

No Holi is complete without thandai, meaning cooling, and Mallika Basu's version gets a grown-up twist with gin or vodka. Traditionally, white poppy seeds and melon seeds are used to thicken full-fat milk before straining and mixing with rose water and sugar, but she used a smoothie maker, ingredients you’re likely to have handy and vegan-friendly almond milk alternative for themed cocktails guaranteed to get the party started. 

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  • Makes2
  • CourseDrink
  • Prepare10 mins
  • Cook10 mins
  • Total time20 mins

Please note, we take every care to ensure the product, allergen and recipe information displayed is correct. However, should a product be unavailable, alternatives may be displayed and/or a substitution provided. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please always check the product label before use.


  • 500ml unsweetened almond drink
  • 4 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 1 - 3 tsp Nielsen-Massey Rose Water, to taste
  • 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 50ml gin or vodka
  • Crushed ice, to serve
  • Saffron, to serve
  • Dried rose petals, to serve


  1. Place the almond drink, almonds, sunflower and fennel seeds, peppercorns, cardamoms, rose water and sugar in a blender or smoothie maker and blitz until smooth.

  2. Strain into a jug, removing any bits remaining in the sieve. You can serve these over ice in cocktail glasses adding 25ml gin or vodka to each one, and topping with rose petals and a few strands of saffron. Alternatively, place the jug on the table with a bowl of crushed ice, the spirits and the garnishes, for each person to mix their own.

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