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Boozy thandai, rose, fennel & almond milk cocktails
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No Holi is complete without thandai, meaning cooling, and my 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 I’ve 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
500ml unsweetened almond drink
4 tbsp chopped almonds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
½ tbsp fennel seeds
6 black peppercorns
8 green cardamoms
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.
This recipe was first published in March 2022.