Thandai Cocktail Recipe

Jump to Recipe ⬇️

Thandai Cocktail Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


Thandai Cocktail is a fusion of the traditional Indian drink Thandai and a Western-style cocktail. Thandai is a popular drink in India, especially during the festival of Holi and Maha Shivaratri. It is made with a mix of nuts, spices, and milk. This cocktail version adds a twist to the classic Thandai by incorporating alcohol, making it a perfect drink for those who love experimenting with flavors and cultures.

How Thandai Cocktail Tastes?

The Thandai Cocktail has a rich, creamy texture with a perfect balance of sweet and spicy flavors. The nutty taste from almonds and cashews blends well with the warmth of spices like cardamom, fennel, and black pepper. The addition of alcohol adds a subtle kick, making it a delightful and refreshing drink.

Interesting facts about Thandai Cocktail

  • Thandai is traditionally consumed during the Indian festival of Holi, which marks the arrival of spring and the victory of good over evil.
  • The word 'Thandai' means 'cooling' in Hindi, as the drink is known for its cooling properties and ability to refresh the body.
  • Thandai is often associated with the worship of Lord Shiva, and it is believed that consuming Thandai can help in attaining spiritual enlightenment.


  • Milk: 250ml
  • Almonds: 10
  • Cashews: 10
  • Cardamom: 3
  • Fennel seeds: 1tsp
  • Black peppercorns: 10
  • Sugar: 2tbsp
  • Rosewater: 1tsp
  • Gin: 60ml
  • Ice cubes: 6-8
  • Rose petals: 3-4

A few good options for Thandai Cocktail are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


The creamy base of our drink, milk smooths out the flavors and brings everything together. Not too much, not too little, just enough to create the perfect Thandai sip. Too much and you’ll have a milky mess, too little and the drink's body would be as weak as a joke with no punchline.

Emma Rose


Ground almonds add depth with their nutty goodness. If you skimp on them, you'll miss out on the drink's luxurious feel. But overload, and it's like inviting an entire football team to a dinner for two - overwhelming and unnecessary.

Alex Green


Cashews bring a creamy sweetness and thickening power. Overdo it and your Thandai begins to taste more like a nut butter cocktail. Skip them and you forgo the lush texture that’s part of the drink's charm.

Mary Mitkina


This spicy magic seed is the life of the party, offering warmth and a hint of mint. You forget cardamom, you forget half the soul of the Thandai. There’s no substitute for soul now, is there?

Emma Rose

Fennel seeds

Adding a touch of licorice and a herby nuance. Without fennel, the Thandai would be like a skyline without stars—still pretty, but not quite complete.

Alex Green

Black peppercorns

They are like the unexpected twists in a good thriller. Miss out on these, and the Thandai lacks that little kick that has everyone asking, 'What’s that intriguing flavor?'

Mary Mitkina


Sugar is here to sweeten the deal—literally. It balances the spices and nuts. Too little and it's 'Hello, Bitterville'. Too much and you're drinking a spiced milkshake.

Emma Rose


Rosewater is the delicate floral touch. If it's missing, it’s like forgetting to smile in a selfie.

Alex Green


The gin doesn't just spike the drink; it adds botanical flavors that engage in a delicious dance with the other ingredients. Leave it out, and it’s just a fancy milkshake—lovely, but not a cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Ice cubes

They’re the cool characters that keep your drink fresh and lively. No ice, and your cocktail warms up faster than a laptop on your blanket. Oops!

Emma Rose

Rose petals

Aside from being pretty as a picture, they add a whisper of fragrance that completes the sensory experience. It’s the final rose on 'The Bachelor'—the one that seals the deal.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Thandai Cocktail Drink

  1. Soak almonds and cashews in water for 2-3 hours. Drain and peel the almonds.
  2. In a blender, add soaked almonds, cashews, cardamom, fennel seeds, and black peppercorns. Blend to make a smooth paste.
  3. In a saucepan, heat milk and sugar. Once the sugar dissolves, add the nut and spice paste. Cook for 5-7 minutes on low heat, stirring continuously.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool. Strain the mixture to remove any lumps.
  5. In a cocktail shaker, add the strained Thandai mixture, rosewater, gin, and ice cubes. Shake well.
  6. Pour the cocktail into a glass and garnish with rose petals.

Pro Tips

  • To enhance the flavor, roast the fennel seeds and cardamom before blending.
  • You can also add saffron strands to the milk for a richer taste and color.
  • For a vegan version, use almond milk or coconut milk instead of regular milk.

Perfect Pairings


  • Indian Sweets: The sweet, nutty flavor of the Thandai cocktail pairs wonderfully with Indian sweets such as Gulab Jamun, Kheer, or Jalebi.
  • Spicy Appetizers: Complement the spiced notes of the cocktail with spicy Indian appetizers like Samosas, Aloo Tikki, or Pakoras for a refreshing contrast.
  • Charcuterie: A simple charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses, cold cuts, and dried fruits that will highlight the cocktail's nutty and floral profile.


  • Chai Tea: For a non-alcoholic pairing, chai tea's spicy warmth can complement the cocktail's complex flavors.


  • Rose-flavored desserts: Rose-infused desserts like Turkish Delight or Rose Petal Ice Cream make an aromatic and visually pleasing companion to the Thandai Cocktail.

🍹 Discover the Top 50 All-Time Recipes! 🍹

Enter your email, and we'll send the exclusive list straight to your inbox.

We respect your privacy and take protecting it seriously

What you could change in Thandai Cocktail

  • You can replace gin with vodka or rum for a different flavor profile.
  • For a non-alcoholic version, simply omit the alcohol.
  • If you don't have rosewater, you can use a few drops of rose essence or skip it altogether.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Thandai Cocktail with Bourbon

Substitute gin with bourbon for a deeper, oaky twist. This Southern gentleman will bring vanilla and caramel notes to the party.

Ingredients: Replace gin with 60ml bourbon. Recipe: Follow the original recipe, but use bourbon instead of gin. Taste: Expect a richer, warmer cocktail with a hint of American charisma.

Vegan Thandai Cocktail

Swap milk for almond or cashew milk, and ensure all your ingredients are animal product-free to cater to your vegan pals.

Ingredients: Replace milk with 250ml almond or cashew milk. Recipe: Same as original, but with your chosen vegan milk. Taste: Slightly lighter, but still full of nutty flavors and spices.

Thandai Espresso Martini Cocktail

Add a shot of espresso to give it a caffeinated kick that’ll make you want to shake more than just cocktails.

Ingredients: Add a 30ml shot of espresso. Recipe: Combine all ingredients including espresso in the shaker. Taste: The coffee will add a robust depth and is perfect for those who want a cocktail that also wakes up the senses.

In case you forgot basics how to make Thandai Cocktail

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

Find the cocktail you'd love!

If you want to drink something else - you can use our AI-augmented search to find the best cocktail for you!
Completely free!

Frequently Asked Questions on Thandai Cocktail

How long does it take to prepare the Thandai Cocktail?

The Thandai Cocktail requires some preparation time due to the soaking of almonds and cashews. The actual cooking and blending time is around 10-15 minutes. However, it may take around 2-3 hours for the nuts to soak.

What are the potential health benefits of consuming Thandai Cocktail?

Thandai is high in antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and boost your immune system. The milk in Thandai is a source of protein and calcium, and the nuts and seeds provide healthy fats. However, do bear in mind that this is a cocktail with added alcohol.

What are the techniques involved in making the Thandai Cocktail?

You'll need to know how to soak and peel almonds, blend to make a paste, and cook the mixture on low heat. Additionally, you'll need to know how to shake a cocktail and garnish a drink.

Can I make the Thandai Cocktail in bulk?

Yes, you can easily multiply the ingredients based on the number of people. Just be sure to maintain the ratio of the ingredients for the correct taste.

Can Thandai Cocktail be served at room temperature?

Thandai is typically served chilled, and since this is a cocktail, it is recommended to serve it cold. The ice cubes used in the recipe also bring down the temperature of the drink.

More similar recipes to Thandai Cocktail!

Explore new cocktails you'd love!

Please rate this recipe