Jaljeera, Kokum, Aam Panna – Refreshing Indian Drink Alternatives From Paper Boat
At the time of publishing this feature millions of people in India and thousands of others around the world celebrate the festival of Holi. Apart from its religious significance, Holi also signals the official onset of summer and marks the end of winter. In a diverse country like India, each season brings with it a variety of food and drink options that are meant to be relished during that period. So while winter allows people to enjoy hot desserts like Gulab Jamun and Gajar Ka Halwa, summer makes way for cold desserts like Rasmalai and ice creams.
Summer being the season of heat and dehydration also gives a chance to indulge in numerous cold beverages. When it comes to beverages there is possibly no other country in the world which has a such a vast array of natural drinks such as those found in India. In other developed countries Coca-Cola, Pepsi and their suite of carbonated drinks come to mind when one speaks of ‘having a drink‘. In India the options are limitless. Indian drink alternatives vary from place to place and the vast majority of the population prefers the Indian drink options to soft-drinks.
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Some of the well-known Indian drink names are Jaljeera, Aam Panna, AamRas, Kokum, Shikanjvi, Lassi, Chaach, Sharbat, Thandai and many more. The great aspect about these drinks is that they are all made from natural ingredients, are freshly prepared before serving and have many health benefits for the body. Organizations like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, who possess a huge amount of resources to introduce new products and drive their adoption have also experimented with some of these drinks only for the Indian market. However, since these are essentially American companies they don’t quite understand the nuances of making delicious Indian drink products. Only an Indian company with the expertise to produce beverages at scale can win at this challenge.
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Paper Boat, a brand owned by Delhi based Hector Beverages is once such firm that is attempting to resurrect the legacy of natural, tasty and traditional Indian drink blends. Named after a poem of the same name written by renowned Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, Paper boat is creating drinks that are connected with stories and memories. The unusual name of their brand is associated with the idea of simplicity, nostalgia and the well known adage “What’s in a name?“. Lets take a look at some of their Indian drink products which are building up a strong fan base in quick time.
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Lemon Juice concentrate, Black Salt, Common Salt, Cumin Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Ginger Powder, Citric acid, Natural added flavors
Jal-jeera is a cumin based Indian drink that is really popular during the summers. Mostly consumed in North India it is sold both in liquid form and as a powdered concentrate. The drink has great cooling properties and also works as a digestive aid. For this reason it is sometimes consumed with starters before a meal in Indian homes and restaurants.
Ingredients: Water, Mango Pulp (15%), Sugar, Lemon Juice concentrate, Amchur Powder, Cumin Powder, Black Pepper Powder, Iodised salt, Black salt, Citric acid, natural added flavors
India is among the largest producers of Mango and summer is the season when this fruit is readily available and consumed in large quantities. Mango Lassi, Mango Milk Shake and Aam Panna are some of the popular Mango based Indian drinks that are loved by everyone.
Aam Panna is a drink made from green unripe mangoes. This drink is an excellent coolant that is rich in Vitamin C, B1 and B2. It is also considered as a tonic which increases body resistance against tuberculosis, anemia, cholera and dysentery. Similar to Jal Jeera it is consumed largely in north India both as a beverage and a digestive drink.
Ingredients: Water, Sugar, Kokum Juice concentrate, Common Salt, Cumin powder, Black pepper powder, Ginger and Chillies Powder. No Added Flavors.
The technical term for Kokum is Garcinia indica, a fruit-bearing tree that has culinary, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses. It is predominantly found in the west and south-western parts of India and is a frequently used ingredient in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Kokum squash is the drink form of the plant and like the previous beverages mentioned above it is a natural coolant and digestive aid. Thanks to Paper Boat this drink is now available in many parts of India and not just limited to its place of origin.
Ingredients: Water, Mango Pulp, Sugar, Citric acid, Cardamom Powder, Saffron Powder, Natural added flavors
AamRas or Mango Juice is one of the most popular Indian drink alternatives. It has been around for many decades and is among the few Indian drinks which sees a lot of competition from both big and small brands. Coca-Cola (with Maaza), Pepsi (with Slice) and Parle Agro (with Frooti) are large players who are dominant in this category.
AamRas tastes like nectar which is what makes it so popular. Since its really sweet therefore it should not be consumed in large amounts. Its health benefits are disputed since the big brands use a lot of preservatives and artificial flavors in their drinks. Paper Boat AamRas uses 45 percent mango pulp and minimizes other artificial substances. This makes them slightly better than their competition.
In addition to the above some of the other flavors manufactured by Paper Boat are Golgappe Ka Paani (variant of Jal Jeera) and Jamun Kala Khatta. None of their drinks use any artificial chemicals. All the flavors are priced at a nominal price of Rs 30 for 250 ml and are available at leading superstores in India.
Do you get excited about consuming traditional Indian drink alternatives when summer arrives? What do you think about Paper Boat and its products? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.