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7 Spice-Infused Global Drinks To Relish: From Masala Chai to Maesilju

By: Shreya Goswami

international cocktails

Around the globe, the allure of spicy flavours in culinary exploits is celebrated fervently. Yet, spicy beverages, with their distinctive charm, offer an intriguing twist to traditional drinks. Join us on a flavourful excursion, delving into three iconic spicy beverages from various corners of the world and discovering more enticing concoctions. 

Mexican Michelada

Strolling through the sun-kissed streets of Mexico, the Michelada has garnered a devoted following among those craving a zesty kick. This concoction marries beer with an array of fiery ingredients, promising to awaken the taste buds. Its foundation comprises beer, lime juice, and a medley of sauces like Worcestershire and soy sauce. However, the true star of the show is the inclusion of hot sauce or chilli powder, delivering an invigorating character to the drink. Typically served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass, the Michelada presents a refreshing and spicy delight that perfectly complements the vibrant flavours of Mexican cuisine. 


Korean Maesilju

In Korea, Maesilju holds a revered status among traditional alcoholic beverages. Crafted from green plums, this liqueur embodies a delightful fusion of sweetness and spice. Green plums are soaked in soju, a popular Korean liquor, alongside honey, sugar, and spices like cinnamon and ginger. These plums infuse the liquor with their tangy essence and a hint of spiciness. Maesilju is relished both as a sipping liqueur and as a base for cocktails. Its unique blend of fruity sweetness and subtle heat makes it a cherished choice for those seeking a spicy twist in their libations. 


Indian Masala Chai

No exploration of spicy drinks would be comprehensive without mentioning India's revered Masala Chai. This iconic beverage has garnered global acclaim for its rich flavours and aromatic spices. Traditional Masala Chai involves simmering a blend of black tea leaves, milk, water, sugar, and an assortment of spices including cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and black pepper. The resultant brew is a heavenly concoction that warms the soul with its robust flavour and gentle heat. Masala Chai is often savoured with snacks or as a morning ritual, offering a comforting and invigorating experience.

ginger beer

Jamaican Ginger Beer 

In the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, Ginger Beer reigns supreme as a spicy and refreshing libation. Unlike its non-alcoholic counterpart, Jamaican Ginger Beer undergoes fermentation, lending it a mild alcoholic edge. The drink is crafted by melding fresh ginger, sugar, water, and a dash of lime juice. The ginger imparts a zesty and fiery flavour that lingers on the palate, making it a popular choice for cooling off in tropical climes. Jamaican Ginger Beer is relished on its own or as a mixer for cocktails, adding a vibrant kick to any concoction. 

Thai Tom Yum Cocktail 

Thai Tom Yum Cocktail 

Inspired by Thailand's iconic soup, the Tom Yum Cocktail is a spicy sensation that tantalises the taste buds. This innovative cocktail marries the bold flavours of Thai cuisine with a dash of inventiveness. Its base comprises vodka or gin infused with lemongrass, chilli, and kaffir lime leaves, crafting a fragrant and spicy foundation. Additional ingredients such as lime juice, simple syrup, and a splash of soda water balance the flavours, offering a refreshing twist. The Tom Yum Cocktail presents a perfect harmony of tanginess, heat, and invigorating aromas. 


Kashmiri Kahwa 

Originating from the breathtaking valleys of Kashmir, Kahwa is a revered aromatic beverage. This traditional tea blend features green tea leaves infused with saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, and sometimes crushed almonds or walnuts. Honey or sugar sweetens this concoction, rendering a fragrant and delicately spiced drink. Kashmiri Kahwa, often served in ornate cups, holds a special place in local culture, revered for its soothing properties and aromatic allure.

Peruvian Pisco Sour

Peruvian Pisco Sour with Aji Amarillo

Originating from Peru, the Pisco Sour is a beloved cocktail that receives a fiery upgrade with the addition of Aji Amarillo peppers. The classic Pisco Sour combines Pisco, a grape brandy, with lime juice, sugar syrup, and egg white for a frothy texture. However, the Peruvian twist introduces Aji Amarillo, a vibrant yellow pepper with a fruity flavour and moderate spiciness. These peppers are muddled and incorporated into the cocktail, imparting a pleasant heat that harmonises with the drink's tangy citrus notes. The result is a unique fusion of South American flavours, captivating the senses with every sip. 

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