Spiced Tamarind Mocktail
Oct 19, 2023, Updated Nov 08, 2023
Spicy, sweet and tart, this Spiced Tamarind Mocktail is inspired by the flavors of Imli Chutney! The fennel, ginger add the zing and lime and mint make it super refreshing.
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Fancy a spiced and delicious drink this festive season? Try this Spiced Tamarind Mocktail (Imli Mocktail) which is inspired by the flavors of Imli ki Chutney. This tamarind drink is spiced, refreshing, a little sweet and a little tart and is a great drink to serve at your parties.
For the last few years, I have made it a mission to share at least one mocktail recipe for the festive season on the blog. Honestly I feel like people who don’t drink (like me and my husband) miss out big time on drinks during the holidays. And so, I like coming up with drinks which taste great and can be enjoyed by all.
Last Diwali, I shared the Spicy Mango Mocktail and the year before I shared the Spicy Sunset Mocktail. The word “spicy” seems to be the common factor here so this year we have Spiced Tamarind Mocktail. I love drinking the “golgappe ka meetha paani” (the sweet water with golgappe) and I also love imli chutney and so I thought since I love these flavors so much, why not create a drink using the same flavors. And it did turn out good!
Tamarind chutney: for this recipe, you need to either make tamarind/imli chutney or get it from the store. I honestly recommend getting it from Indian stores, will save you time and since this is a drink store bought or homemade chutney won’t make a huge difference to the final taste of the drink (unlike chaat where homemade is obviously better).
Spices: To spice up the drink, we add fennel seeds, black salt (kala namak) and fresh ginger. Also a little bit of sugar to balance out the tanginess.
Ginger Ale (zero): I like using Canada Dry Zero for this mocktail. You can use plain soda as well if you can’t find this. I would not use the regular Canada dry, it will just make it too sweet. Or if you do use it, just skip the sugar in the tamarind syrup.
Step by Step Instructions
- Take 2 cups (16 oz/480 ml) water in a pan. Add 3 & 1/2 tablespoons of tamarind chutney to it. The chutney can be homemade or store-bought.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon kala namak, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1-inch grated ginger to the pan. Put the pan on the stovetop on medium heat.
- Mix everything using a wire whisk and let the mixture come to a gentle boil.
- Then turn off the heat and cover the pan with a plate and let it sit for 45 minutes for the flavors to steep in.
- Then using a strainer, strain out the liquid. Chill the tamarind liquid in the refrigerator. You can easily make this 2 to 3 days in advance.
- To serve the drink, first take 1 teaspoon of kala namak and 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder in a bowl and mix the two. Reduce the kashmiri red chili powder to 1/4 teaspoon if you want to make it less spicy.
- Take a lime wedge and run it around the glass rim.
- Then dip the rim into the kala namak and kashmiri red chili powder mixture that we prepared.
- Add a small lime wedge and 4 to 5 mint leaves in the glass. Using a muddler (or use a wooden spoon), muddle the lime and mint leaves to release their juices.
- Now, add ice cubes to the glass.
- To make 1 serving, add 2 oz of the prepared tamarind liquid first. Note that this ratio works for a 7 to 8 oz glass, smaller glass would need less liquid.
- Top with the Canada dry (zero) until glass is full. You can also add plain soda but the canada dry adds more flavor. But try to use zero and not the regular one for less sweetness. Top with more mint leaves and serve immediately.
You can make the tamarind water easily 2 to 3 days in advance. That will make the process of making the drink on the day of your party so easy. Just keep the tamarind mixture refrigerated and then add the soda just before you plan to serve the drink.
Manali’s Expert Tips
- Cut down on the Kashmiri red chili powder from the mixture being used to coat the rim of the serving glasses if you are going to serve this to kids as well. I would do 1/4 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder and 1 teaspoon kala namak in that case. Or you can also skip it.
- This makes around 7 to 8 drinks if you use an 8 oz serving glass. If you use a 5-6 oz glass this will serve more but remember to adjust the ratio of the tamarind mixture and soda in that case.
- You can use plain club soda in place of the Canada Dry Zero. It will make it even less sweet and should work just fine. Although the Canada dry does add more ginger flavor to the drink,
Spiced Tamarind Mocktail
- 2 cups water 16 oz
- 3 & ½ tablespoons tamarind chutney
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon kala namak black salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 inch ginger grated
- black salt & kashmiri red chili powder
- lime wedges
- mint leaves
- Canada dry zero as needed to fill the glasses
- Put a pan on medium heat and add water to it. Then add tamarind chutney, fennel seeds, kala namak and sugar to it. Also, add 1-inch grated ginger and stir everything using a wire whisk.
- Now let the mixture heat up. Let the mixture come to a gentle boil ( just 1 boil is fine) and then turn off the heat and cover the pan with a plate and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes for the flavors to steep in.
- Strain the tamarind liquid using a strainer and then chill it for a couple of hours. You can easily make this 2 to 3 days in advance.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of kala namak and 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder together in a plate (reduce to 1/4 teaspoon or skip the Kashmiri chili powder if you don't want the drink spicy or making it for kids). To make 1 drink: take your glass (I used a 7 to 8 oz glass) and rub a lime wedge around the rim of the glass. Dip that into the plate with the kala namak and red chili powder mix. The glass rim will get a nice red color look.
- Now, take a lime wedge and 3 to 4 mint leaves and add them to the glass. Using a muddler or a wooden spoon, press to release their juices. Fill the glass with ice cubes and then 2 oz of the prepared tamarind water. Top with Canada dry zero until the glass is full. Garnish with more mint leaves and serve! Make all drinks similarly.
- If serving this to kids, skip the Kashmiri red chili powder from the spice mix that’s being used to coat the rim of the serving glasses.
- This recipe makes 7 to 8 glasses if you use an 8oz glasses. It will make more servings if you use smaller glasses
- Plain soda can be used in place of Canada Dry Zero. However that will make the drink less sweet. Canada dry zero also adds more ginger flavor to the drink.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.