Here's What You Can Substitute For Bhaang In Thandai

When you want to celebrate Holi right and need a refreshing drink, nothing hits the spot like a traditional thandai. This drink, featuring a blend of ice, milk, and a unique spice masala featuring pulverized melon seeds, saffron, cardamom pods, and more has a unique taste best served cold (via Cook With Manali). While this drink proves delicious, gathering up some of the specific spices can prove challenging. Fennel seeds and cashews seem easy enough to gather, but collecting watermelon seeds and rose petals might be a little more difficult (via Saveur).

Luckily, some of these ingredients can get swapped out for foods we have at home. Assuming you live in an area where you can't readily purchase marijuana, you might have a hard time finding bhaang. According to Healthline, bhaang, an edible ground mixture of marijuana, plays a central part in the festival of Holi and a traditional thandai would come served with a bit of bhaang, per Saveur. If you want to avoid adding bhaang into your thandai, one accessible ingredient can take your drink to the next level and provide some of the flair that comes naturally to bhaang.

A liquid solution for a bhaang shortage

If you want to find a quick substitute for bhaang, your local liquor store has an easy-to-find ingredient that can get your thandai back on track. According to Saveur, you can substitute in gin to complement the warm, nutty flavors of the thandai and get another kind of buzz. They suggest adding 8 ounces. When in doubt, you can also serve up a virgin thandai for a delicious experience anyone can get behind. 

Finding the right ingredients for this drink can prove challenging, even if you want to use gin as a substitute. Once you gather up all of the ingredients, making the drink couldn't prove easier, essentially coming down to grinding up the spices and mixing the masala with milk, sugar, and ice (via Whisk Affair). With any luck, you can assemble all of the ingredients before Holi comes to an end so you might enjoy a refreshing drink that truly warrants the search for all of the proper ingredients.