8 Local Drinks To Try in Sikkim

8 Local Drinks To Try in Sikkim
Cherry brandy is one of the most popular drinks in Sikkim Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Here’s a short list of the local drinks you shouldn’t miss out on sampling when in the Himalayan state.

OT Staff
June 15 , 2020
06 Min Read

Located in the eastern Himalayas, the state of Sikkim is known for several locally produced beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. These are the ones you must get a taste of.

Temi Tea


Located near Ravangla, the Temi tea garden is one of the best in India. The organic tea produced here has a high demand in the international market. Pick up packets of the golden flowery orange pekoe, Sikkim solja, mystique or Kanchanjunga tea from the shop in the factory.  These are also available at some of the shops around Gangtok’s MG Marg. Here's a quick guide to the teas: The first flush, harvested during spring, has a light floral finish, the second flush is toasty and mellow. The third flush is the monsoon flush and has a full bodied taste. The final one – the autumn flush has a well-rounded taste with a hint of spice.

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Not just tea, Sikkim also produces locally grown, organic coffee. You can buy beans and powder at Rachna Books (Development Area, Gangtok). This place also has a café (aptly named Café Fiction) that serves great coffee and bakes.

Rhododendron Wine

Made with rhododendron flowers, this a is slightly sweet wine. Several shops in Gangtok sell this, but it is best to buy from one of the several streetside stalls along the roads near Jaubari and Ravangla which sell local produce. In Jaubari, look out for the government-run stalls selling organic produce which also sell the wine.


Sikkim is known for producing a variety of fruit- and spice-based liquors. Hit up local liquor shops on the MG Road promenade in Gangtok for small bottles of liqueurs (we liked the like ginger and cardamom). They make the perfect nightcap on a winter night. A box of assorted miniature bottles make for a great gift.  

Other spirits

If you like your brandy fiery, buy a bottle of the Fireball Special Brandy made by Sikkim Distilleries. It comes packaged in a signature red and brown casing which in itself is a popular souvenir buy. Also try the Sikkim Musk Brandy which has a taste of spices, like cardamom and mace. Another interestingly packaged bottle is the Sikkim Old Gold Premium Single Malt Whiskey which comes in a traditional khukri-shaped bottle. And when you are walking around  Gangtok’s MG Marg, look for places that serve chhaang, the local beer made by fermenting millet. You sip it from a bamboo mug using a bamboo pipe. 

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