New Delhi: Let's go desi this Holi. Give the screwdriver, bloody mary and beer a miss and try out traditional drinks like bhang sharbat, thandai, jaljeera and kanji instead. These can be made at home without much hard work.

Bhang sharbat: Drinking bhang is as much a ritual on Holi as it is on Mahashivratri. Even though serving alcohol is quite the rule these days, it is hard to imagine the festival of colours without bhang. It is prepared by crushing cannabis leaves into a green paste, and adding a mixture of milk and ghee. Some even mix it with ice cream. To spice things up, you can add pepper powder.

Thandai: Since Holi parties are an outdoor affair, held under a bright sun, people often look for drinks that can act as natural coolants. And what could be better than thandai? It is prepared by mixing cardamom, pepper, poppy seeds and saunf paste with milk and sugar. To enhance the taste, crushed dry fruits like almonds, cashews and pistachios are added to it. After some exhausting Holi play, a glass of thandai works as an instant energy booster and also cools the body.

Milk shakes:
Those who don't want to have thandai can try milk shakes. A milk shake with rose flavour, sugar, saffron, almond paste, and cashew paste forms a tasty natural drink, ideal for kids and the elderly. It is tasty as well as nutritious.

Those looking for a spicy drink can opt for jaljeera. Black salt is an essential ingredient for this, giving it a tangy taste. But if black salt is not available, one can substitute it with chaat masala along with cumin powder, pepper, ginger, amchur and mint leaves.

Kanji: Kanji is a fermented Holi drink made with water, carrots, beetroot and mustard seeds. Beetroots are rich in the nutrient betaine, which is important for cardiovascular health. Adding some boondi on the top makes it look good too. During  Holi, kanji is often added to urad dal dumplings or vada, which is popularly called kanji vada.

Lassi: Lassi is another very popular coolant. It is prepared by mixing yogurt with water -- it could be salty or sweet, depending upon the taste. The traditional lassi is sometimes flavoured with roasted cumin seeds powder and salt, while sweet lassi is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices, one of them being mango lassi.

Nimbu paani:
How about treating your guests to lemonade with mint and ginger? This drink is one of the most favourite thirst quenchers. The homemade summertime beverage will surely please your family and friends. Those who refrain from having sugar can use honey. It is prepared by mixing lemon juice, water, pinch of salt, chaat masala and a dash of roasted cumin powder.

Aam panna: Aam panna is yet another tasty and healthy drink from northern India, prepared with green mangoes. You need to use boiled raw mangoes, sugar, roasted and grounded cumin seeds, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and mint leaves mixed in chilled water. Top it up with crushed ice.