Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

That Bloody Mary isn't the only option when you just aren't feeling the typical sweet drinks on the menu. And we're not talking about just a salt-on-the-rim kind of savory—these drinks go all in, owning their savory status. 

Antara Sinha
September 29, 2017

When you think “savory beverages”, your mind most likely conjures up one of a couple tomato-based images: cans of tomato juice onboard an airplane, or a brunch-time Bloody Mary. If you’re someone who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, or you’re just looking to supplement some new flavors to the mix, add these non-alcoholic and boozy options to your order.

Bloody Mary

Let’s start with the basic and familiar: a Bloody Good Bloody Mary. Heat, tang, salt, and booze make for a winning combo. If you’re looking to try your hand on this cocktail classic at home, the secret to our simple recipe is a splash of pickle juice, which adds briny tartness.

Lassi

While you may be comfortable with the sweetened mango version at your favorite Indian restaurant, lassi can be made as a traditionally savory drink as well. The base is the same: tart yogurt, water and ice. But roasted cumin, pepper, toasted mustard seeds, and other savory spices and herbs can be added to the mix for a drink that’s typically served in the summertime as a reprieve from the heat.

Salted Lemonade (Chanh Muối)

This Southeast Asian favorite is made from salt-and-sun-pickled lemons (though limes are more traditional) and can be sipped either cold or warm. Slices of the prepared citrus are muddled in a glass to release its juices and topped off with water—and for the hardcore, many people enjoy eating the rind from the bottom of the glass to extract every ounce of lemony goodness. If you have a craving for mouth-puckering sour and savory, this is your new go-to.

Kvass

This barely-boozy beverage comes from Slavic and Blatic-region countries, and it’s made from fermented rye bread. It’s tangy, savory, and definitely different from a typical beer profile—but if you’re into the yeasty sour flavor, it’s golden. While it may not be the easiest to find in the states just yet, it’s bound to crop up at hipster breweries soon, and there are plenty of homemade tutorials and how-to’s to scour if you’re looking to try your hand.

Aam Panna

Unripe green mango is the key ingredient in this refreshing drink that packs fruitiness and acidity. It’s typically spiced with mint and black rock salt, making this Indian drink another hit in hot weather. The addition of roasted, crushed cumin gives it a pleasant smokiness. If you love the tropical flavor of mango but are bored by the typical cloyingly sweet mango drink, this savory alternative is a great choice.

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