For the ultimate sweet and boozy lassi, it all starts with the perfect mango. Its ripeness is crucial to both the sweetness and texture of the lassi. When the starch in the mango has fully developed into sugars, the fruit will be richer and more custardy, and also more fragrant and pungent.
Adding liquor to a lassi might not be totally authentic, but we think it’s a grown-up twist to an already-fun beverage. The rum adds a hint of vanilla and warm spices for a tropical feel, and helps contrast the tart lactic acid of the yogurt and buttermilk. If rum’s not your thing, we suggest vodka as a good neutral liquor alternative.
Traditionally, lassis can be served thick or thin; we go with thick and serve ours with a spoon, but if you feel like switching it out for a straw, feel free to thin out the drink with more buttermilk. If it’s too thick, but you don’t want to add any more tartness, thinning it out with a bit of water is fine, too.
Boozy Mango and Kaffir Lime Lassi
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time
Total Time: 10 minutes, plus cooling time
For the Kaffir Lime Syrup:
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
16 kaffir lime leaves
For the Lassi:
8 ounces ripe mango, roughly chopped
8 ounces plain yogurt
2 ounces buttermilk
2 ounces rum
2 ounces kaffir lime leaf syrup
½ ounce lime juice
Pinch kosher salt
Green cardamom powder, for dusting
Make the kaffir lime syrup: In a small sauce pot, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Take the pot off the heat and allow the mixture to steep as it cools to room temperature. Once the mixture is fully cooled, strain and reserve.
Make the lassi: In a blender, purée the mango chunks. Add the remaining ingredients and purée until smooth. Serve cold in a Collins glass, garnish with the toasted pistachios and dust with the green cardamom powder, then serve.