Lassis originated in Punjab, where the spiced yogurt-based drink serves as a refreshing reprieve in sweltering temperatures. New Yorkers can now combat hot summer weather with the cooling effects of this tonic, and without hitting up an Indian restaurant for lunch. Embellished with an adorable elephant and banana leaf print packaging, WanderNosh’s WanderLassis are now available in markets and coffee shops throughout the city.
Owner Shauny Lamba, whose parents are Punjabi and moved to New York in the ’80s, grew up eating and loving her mother’s home-cooked Indian food. She tells a story from her childhood of eating a family meal and saying “I was definitely born to be Indian.”
Lamba wants to bring more than mere refreshment to the city. She hopes the lassis are fun, “like a two-minute vacation.” To that end, the drinkable yogurts combine enticing flavors like “Classic Cardamom,” “Mango Tulsi” and “Blackberry Mint.” The drinks are lightly sweetened with honey and, thanks to add-ins like ground fresh fruit and mint oil, they strike an elegant balance between complex and subtle.
WanderLassi’s ingredient list is short and contains familiar items like yogurt, honey and flavorings including fresh fruit, spices and herb oils. Lamba went to school for nutrition, so healthfulness is a priority in the recipes. Lamba is also conscious in her ingredient-sourcing, supporting local producers when it makes sense. The fresh mango isn’t local, of course, but the yogurt is from a dairy on Long Island, where she manufactures her WanderLassi. All the current flavors lean sweet, but Lamba has plans to add salty lassis into the mix in the future.