Childhood Memories Revisited: Paper Boat Beverages..As close as it can get to “Homemade”!

By Harshada




When was the last time you winked to a really tangy treat, just like a child, devouring a  Khatta Imli or Kairi from a “thela” outside school? Or hid yourself in a secret corner of your home to enjoy your hidden treat all by yourself?

It’s been long since I’ve been childishly selfish. You see we adults, especially Indian women have an unsaid code of conduct, failing which you attract the wrath and gossip of grand moms, aunties and nosy neighbours! But then, it’s both fun and refreshing to let yourself loose sometimes! I was pleasantly surprised to find myself getting into the childhood me, thanks to those yummy tangy drinks that Paper Boat sent my way.

Apart from Kokum and Aam Panna, most of the drinks were new to me. I started off with “Jamun Kala Khatta”, keeping in mind, that it isn’t that syrupy dark “sherbet “you get from your local gola walla. The ingredients and lovely descriptions about the drink on each pack not only tempt you, but are also very amusing to read. And I expected it, since; their mail requesting review was equally fun to read, and not to mention their website too. The packing reminded me of opening the old time toothpaste lid. It was easy to open, spill proof and fun to drink straight from the pack, without any straw or any such accessories. Finally im glad, I found something to pack along for travel, especially during these hot summers. Jamun was fairly good, considering my first taste of it. Strikingly, it had just the required amount of sugar, unlike the sugary supposedly natural juices you normally get.

Mango being my favourite, I chose to try Aamras the same day. And I wasn’t really expecting the taste of homemade aamras, since I  had my share of bitter experiences of tinned ones. So my take was something similar to a bottled mango drink. It was a pleasantly thick first gulp , with subtle flavour of cardamom and mild saffron( but of course its detected only by some with a strong sense of smell ) I absolutely loved it, so did my toddler, who poured it in his tiny glass and digged in with a spoon!

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There are times when you crave a really tangy treat. You ll understand if you are a woman(not necessarily due to those pregnancy rumours sparked by the knowledge arising from TV soaps and Cinema,  but maybe it’s quite hormonal). Normally satiated with khatta jeera golis or imli candies, I was super excited to find 3 drinks just waiting for me: Imli Ka Amlana, Gol Gappe Ka Paani and Jaljeera! Imli was the natural choice! Expecting the tangy punch, I sipped into the first gulp…and there came the wink…..that familiar wink arising from a bite of imli…..Wow! It was subtly flavoured, and moderate sugar to compliment the Imli Tang! Inquisitive for the rest, I opened the Gol Gappe ka Paani…and there came another wink, maybe a lil mild…Wish I had Boondi and Pani Puris at home!

Aren't those winks familiar??

Jaljeera punch came on a hot Saturday afternoon! Topped with a couple of ice cubes, it was a pleasant drink. Slightly sweetened, I wished it was a bit stronger on the flavour and tang. It would be great to enjoy it with some soda and a dash of lime! But I chose to balance my palate with the Kokum drink! It was just like the Kokum Sherbet made at home, during summers! I actually mixed it with jaljeera, and it was indeed a yummy treat!

My Paper Boat goodie box was soon depleting, and I was desperate to refill it! And finally I hunted down a retailer selling my addiction! This time I set my eyes on Aam ka Panna( Away from home, missing my mom’s homemade one I hoped to find respite in this one) and Aamras( Tht’s my kids favourite). The Panna was tangy, seasoned with cumin and other spices, though my homemade version is sweeter and has some cardamom too. My second pack of Aamras was frozen into popsicles..a nice slushy treat! Mangoes taste good in any of their avatars I must say! And Paper Boat knows very well to bring out the best of the Mangoes!

Ride the paper Boat and sip into Homemade Goodness!

After trying almost the entire range of Paper Boat drinks, my first thought was, “Do they actually employ elderly mothers and grand moms, to make such lovely homemade drinks”? Well, I almost imagined lots of mothers stirring up their signature concoctions in giant barrels with lots of love! Of course, the FDA body wouldn’t  be happy, considering their operating procedure checklists! But I’m very sure, despite all the technology going into making them, there’s still a lot of love in each Paper Boat!

Tasting each Paper Boat Drink was an experience in itself! They have already earned a patron, who’s awaiting some more innovative yet traditional treats from their homely brand!

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