Paramount- The Legendary Juice Shop of Kolkata since 1918

paramount

When one thinks about Kolkata- The City of Joy, one might think about Rabindranath Tagore, fish, and football. If Kolkata is the cultural capital of India, North Kolkata is the cultural capital of Kolkata. Unlike south Kolkata, north Kolkata has been able to hold to the old-world charm and the city’s rich history.

Every corner and alley has a story to tell. In north Kolkata, you will find all the contrarian eateries. Paramount is one such iconic destination if you want some of the besticed drinks in the city. The place being a century old would be enough to call it legendary, though that is the tip of the iceberg. 

Paramount Sherbets and Syrups 

Established initially as Paradise Sherbets by Nihar Ranjan Majumdar, who was a freedom fighter, in the year 1918. The place was initially established as a secret meeting place for revolutionaries. Circa 1930, the name was changed to Paramount. The Paramount Sherbets is a legendary drink parlour located in Kolkata’s very own ‘boi para’- the founder’s second generation now operates college street. Locating this place is relatively easy as it is next to the Mahabodi Society and is within walking distance from the Indian Coffee House. 

If you are going to Paramount for the first time, it might be challenging to spot the shop at once as, like most heritage eateries in north Kolkata, Paramount gets hidden in the cramped corners of the meandering lanes. It is a beloved Kolkata institution that has devotedly served some of the best sherbets over a century.

Walking by the side of College Square, you will be greeted by a large signboard that says ‘Paramount’. As you step inside the place, you will feel like you have travelled back several decades. The long, narrow hall, with its high ceilings, gently revolving ceiling fans, and walls adorned with elegant deer horns, gives the impression of a colonial dining hall. 

The seating arrangements are pretty humble. The vintage marble top tables, narrow wooden benches, the tallow walls embellished with glass framed pictures, and old wall hangings emanate a warm feeling of nostalgia and give you a glimpse of the bygone eras. The shop believes in sticking to its roots and has captivated the essence of the past that wraps its customers.

paramount sherbats

The shop is small and therefore remains cramped almost throughout the day, with college students, book stall owners, and regular patrons so familiar with the place that they do not need the menu while placing the order. Paramount remains overwhelmingly crowded in summer, as people visit to quench their thirst on a hot summer day.   

Paramount has a golden list of renowned personalities of the past and present, such as Subhash Chandra Bose, Prafulla Chandra Ray, Satyajit Ray, and Uttam Kumar, who have visited this heritage institution to enjoy its unique of-a-kind drinks. Over the years, Paramount has been featured in several newspapers displayed at the shop’s entrance. 

One might wonder about such an old place’s quality control and hygiene. As far as quality and hygiene are concerned, Paramount they have been able to maintain the same quality as its founder. No synthetic materials are used while preparing the various sherbets, shakes, and other beverages, and the ingredients used are derived from fruit extracts and are not harmful.

The beverages used for making have been sourced from the same supplier throughout these 97 years. The workers constantly clean the tables, and the interiors are also cleaned. 

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Must Try Drinks at Paramount 

Originally Paramount used to be operational only during the summer season, but given the high demand from college students and regular customers, they remain open throughout the year. This place remains a nostalgic adda even after a century, as it’s always abuzz.

Paramount’s innovation and variety have facilitated it to stay on top. Paramount’s one-page menu comprises nearly three dozen water, curd, and fruit-based cold drinks. Paramount has always been reasonable and worth the price. The service is quick, and the orders are readily noted and served. Here are some of the must-have drinks you need to try on your next visit.

paramount lime drink

Daber Sharbat

One of the Paramount specials is a refreshing concoction prepared using cool coconut water, syrup, tender coconut pulp, and crushed ice. The founder initially formulated this in collaboration with scientist Prafulla Ray, and it has been a customer favourite since 1918.   

Passion Fruit

Yet another Paramount special, the passion fruit drink is one-of-a-kind. It is made by using fresh passion fruit pulp, curd, or milk, according to your preference, and some secret syrup.    

Khir Cashew

This drink is the best combination of nuts and milk and is recommended for people who love Malai and nuts. This milk-based drink is made by blending cashews, syrup, saffron extracts, malai, and crushed ice, topped with a thick layer of malai and nuts.   

Cocoa Malai

Coco malai has been a customer favourite since it was introduced and is Paramount’s second most popular drink. It is prepared by mixing chocolate chunks, cocoa powder, cold milk, sugar, cashew, and crushed ice, topped with a layer of sweet malai, nuts, and a piece of chocolate.   

Grapes crush

The grape crush is yet another unique marvel at Paramount which is simple yet satisfying. It is a water-based drink that is made by using the extracts of black grape, sugar syrup, ice, and crushed chunks of fruits which you can feel as you drink. This lip-smacking concoction is perfect for quenching your thirst on a scorching afternoon 

Tamarind Syrup

This is another gem at Paramount. If you are craving something sweet yet spicy, this drink is for you. The tamarind syrup is made by using the pulp of naturally sweet tamarind, spices, and crushed ice. You can feel the tamarind pulp as you sip this lip-smacking drink.

Even after a century, this secret hideout for revolutionaries stands tall with a history of freedom struggle stitched in its fabric, catering to its customers with its signature coolers and beverages. Paramount is still going strong, solely dependent on word-of-mouth advertisement.      

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