Blend it in!

Debarati Palit
Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sakal Times brings to you some interesting cocktails and mocktails that you shouldn’t miss this festive season

What’s a great party without some refreshing cocktails and mocktails! Whether you are planning a house party or dining out with friends or family, a cocktail or mocktail is a must.

Although there’s no definite proof about the origin of cocktail, it’s believed that traditional cocktails were a mixture of spirits, sugar, water, and bitters. After 1860s, cocktails frequently included liquor. The first publication of a bartender’s guide which included cocktail recipes was in 1862 — How to Mix Drinks; or, The Bon Vivant’s Companion, by Professor Jerry Thomas. In addition to recipes for punches, sours, slings, cobblers, shrubs, toddies, flips, and a variety of other mixed drinks, there were 10 recipes for cocktails.

Mocktails, on the other hand, say several reports, first came into existence in 1979. We spoke to a few chefs and bartenders from Pune about their favourite cocktail and mocktail recipe for this festive season.

Santa’s Potion
Place: 212 All Day Cafe & Bar, Viman Nagar

Ingredients
    Vodka.....................................................60 ml
    Lemongrass stick......................................20 gm
    Red Wine.....................................................10 ml
    Sour Mix.....................................................45 ml

Method
    Muddle the lemongrass in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and sour mix in the shaker. Add ice and shake till the ice cracks. Strain and pour the mixture in a highball glass with fresh ice cubes. Pour the red wine on top of the drink to float it. Garnish with a lemongrass stick.
    Why you shouldn’t miss this: “Red wine is a must when you have celebration on your mind. Combining it with vodka in this chilly winter is perfect. Lemongrass sticks add a zing to the drink. Therefore, the celebratory warm zest makes it a very festive drink,” says Vikas Mewati, manager, operations, Bellona Hospitality.

Afternoon Sunburst
Place: Ignite — Bar & Grill, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Hinjewadi

Ingredients
    Homemade Infused Rosemery and Jaggery syrup.........20 ml
    Homemade-infused Thyme and Berry syrup.............15 ml
    Fresh lemon juice.........15 ml
    Tonic water
    Jaggery...................a small cube

Method
  Pour infused rosemary, jaggery syrup, thyme and berry syrup in a glass. Put some ice and top up with tonic water. Garnish with rosemary and jaggery as sides.
 Why you shouldn’t miss this: In the 21st century with the hustle and bustle of life, here’s something which is fresh and natural. I use jaggery which is a natural form of sugar and I say fresh because I use fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. This balances the drink and gives it taste, body and craft,” says Sachin Hudgatti, mixologist, Courtyard by Marriott Pune, Hinjewadi.

Watermelon & Cilantro Crush
Place: Atmosphere 6, Viman Nagar

Ingredients
    Fresh watermelon chunks.......5 pieces
    Mint leaves.......5 to 6
    Cilantro leaves...5 to 6
    Lime wedges.....
2 pieces
    Sprite.............60 ml

Method
    Take a few watermelon chunks (5 pcs). Add mint and cilantro leaves (5 to 6 leaves) and add two lime wedges. Muddle softly and add some ice in a shaker, topped up with sprite. Garnish it with a slice of watermelon, mint and cilantro.

 Why you shouldn’t miss this: “Watermelon and Cilantro crush is an easy mix of fresh watermelon chunks, cilantro leaves and mint leaves with lime wedges. WCC is fantastic on every occasion and it makes a fabulous party drink as well,” says Rajeev Arora, owner, Atmosphere 6.

Tropical Paradise
Place: Khaan Saab, Magarpatta city

Ingredients
    Peach syrup.........10 ml   
    Pineapple juice....80 ml   
    Orange juice.........80 ml
    Lemon..................1 slice
    Sparkling water...50 ml
    Pineapple....1 slice for garnishing

Method
 Add lemon juice and peach syrup in a glass and mix. Add two cubes of ice. Add orange juice and pineapple juice. Top up with club soda. Garnish with a pineapple slice.

 Why you shouldn’t miss this: “Tropical Paradise is an absolute refreshing mocktail as it’s a mix of natural flavours to tantalise your taste buds,” says a staff member of Khaan Saab.

Oriental Synthesis
Place: Gong, Balewadi

Ingredients
    Gin Gordons.................60 ml
    Sugar Syrup..................20 ml
    Lemongrass..................5 gm
    Basil...............................5 gm
    Matcha Tea Powder......5 gm
    Dry Rose........................5 gm
    Bacardi White..............45 ml
  Malinu........................15 ml
  Pineapple juice.......25 ml
  Cucumber juice..15 ml
    Lime juice.................. 5 ml

Method
    Take a cocktail jar, add gin gordons, sugar syrup, lemongrass, basil, matcha tea powder, dry rose, Bacardi white, malinu, pineapple juice, cucumber juice and lime juice and mix well. Serve in a glass with fresh leaves.
    Why you shouldn’t miss this: “Oriental synthesis is a warm cocktail made in a hot siphon hence perfect for the weather,” says Sandeep Sharma, head bartender, Gong.

Red Lady
Place: Classic Rock Cafe Co., Kalyani Nagar

Ingredients
    Orange juice........45ml
   Triple sec.............15 ml
   Lemon juice........15 ml
  Vodka..............45 ml
  Topped with grenadine.... 15ml

Method
  Mix the ingredients and build the drink by pouring the ingredients directly into the serving glass. Garnish with an orange slice, black straw and stirrer.
  Why you shouldn’t miss this: “Christmas is all about being in red. I think this beverage is a perfect blend of its base which is red and a twist of orange and is perfect for this festive season. Also, this cocktail is meant specially for ladies,” says Zanky Basumatary, bartender, Classic Rock Cafe Co.

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