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The cocktail scene in Hyderabad has evolved rapidly over the past couple of years. They have gone from being an afterthought in the menu to becoming a USP. Bars around the city have been employing trend-setting mixologists to reach new heights. Here are our favourite spots to grab a delicious cocktail.
Rika, diminutive for paprika, is Park Hyatt’s vibrant new Asian kitchen and bar. We did not think that it was possible to craft an elaborate cocktail menu around chillies, but 'Rika’s South African mixologist Roxanne Read' proved us wrong. The spiciness of Tequila is amplified with habanero and then balanced by citrus notes of Yuzu and sweetness of mango. The pungency of local Guntur chillies is gently pitted against the smokiness of peated whisky. Even classics like Old Fashioned and Penicillin have room for an Asian twist.
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The claim to fame of this tapas bar is its impressive range of imported bitters. Shake Stir Muddle goes beyond the familiar Angostura and employs celery, grapefruit, chocolate and other bitters to great effect. The bar also uses plenty of home-made syrups and puree for its drinks.
The phrase healthy cocktails might seem like an oxymoron, but Zephyr definitely goes an extra mile to make its mixes pleasant not only for your palate but also your body. 'Mixologist Viju Raj' has banished sugary syrups from his bar. His cocktails use home-made tinctures, spirits infused with locally available spices and herbs, and cold-pressed fruits. Classic LIIT is turned on its head by infusing gin with botanicals like a mandarin rind, ginger and saffron, star anise and coffee.
Komatose's signature cocktails are named after the seven deadly sins. Whether it is the fiery Lust or the creamy Gluttony, each one is distinctive and delicious. However, our favourites at Koma are the excellent Gin and Tonic concoctions that offer subtle variations of this perennial favourite.
One should always expect the unexpected at Farzi Café. The classic Martini gets a minty twist with granny apples, elderflower syrup, and mint foam, while their take on Chai is a potent combination of Vodka, Kahlua, and Countreau with earl grey tea. Whisky fans should check out the Blue Blazer, a Farzified Manhattan featuring flamed Jim Beam with sugar, bitters, and lime juice.
The cocktail menu at Over the Moon crafted by 'Viju Raj' showcases plays on 4 keynotes – spices, fruits and vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Think whisky is infused with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans, vodka infused with hibiscus and cinnamon, and wasabi-honey paste with whisky and star anise tincture.
United Kitchens of India is a casual-dine, family friendly restaurant but it gets a spot in our list thanks to the well-crafted cocktails. 'Sharad Arora' - UKI’s Operations Manager, is one of Hyderabad’s best-known mixologist. Try his award-winning coconut infused White Rum and Passion Fruit cocktail called Lota or the surprisingly addictive Popcorn Old Fashion with notes of caramel popcorn.
Pallab De is a techie who arrived in Hyderabad towards the beginning of the decade and fell in love with the city’s vibrant and rich culinary legacy. He has been blogging for over a decade and a half, and, shares his food-related musings under the moniker of ‘Hyderabad Food Guy’.