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In the midst of reading this article you will find no words of wisdom from Doug Coughlin or the impish smile of Brian Flanagan, apologies for the spoiler alert. The art of cocktail mixing has evolved from playing safe with the regulars, to incorporating the ever-evolving palate of the discerning international traveller. The mixologists are taking global cues along with local infused mixes to create fusion blends and classics alike. Here is a list of a few coolers to play sport in and around Goa.
Mulled Wine Sangria
A concept created by the Goan producer of Armada Liquor, the mulled wine sangria is a flavoursome blend of a medium bodied red wine, Fanta and Armada Liquor topped with finely chopped apples, oranges and mint leaves. Oscar Nazareth states, ‘Liqueurs are a very popular ingredient in cocktail making – from Jagerbombs to really complex layered cocktails, they lend their colour and flavours to all sorts of combinations! I chose to highlight the mulled wine sangria for a few of reasons: Firstly, because sangrias are a very popular summer drink in Portugal and Spain, from where the recipe for Armada originated. Secondly, it allows the subtle spice notes of Armada to really shine through and lastly, to showcase our liqueur's versatility. Creating a cool version of a mulled wine is no easy task − to then turn it into sangria is the work of a skilled mixologist, case in point Nupur Joshi for bringing this concoction to life!’
It is a cocktail made with gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar developed over the 1920s. The combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm field gun. Brought back to life by Sunder Aaron and team of Pizza Mia, he quips ‘We wanted something authentic and unique, giving a twist to our cocktail selection along with the wide variety of pizzas on offer. It is a cool and refreshing drink and can be consumed either at night or in the day.'
The best way to savour this cocktail would be atop a cliff with the setting sun for company. Souvik Mishra, the mastermind bartender behind this creation at Antares, infused a generous amount of peanut butter with Baileys and vanilla caramel with vodka as the base. He states, 'This is one of our most sought after cocktails, favoured by one and all, as it blends the taste of a dessert with every sip. A must-have for every gorgeous sunset we witness daily.'
Imagine the sparkling bubbly Prosecco from Italy with a choice of Ice candy lollipop – Blue Lagoon or Hawaiian Chilli. This is the brainchild of Chef Xavs Norr from Route 66 in Panjim. An experimentalist at heart, he decided to blend this sinfully fruity and bubbly drink with the jolted tones of candy flavour in every sip. He explains ‘I like to bring an element of fun and passion in every creation. This brings together the two sides of a coin − a grown up adult with his Prosecco, a regal drink, and the kid inside us, all with the lollipop submerged within. The reaction on their faces is priceless each time as I present this drink to them. Many are stumped as to how to consume it. The answer would be, any way you please.’
Cazulo Peru Meru
A drink born out of circumstance − the Cazulo Peru Meru is originated from the bloody Maria. It is a riff of the regular bloody Mary replacing vodka with coconut feni, thus staying true to the basics, but adding a Goan spin to the drink. However, one December month, Goa faced an unexpected shortage of tomato juice. Not being deterred, Hansel Vaz, owner of Cazulo Feni decided to use guava juice instead that is not normally used in a cocktail, thus inventing the Peru Meru. ‘Our secret ingredient (there is always one) was a rim of chilly powder and salt. Not only is it an interesting blend of flavours, but each sip of the cocktail and the salt chilly rim, invariably takes you back to your childhood school days, where guava smeared with chilly powder and salt was the most sinful thing we ever had before coming home.’
Amour de Paris
This is a drink celebrating Paris in Goa through the Good France Week promoting French cuisine across the world. True to its gastronomic tastes of all things wine and cognac, this cocktail is cognac based with Triple Sec and layered with lemon juice for zing. The strength of cognac with subtle flavour of Triple Sec appeals universally to both stronger and milder palates. Saurabh Khanna, General Manager of The Park Calangute states ‘Amour de Paris as the name suggests, means ‘Love from Paris’. This is our own libation made of French liquor by our barman Srimanta Dey. An easy to consume drink, it is available with us all year round.’