What do you drink in Summers? Most of the times Vodka and Whiskey do not support the tropical climate of India and the lookout is always for a milder, refreshing citrusy drink. For many Summer means beer but there are few loyalists who cannot miss out on Gin. First created in Holland and known as Genever, Gin was discovered by the British soldiers during carried it back with them and by the seventeenth century, it was almost every one in 4 households in England was producing there own gin. The discovery of Gin and Tonic is even more interesting. Till such time our own Mahua, Fenny, Toddy or Chhang makes it international chartbusters it is the Gin and Tonic which was discovered in India will be one of the best passive contributions of India to the alcohol galaxy. As a step to fight malaria, Brits had to intake bitter quinine and they dissolved it in water and added sugar, lime and gin to balance it. Hence came the famous Gin and Tonic.
Gin acts as one of the most popular cocktail base and a round up with the city mixologists and bars threw up some interesting Gin based cocktails which are popular in Kolkata.
Rhubarb Chiraag at Level Seven - This is a take on Gin Sour where rhubarb chiraag syrup adds a tartness to the Gin Sour with honey-sweetened sugar syrup. Shaken and served in a margarita glass, those are what summer evenings are meant for.
Price - INR 500
Sly Fox Gastro Club- If G& T has been discovered in India and started its journey in India then how can local influences be avoided. In this gastropub, they are serving Megahalaya G&T. Its Meghalaya turmeric infused Gin with homemade orange syrup with a splash of lime and tip it up with tonic water. Before serving they strain the drink to leave behind traces of smell and taste of Turmeric.
Price - INR 495
Brake Booster at Motorworks and Brewing Company- This is a beautiful concoction of Gin and Rum with homemade dragonfruit syrup, enhanced with cold smoke of rosemary and strawberry pearl. Gin is considered as one of the most popular cocktail bases and this is a reason.
Price - INR 495
The Brewhive - There is not one but three gin-based cocktails here which are worth checking out.
Valentine - In-house rose solution mixed with tangy mix and gin and topped up with tonic water gives birth to beautiful deep pink cocktail
Solitude - This cocktail is like what the doctor would prescribe you et al if you wanna enjoy your gin this summer. Smoky rosemary syrup mixed with 2 drops of Angostura bitter and gin. This is simple yet flavourful and summers are meant for this.
Japanese soul - If you need a gen cocktail pairing with your spicy starters then this is the one for you. Fresh Wasabi paste with a mix of cucumber and maraschino cherries, shaken with ice and gin. That is the Japanese soul for you.
Cost - Each drink costs INR 399
Pourhouse Kolkata - Ginebra San Miguel since 1834 - Named after the famous brand, this frunk has aloe vera juice, cucumber juice, lime juice with sugar syrup and a generous amount of gin.
Add on to the zing by serving it with a thin slice of cucumber, bell pepper and cherries.
There is Spring Fizz which is made with Gin, edible flower syrup with lime juice and cucumber soda. The drink is served with a slice of cucumber.
Price - INR 850 plus taxes
Sour Cherry Gin Smash - a classic shaken and stirred, this is made with Gin apple juice, cherry syrup and freshly squeezed lemon juice and then ginger ale is added with a cherry on top. A perfect thirst quencher for summers
Price - INR 850 plus taxes
The list can be endless as Gin acts as a very popular cocktail base and no bar or pub would let the chance go to serve a gin-based cocktail to you.
In addition to above, there is the classic Bora Bora at The Fatty Bao which is a deadly combination of Gin and Vodka with a hint of green apple and passion fruit and coconut water added.
Toast to Calcutta
There is also the very popular Toast to Calcutta at Monkey Bar which very aptly has Gin, Basil and a house-made Gondhoraj cordial. The Bora Bora is priced at INR 425 plus taxes and Toast to Calcutta is priced at INR 475 plus taxes.
So, after reading this will you still stick to your Gin and Tonic or be a little more adventurous.
A true blue Kolkata foodie, Anindya loves cooking and eating his Kosha Mangsho. Anindya weaves stories around food as he believes exceptional food is an emotional experience. Previously a restauranter, now a passionate photographer and traveller, he runs a successful blog called Pikturenama and contributes to other publications.