Mixologists are taking big strides in the Indian cocktail scene by concocting drinks that are innovative and high on the surprise factor. They are raising their game by several notches this season by giving cutting-edge drinks an Indian spin. Novel local ingredients like exotic Mahua flowers used to make the eponymous drink are making their way into cocktail menus. What’s more, bartenders are infusing their drink recipes with big, bold flavours like lime pickle, murabba (sweet mango preserve) and more to make their tipples fun and delicious.
At Lavaash By Saby, you get high on the Mahua Mehul, a mash-up of ingredients such as gin, dried mahua flowers, 7up, mint leaves, attar drops.
SodaBottleOpenerWala has on offer the Mumma Nu Double Dose, a whimsical blend of whisky, Old Monk dark rum, date and saffron syrup, egg white, lime juice and marigold flowers.
Social packs a punch with Aacharoska, which combines lime juice, lime pickle, mint leaves, brown sugar, sweet and sour syrup and vodka. (Available at all outlets)
Circus woos its loyal patrons with the Masala Gang, an interesting cocktail offering, which complements the bar's street food theme. Playing on nostalgia and memories of Delhi summers, Masala Gang has five variations created with different ingredients – Aam Panna, Imli, Ram Laddu, Anar Dana and Kala Khata. The Imli is a fun mix of candied tamarind balls, lime juice, crushed ice, Tabasco sauce, soda, Sprite and vodka.
Dhaba by Claridges has innovation as its watchword this season. On their menu is the Paan Mojito where a fresh betel leaf is muddled with Bacardi. The taste of this flavoured alcoholic drink is further enhanced with cardamom and other elements of a traditional paan envelope. The restaurant has also upped the ante by introducing Somras, a mix of vodka and Aam Panna, a traditional raw mango beverage.
So, cosy up with these out-of-the- box cocktails as you embark on a pub-crawl this season.
Susmita Saha is a Delhi-based Features Writer. She has worked as an Assistant Editor at India Today and The Telegraph and writes on arts and culture, films, travel, food, architecture, design and various other lifestyle subjects. She has seriously itchy feet and plans to tick the world off her bucket list, one burger at a time.