Amber Dias helps you kick your parties up a notch with incredible cocktails from some of the coolest hangouts in town.
It’s party season! And that means festive food and drinks galore. And whether you are hosting a soiree, enjoying a cozy evening in with the family, or just looking to unwind after a day of festive chaos, a delicious cocktail is crucial to setting the mood. We checked in with restaurants and brewers around town to bring you some fun mixes to give this season a little sparkle.
From Sorano, Kolkata
30 ml burnt peach cake-infused gin; 30 ml reduction of beer spice; 120 ml white wine; 50 ml pesto.
Mix It Up
Mix the gin, beer spice reduction and white wine and pour into a wine glass. Add a drizzle of pesto and serve.
“The North Pole offers a rich and indulgent dessert-inspired experience. The reduction of beer spice adds depth and warmth, complemented by the crispness of white wine and the savory notes from the in-house pesto. The cocktail skillfully blends flavours associated with the holidays, making it perfect for spreading joy and celebration during the Christmas and New Year festivities. It is easy to drink, whether you are having it during lunchtime or dinner, regardless,” says Manoj Singh Rawat, Head Mixologist at Sorano, Kolkata.
From Blue Bop Cafe, Mumbai
750 ml dry red wine; 1/4 cup brandy or orange liqueur; 1 orange, sliced into rounds; 8 whole cloves; 2 cinnamon sticks; 2 star anise; 2 to 4 tbsp sugar, honey or maple syrup.
Mix It Up
Pour the wine into a pot, add the whole spices, orange and sugar. Simmer and allow spices to infuse the wine. Ladle into a wine glass and serve.
“Mulled wine is perfect for the holiday season because its warm, spiced aroma and rich flavours bring a sense of warmth and festive cheer. The combination of red wine, spices like cinnamon and cloves, and citrus fruit creates a comforting and aromatic drink that suits the winter season, making it a popular choice for holiday gatherings and celebrations,” says Kuber Bhatt, Sr Bartender, Blue Bop Cafe.
Mai Tai de’ Cuba
From Jia, Mumbai
30 ml Bacardi rum; 20 ml almond orgeat; 20 ml blood orange syrup; a dash of lime.
Mix It Up
Mix the rum, almond orgeat and blood orange in a shaker and shake well with ice. Strain into a glass, add a dash of lime. Serve!
“A perfect drink for someone who loves an almond flavoured, rum-based cocktail. A rim of red wine is often poured on top to give a classy, extravagant taste,” says Neville Vazifdar, Founder, Jia, Mumbai.
Ramos Gin Fizz
From Millo, Mumbai
60 ml gin; 20 ml lemon juice; 15 ml strawberry puree; 15 ml sugar syrup; 60 ml soda; strawberry foam with fresh strawberries.
Mix It Up
Shake the gin, lemon juice and strawberry puree with ice. Strain into a chilled Jazz Highball Glass. Top with foam and add a straw in the centre. Pour the soda in, allowing the foam to rise. Garnish with strawberries and serve.
“The Ramos Gin Fizz is a classic cocktail that originated in New Orleans. It’s known for its frothy, creamy texture and refreshing taste. Here’s a traditional recipe for making a Ramos Gin Fizz. It’s a take on a classic cocktail, we have made it a little seasonal to showcase the winter season representing strawberries,” says Manish Nadekar, Head Bartender, Millo, Mumbai.
From Koa, Thane
60 ml tequila; 15 ml lime juice; 15 ml orgeat syrup; 20 ml pineapple juice; 2 dashes Angostura bitters.
Mix It Up
Fill a glass tumbler with ice to chill it. Add the tequila, lime juice, orgeat syrup, pineapple juice and bitters to a shaker and shake for 10-15 seconds. Remove the ice from the glass and strain the mix into it. Garnish with a slice of lime or pineapple if you’d like and serve.
“A cocktail that screams tropical! Tequila, and tarty pineapple with lime makes way for the jazzed-up version of the famous pina colada. A must-try! Also, feel free to adjust the ingredient quantities based on your personal taste preferences. Cheers!” says Alex Fernandes, GM Operations, Koa, Thane.
Saffron Gin And Tonic
From Vaum Tonics
60 ml saffron-infused gin; 120 ml Vaum classic Indian tonic water; ice cubes; strands of saffron and a lime wedge to garnish.
Mix It Up
Fill a glass with ice cubes, add the gin and stir slowly. Top with tonic water and adjust to taste. Top with saffron stands and a lime wedge. Gently stir to mix the ingredients and enjoy!
“The saffron infusion will give your G&T a beautiful golden hue and a subtle saffron aroma and flavour. It’s a delightful twist on the classic cocktail, perfect for celebrating holidays or to enjoy during party season. It also offers a refreshing alternative to traditional beverages, providing a sensory experience that is both relaxing and invigorating,” says Siddharth Saraf, Co-Founder, Vaum Tonics.
How To Make Saffron-Infused Gin
To make saffron-infused gin, you’ll need a small glass container or bottle with a tight-sealing lid.
Take a pinch (about 10-15 strands) of saffron threads and place them in the container.
Add 60 ml of your preferred gin to the container.
Seal the container and let it sit for at least a few hours or overnight. The longer you let it infuse, the more pronounced the saffron flavour will be.
Strain the saffron-infused gin to remove the saffron threads before using it in your cocktail.