Many years ago I attended a cocktail making workshop and I was fascinated! I am blessed to have inherited my grandfather’s bar(ironically he was a teetotaller!) and it has been the piece de resistance in every home I have lived in. Hence venturing into making cocktails occasionally seemed all too karmic.
This lockdown and coronavirus has brought out the best in all of us – Isn’t it?
Wellll… With a couplaa cocktails a week- you bet!
A few tips and tricks to make your perfect cocktail
- Use big cubes of Ice
- Make sure everything is chilled esp. in the summer
- In the winter while pouring a hot drink, keep a steel spoon in the glass- the spoon will absorb heat and prevent your glass from cracking
- A normal glass bottle works well in place of a shaker
- A mortar and pestle function as a muddler
- Taste your drink first before pouring it fully and then balance it out
Here are a few recipes of my own – hope you enjoy them as much as I do
We all know how impressed we were when the girls in Sex and the city twirled their cosmo’s. However, I think it’s a fine art to get the balance right here and I am now only happy with the cosmo’s I make!
In a shaker( a mason jar will work as well) Mix 80 ml cranberry juice, 45 ml vodka, 10ml Cointreau, lemon juice, and sugar( you can skip this as the cran juice is already sweetened. Add ice while shaking. Pour into a cosmopolitan glass. Twist the orange peel above the glass to release the oil and fragrance and enjoy!
Insider tip: If you don’t have Cointreau handy just infuse orange peels in vodka overnight to add a great depth of flavour to your drink.
You can also add a small amount of fresh orange or kinnow juice to your drink instead of Cointreau.
Everyone knows the standard Mojito and the secret to a great mojito is a TON of sugar! However, I found a tiny bit of conscience and tried to omit/replace the sugar in these versions. Cheers!
Muddle ( if you don’t have a muddler use a mortar and pestle) in a tall glass pomegranate, mint, and lemon juice. Add 45/60 ml of white rum or vodka( yes vodka works so well !) and mix. Then add club soda and stir gently.
Muddle fresh mangoes with 1-2 deseeded green chillies chopped fine( you can increase depending on your spice level). Add lemon juice, vodka or white rum. Mix well. Top with Club soda or lime flavoured aerated water.
Hands down this is my favourite cocktail. I love the traditional version which requires you to shake in a cocktail shaker 60 ml whisky, ½ an egg white, lemon juice and powdered sugar.
However again that conscience niggled me and I substituted honey and minused the egg white. It was divine! The honey adds a depth of flavour and enriches the whisky!
So go ahead and give it a try.
You may also read :A MASTERCLASS,COCKTAILS,SNACKS & MORE
Gin and Tonic
I took a liking to this drink only recently. When I discovered its very new and modern avatars. This is the simplest drink to make. You mix Gin( 45ml) add the same amount of tonic water and a twist of lime. I prefer to add only 20ml tonic and I add a full lemon juice and top with club soda.
Some great additives to this one are -Olives, blueberries, sliced strawberries, or orange wedges.
My Bloody Mary
Let me warn you that this is a potent drink. Not only with the spice level but Tequila is to be consumed at your own risk!
This drink is also a bit heavy so you may want to keep your bar snacks light.
Simply stir 60 ml Tequila,20ml fresh lemon juice, 50ml tomato juice, a dash of tabasco or any chili sauce you have handy. If you can add celery sticks as a stirrer it’s very refreshing. Do not forget to rim your glass with some sea salt and pour the drink in. You can garnish it with a jalapeno and lemon wedge for that extra punch
Frosting a glass
To frost a glass, take two tea saucers. Squeeze lemon juice in one and have either sea salt or sugar in the other. Upturn your glass dip in lemon juice and then immediately into the salt.
I grew up in Madras ( now Chennai) and when I saw a drink called Maanga in a bar I knew I had to replicate it. Maanga means raw mango.
Muddle together cubes of raw, mango and a dash of black salt. Add vodka or white rum. Top with club soda. If you want the drink sweeter you can add aam panna ( raw mango sherbet) concentrate
Muddled Mint Julep
Mint, orange juice, lemon, honey muddled together and topped off with whiskey and soda!
Again if you wish to experiment add sugar or a lemon-based beverage to sweeten the drink.
In this lockdown, I discovered the real meaning of Martini. Although no doubt about it -James Bond does sound super cool when he says those infamous words- I want my Martini Shaken not stirred!
Martini is a brand name for a vermouth, which is a type of dry wine. It can be used as a mixer and must be kept chilled.
I liked it best the following ways
The 007 style one: Martini vermouth, vodka,a dash of lime and you are good to go. Do add olives by all means!
The Accident: I mixed a dash of vermouth with some leftover white wine and this was a winner.
Now that the weather here is getting chilly here are a few warmer concoctions for you to try
I first had this one made by a German so it was as authentic as it gets!
Heat in a heavy-bottomed pan a bottle of wine( I like to use inexpensive wine!) Add to this vanilla essence( 2 tsp), vanilla pods if you feel fancy, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon. Add brown sugar ( 2 tbsp) If you want to omit the sugar then add honey when you stop boiling.
Now let this boil and keep tasting it to get the balance right.
This drink is something my Dad( again a teetotaller!) tells me to have when I whine about the winter
In a brandy balloon pour a measure of brandy
Add a tablespoon of honey, crushed black peppercorns, and pounded fresh ginger. Top off with hot water and stir well.
Please do NOT drink and drive. … Please drink responsibly and with moderation.