Descriptor: The best cocktail we sampled for this compilation, no questions asked, would be the Brandied Bawi. We are not sure if the Parsis have a peculiar penchant for brandy but boy, did this drink get us excited! Firstly, because it wasn’t a hot toddy. Secondly, whether it was the bartender's use of brown vinegar (or Parsi sarko; a matured sugarcane vinegar) or the freshly muddled raspberry with a shake of sour mix, we can’t tell, but it was original, refreshing and harked back to childhood. Just in case you’re allergic to berries, we recommend you order a Parsiana; a wonderful melange of freshly chopped plum, orange juice and Old Monk.
Price: Rs 325 (plus taxes)
Address: The Capital Building, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
Ganna Tana Tan
AT QUARTER HOUSE
Base: Cointreau and vodka
Descriptor: Most of our school-going sugarcane dreams are made of this. And if you, like us, want to call it a year by curbing cravings associated with the tinkle of a regularly ringing bell, the sound of stalks being crushed to juice, the spicy smell of a ginger being juiced and the chipping sound of ice being broken into shards, a.k.a. ganna ka juice — make your way to this quaint Mahim bar for an adult version of that childhood favourite. Only know that the owners here have decided to do away with the ginger juice but keep the lime. PS: This drink is a part of their seasonal menu, so ask your waiter for it.
Price: Rs 350 (plus taxes)
Address: Kapad Bazar Lane, Mahim
AT THE FATTY BAO
Descriptor: Have you noticed how there’s something infectiously happy about having a meal at chef Manu Chandra’s 2015-success story, The Fatty Bao? End the year here so you don’t have to play bartender and add your own sparkle to holiday sips thanks to the in-house cocktail innovations at this Asian Gastro Bar. Our favourite? The Mandalay Bay which mixes together jasmine tea vodka, shaken with lime and orange slices and is finished with fizzy ginger ale. Our only nugget of advice: watch how many of these you drink, because they go down faster than any tall iced cocktail we’ve tried.
Price: Rs 450
Address: Summerville, Junction of 14th & 33rd, Linking Road, Bandra
Base: Rum(s) and absinthe
Descriptor: Belly up to the bar and order what Havana’s barmaid Candy Sharma likes to call the, “One-shot drink”. This evil cocktail creation is made by mixing equal amounts of light rum, dark rum and gold rum with grapefruit juice, passion fruit syrup, lime juice and grenadine. The complicated garnish is made by inverting a lemon wedge and filling the cavity with a sugar cube. This is finally drowned in a shot of absinthe and once the barkeep lights the cube on fire, you push the lemon-sugar-absinthe shot to the bottom of the glass. Your first sip should always be the green fairy juice. Once done, dance away.
Price: Rs 275 (plus taxes)
Address: Gordon House Hotel, Apollo Bunder
AT PA PA YA
Descriptor: Ever heard of the expression, “eating with your eyes?” For you, we present the Lighthouse, a cool concoction that manages to take it up a notch. For starters, it comes served in an inverted light bulb-shaped beaker, complete with a golden electrical screw cap. At first swig, you’ll know that the resident mixologist has started this subtle and not-too-sweet cocktail out with a generous amount of house-mixed lemongrass flavoured vodka. Next to greet you is the Thai galangal and the base mixers bring this spark of drink to life: fresh orange and pineapple juice. Look, sip, savour.
Price: Rs 425 (plus taxes)
Address: Palladium Mall, Level 3, Lower Parel
AT BONOBO, Bandra
Descriptor: What’s a party without a cocktail? And what’s a cocktail if it doesn’t have a party in your mouth? In a bid to appease all your nostalgic senses, head to Bandra’s favourite rooftop bar to order a drink so simple that there’s nothing not to like about it. Aside from helping you kickstart the festivities with a bang, the Razzle Dazzle uses this season’s current ‘it’ flavour: Raspberry soda, which is simply stirred with a generous pour of vanilla vodka. Because, and in the wise words of Boman Kohinoor of Britannia & Co., “Parsi is raspberry, and raspberry is Parsi. Are you Parsi? Then you get raspberry!”
Price: Rs 370 (plus taxes)
Address: Kenilworth Mall, 2nd Floor, Linking Road, Bandra West
Base: Irish whiskey and coffee liqueur
Descriptor: Coffee and whiskey connoisseurs, ward off winter chills with this seasonal sipper. Boveda’s head barman, Ashish Desai’s, take on the traditional Irish whiskey cream is simple and sophisticated. What we liked most about his version was that he left out conventional elements such as condensed milk, only to replace with them a big splash of coffee liqueur and a pinch of nutmeg. Slurp up.
Price: Rs 515 (plus taxes)
Address: G04, Morya Landmark One, off New Link Road, Oshiwara Village, Andheri West
AT IRISH HOUSE
Descriptor: Here, you can celebrate the season with Irish Terminator and Green Goblet. Vodka is the base spirit. The former uses gin, rum, triple sec, brandy and grape juice, topped up with beer. The later has white rum, green melon liqueur and pineapple juice. Why make one cocktail, when you can premix batches, and serve in big bowls?
Price: Rs 2,225
Address: Fun Republic, New Link Road, Lokhandwala, Andheri Inorbit Mall, Malad
Bliss In A Glass
Descriptor: As you raise your glass, we urge you to go on-trend by developing a taste for spirits spiked with seasonal juices such as fresh melon and pineapple. Now, envision a cocktail that combines fresh melon juice with touches of espresso infused vodka and fresh vanilla. Sounds unusual? We sampled the drink and we think they could have named it a Match made in Heaven.
Price: Rs 375 (plus taxes)
Address: Near Holy Family Hospital, Bandra
AT THE BOMBAY CANTEEN
Descriptor: It should come as no surprise to learn that this hip eatery’s bar menu is just as spectacular as their food, all of which have already seen four seasonal changes since the launch, less than a year ago. Their current cocktails are both India-inspired and on-season. Take for example, partner Yash Bhange’s P&P (pineapple and pepper), which is made by shaking fresh pineapple juice with vodka and pepper liqueur, with an optional egg white ending.
Price: Rs 450 (plus taxes)
Address: Kamala Mills, Lower Parel
AT WOODSIDE INN
Descriptor: We have a strange suspicion that if Ian Fleming hadn’t made James Bond’s preferred drink a martini, the next contender would have been the Negroni. A gentleman’s drink, the classic Negroni is made with one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet) and one part Campari, garnished with an orange peel. Woodside’s take on the aperitif comes in two folds. First, they serve this drink with an ice ball or glass globe in bar-speak. Second, since campari is an acquired taste, bar manager Sean Sean Pereira has replaced the traditional Campari with new-age asperol, which, frankly isn’t as bitter.
Price: Rs 545 (plus taxes)
Address: Opposite Regal Cinema, Colaba