The IIFA Buzz café in Gurgaon is one of the places showcased in Cheers
Cheers by Sharmila Chand offers 365 recipes of cocktails and mocktails, one for each day of the year. Chand has been writing on food, travel and lifestyle, and thought of this book to draw attention to bartenders and mixologists whom she describes as ‘artists behind the bar’. She explains, “They think of so many recipes according to the season and ingredients available. Mixology is a tricky game, not everybody can make great drinks.” The book features recipes of cocktails, mocktails, spiced drinks and hangover drinks. It begins with details about various unique glassware used to consume drinks, from historical times till today. There are also instructions on how to set up a bar, and certain tricks and techniques, followed by the recipes.
When the Saxons invaded Europe, they brought with them drinking horns (shown adjacent)— hollow horns of bovid animals which were treated to make them safe to consume liquor from. The designs were later recreated in materials like gold, silver and fine glass.
The book needed nearly two years of research as Chand sought recipes from bartenders across India. Chand wanted the book to be a handy guide to those who wish to set up their bars and be their own bartender. “Hence, I worked carefully to compile recipes in a simple format, used easy non-technical language and mentioned ingredients which are readily available,” she explains. Food stylist Michael Swamy and his team worked on the images for the book.
Hibiscus and Vanilla Daiquiri is made using rum, vanilla syrup, hibiscus tea and lemon
From her research, Chand shares some handy tips: “Store cork bottles lying down as the cork needs to be kept wet. Also, the kitchen is one of the worst places to store wine due to strong smells and varying temperatures which can have a negative effect on the wine. Ensure you use fresh juice for recipes and fresh fruits; it is more time-consuming, but what a result! Remember, the garnish is part of the cocktail, therefore it must be edible. But be careful, it must complement the taste of your cocktail, not hide it.”
Savoy Regal is made using tequila, kiwi, strawberry, lemon juice and ice cubes
Blushing Damsel is made using vodka, lychee juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice and lychees
Cafetini is made using vodka, whiskey and coffee liqueur
Pink City Classic is made using gin, rose syrup, martini rose and creme de fraise
Sharmila Chand, author of Cheers
Cheers — 365 Cocktails and Mocktails, Sharmila Chand, Om Books International, Rs 795. Available at leading bookstores.