No tell-tale breath. No hangover (supposedly) and lesser calorie-intake. We were game to try a vapshot the minute Sandeep Sharma, the beverage manager at Hoppipola, listed some of its benefits. Making its debut in Mumbai at the pub's Lower Parel outpost, a vapshot is vapourised alcohol, served in different flavours — either as a shot or a cocktail — from a special machine, to be consumed with a straw. "The concept was introduced in the USA, and is now popular in the UK too. I saw the vapshot machine at a bar in London and asked Avik Chatterjee (owner, Hoppipola) to check it out. He made a trip there, found it interesting and decided to introduce it in Mumbai. We're probably first in the Southeast Asia to get the machine," claims Sharma.
The bartender pours vapourised Jagermeister spirit via a drill into an airtight acrylic bottle. Pics/Sameer Markande
Cubes, tubes and drills
Imported from the UK and costing a few lakhs, the vapshot machine looked harmless sitting at the bar table, until we saw two drills, attached to it, which reminded us of our last trip to the dentist. "They're connected to two test tubes placed inside the machine, containing a litre of vodka and jagermeister each. Apart from beer and sparkling wine, you can pour any spirit in it. A bartender uses the drill to pump vapourised alcohol into acrylic bottles with airtight lids," explained Sharma. As the machine fired up, a neon blue light flashed in the tubes and we were ready to try our first vapshot.
The reporter inhales a vodka vapshot as Sandeep Sharma (second from right) looks on
With vodka already in the tube, the bartender drilled a hole into the bottle lid and poured the vapour for exactly 20 seconds, to make a neat vodka vapshot. "The machine has a timer. It equals to 10 ml of the shot," said Sharma, giving us a 21-inch long straw. As we arched forward — expecting to hear an opening fire-shot — the bartender opened the lid and pop! A loud sound escaped the bottle. "The pop sound shows that the bottle is full," added Sharma, as we groped the straw in the bottle, sipping as much vapour as we could. While we cringe at a vodka shot, the vapshot version was light and easy to ingest. "The vapours bring out the alcohol flavours," nodded Sharma.
Next, we tried the Jagermeister vapshot. For cocktails and flavoured shots, a mixer — in this case, 20 ml of Red Bull — is poured into the bottle, which is then layered with vapourised alcohol from the machine. Post the pop, we sipped the vapshot, which wasn't as strong as its liquid version. "Due to lesser alcohol content in a vapshot, you need to have four to five shots to get that buzz. The idea is to give guests a different experience," shared Sharma.
Initially, the pub will offer only shots as vapshots and later, include cocktail vapshots. However, the bartender gladly prepared a Cosmo vapshot for us, pouring vapourised vodka over cranberry, lime and sugar mixture. Potent and fun to sip on, we were already planning a girls' night out with a vapshot binge on our way out of the pub.
Starts from January 13
At: Todi Building, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel.
Cost: Rs 200 for four
Watch Video: How to make a vapshot