World Gin Day: Must-try cocktails from Mumbai’s top mixologists

08 June,2024 10:48 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Maitrai Agarwal

Mumbai mixologists share creative gin cocktails encouraging readers to explore local bar offerings on World Gin Day

Every year, World Gin Day is celebrated on June 8 around the globe. Photo Courtesy: Special Arrangement

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World Gin Day, a global celebration of the juniper-infused spirit we all love is held annually on the second Saturday of June. Shaking off its old-fashioned image and transforming into a trendy spirit, gin has seen a renaissance in India in recent years. Homegrown distillers are redefining gin with a distinctly Indian twist, incorporating exotic botanicals from across the subcontinent. Indian patrons are also embracing the complexity of gin in refreshing and innovative cocktails as menus across the country explode with innovative gin creations. To celebrate World Gin Day, we asked mixologists across Mumbai to share some creative gin cocktails for you to whip up at home.

Don't be fooled by its delicate name - the Chiffon cocktail is anything but simple. Renzil Barrow, assistant bar manager at PCO explains, "Chiffon, much like the cocktail named after it, may seem straightforward, but it is a creation involving numerous intricate techniques. Like Chiffon, crafting our cocktail requires skill and precision, involving a thoughtful mix of methods such as blending, curdling, and filtering through a coffee filter."

Gin 40 ml
Banoffee paste ½ bar spoon
Amaro Montenegro 15 ml
Pineapple juice 50 ml
Caramel syrup 7.5 ml
Lime juice 10 ml
Milk (for clarification) 7.5 ml

1. Combine all ingredients except the milk in a blender. Blend well until smooth.
2. Add the milk and continue blending for a few seconds until the mixture curdles slightly.
3. Strain the mixture through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove the curdled milk solids, resulting in a clarified cocktail.
4. Serve chilled in a glass with a clear ice cube.

Gulabi Saadi
Inspired by Bollywood's vibrant spirit, Hitchki serves up a wave of nostalgia with this signature drink. "Gulaabi Saadi features Samsara Pink Gin, a touch of butterfly pea flower tea, and a hint of fresh lime for a touch of tartness. Once stirred, the cocktail gives out a brilliant pink colour which is why we named it after the hit song," shares Sonali Mullick, head of operations and mixologist at Bayroute and Hitchki.

Samsara Pink 45 ml
Cucumber ribbon 1 no
Butterfly pea flower tea 10 ml
Lime juice 50 ml
Ice cubes

1. Pour the Samsara Pink into a wine goblet.
2. Add the butterfly pea flower tea.
3. Pour in the lime juice.
4. Top off with ice.
5. Garnish with a cucumber ribbon.

Garden Gallata
If you prefer a twist on the classic gin and tonic, you can unwind with a symphony of flavours with the Garden Gallata. "This cocktail features a base of gin, perfectly balanced with the sweet and tangy notes of passion fruit juice. It elevates the experience with tonic water, creating a light and bubbly finish. But the magic truly lies in the presentation. A delicate garnish of rose petals adds a touch of floral elegance, while a vibrant orange slice and a crisp cucumber slice bring pops of colour and a refreshing aroma. It's a visual and taste sensation in every sip," says Pranav Modi, brand mixologist at Tanjore Tiffin Room.

Gin 90 ml
Tonic Water 250 ml
Passion fruit juice 45 ml
Rose petals, orange and cucumber for garnish

1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
2. Add the gin and passion fruit juice to the glass.
3. Gently stir to combine.
4. Top with tonic water, leaving a small space at the top.
5. Garnish with a few rose petals, an orange slice, and a cucumber slice.

Gin's allure extends far beyond its juniper heart. For bartenders like Salil Naik, senior bartender at Nksha Restaurant, it's a canvas brimming with potential. Distilled with a rich tapestry of botanicals, gin offers unparalleled versatility, acting as the muse for countless innovative cocktails. He tells us, "Gin's history is as rich as its botanical tapestry. It offers an unparalleled versatility that inspires us to push the boundaries of mixology. I like to explore and craft gin cocktails that tell a story of craftsmanship, from the meticulous distillation process to the harmonious balance of flavours.

Lavender infused gin 60 ml
Lime juice 15 ml
Kawa syrup 15 ml
Red apple juice 30 ml
Pickled apple for garnish

1. In a shaker add lime juice, followed by kawa syrup.
2. Add red apple juice and lavender-infused gin.
3. ⁠Shake it over ice.
4. Fine strain in a pre-chilled martini glass.
5. ⁠Garnish with pickled apple

Thai Spiritz
"As a mixologist, I'm thrilled to present the Butterfly Pea Sour - a testament to Mumbai's innovative spirit. This gin cocktail, infused with lemongrass and pisco, enhanced by blue pea tea, embodies the vibrant mixology culture here. Shaken to perfection and adorned with three drops of Angostura, it's a refreshing twist on the classic sour. Mumbai's beverage scene is a playground for creativity, and this drink is my homage to our unparalleled, dynamic flavours," shares Rosslyn Karpanam, assistant bar manager at Nara Thai.

Lemongrass-infused gin 45 ml
Prosecco 30 ml
Fresh green apple juice 30 ml
Fresh lemon juice 20 ml
Simple syrup 15 ml

1. Begin by infusing gin with lemongrass.
2. In a shaker, combine the lemongrass-infused gin, fresh green apple juice, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
3. Add ice and shake well until the mixture is thoroughly chilled.
4. Strain the mixture into a champagne flute.
5. Top with prosecco.
6. Garnish with an apple fan.

Sakura's Punch
This vibrantly pink cocktail, inspired by the iconic kunoichi Sakura Haruno from Naruto, is a delightful explosion of flavours, reveals Louness Ducos, beverage manager at Cirqa. He elaborates, "Sakura's punch is a bittersweet, citrusy and refreshing cocktail - it is a very balanced drink that is ideal for the summer. The inspiration behind the drink is Sakura, a character from the manga Naruto. She can be sweet, sour and bitter. She is strong and loves to punch anyone who annoys her - especially Naruto. This drink is dedicated to her and her energy. The colour of the drink represents her hair colour which is pink and she always dresses in red clothes."

Gin 30 ml
Campari 30 ml
Grapefruit shrub 45 ml
Grapefruit Shrub
Grapefruit juice 1000 ml
Genmaicha tea 15 gm
Rice vinegar 220 ml
White sugar 180 gm

1. To make the grapefruit shrub, place all the ingredients together in a saucepan, and cook it at low heat for 15min.
2. Let it cool down for 2 hours and then strain it into a bottle.
3. Add gin, Campari, and grapefruit shrub in a highball glass.
4. Top up with soda.
5. Garnish with a rice cracker.

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