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This writer feels that community festivals develop a certain structure to bring people with shared interests closer. The Cocktail Festival - as it enters its second edition - follows an interesting format, which will connect cocktail enthusiasts through a passport. Spilling the beans about the concept, Vidhi Puri, founder of the organising community, The Cocktail Story, shares, "Last time, due to the pandemic-induced restrictions, we could organise the festival in only five Delhi-based bars.
This time, we have expanded to three cities, including Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Once people buy a permit or passport, they can get 10 free cocktails - one at each partner bar in the city. The permit also lists out names of other places that are participating in the pub crawl." Puri adds that the passport is stamped each time a person gets a free drink against it.
The entrepreneur explains that their idea is to promote and amplify the existing drinking culture in each of the three cities. "We want to get people excited about the experience. Food and live bands have been incorporated into the offering for interactive public engagement but the focus of the festival is alcohol." We feel that this is a great opportunity for tipplers and diners to come to learn about innovative bartenders in the city.
On: May 15 to May 30; all day
At: Native Bombay, The Little Easy, The Tanjore Tiffin Room, Seesaw, among other city-based restaurants.
Log on to: insider.in
Cost: Rs 999 for a cocktail passport
I love to barbecue. Hence, while creating my own cocktail, I wanted to add a familiar touch. That is how I came up with old-fashioned roast. Giving the classic old-fashioned a twist, we smoked the blended scotch with cherry wood, bitters and salted caramel syrup - all served on the rocks over a marshmallow, flamed and dipped in whiskey. Even the syrup that we use is made in-house with a spicy taste due to the added chili oil. This gives the drink woody, spicy and sweet notes.
>> 60 ml bourbon whiskey
>> 20 ml maple and chili oil syrup >> Few ice cubes
Method: Stir the ingredients together. Garnish with flamed marshmallows
Serveware: Old-fashioned glass/rock glass.
Avril Gonsalves, head mixologist, Butterfly High
Indian kimao has a simple structure with only a few mixers. While everyone loves the classic Manhattan, this one has coffee liqueur instead of vermouth. Coffee is a widely consumed drink not just in India, but also around the globe. So I wanted to make something where customers could have the best of both worlds - caffeine and alcohol. This drink is for those who prefer a balance in taste and structure.
>> 45 ml scotch whiskey
>> 15 ml homemade coffee liqueur
>> 2 dashes of bitters
Method: Stir the drink over lots of ice and strain it into a pre-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with orange peel twist.
Serveware: Cocktail glass
Kshitij Karkar, senior mixologist and bar manager, Nara Thai
When it comes to hot alcoholic drinks, there is nothing to top hot toddy. That is how the idea of curating this cocktail for Mumbaikars came to me. Tongba is a millet-based alcoholic beverage found in the eastern mountainous region of Nepal and neighbouring Indian regions of Sikkim and Darjeeling. We muddle the millets and add strawberry syrup, water and an acid solution to it. Adding a very desi touch to it, we pour two drops of ghee to the final output.
>> 40 ml Bacardi
>> 20 ml strawberry syrup
>> 2 barspoons of fermented millets
>> 7 dashes acid solution (citric, malic, tartaric, and water)
>> 2 drops ghee
>> 100 ml warm water
Method: Mix the ingredients well. Garnish with a cookie on top.
Serveware: A ceramic cup
Jishnu AJ, head mixologist, Ekaa