Heady cocktails, mocktails you can serve at your New Year's Eve party
The best in the business share dope on heady cocktails and mocktails to help you master the bar at your NYE shindig at home
For teetotallers: TZ’s Elixir
Fill two-thirds of a shaker with ice cubes. Then, pour watermelon juice (60 ml), pomegranate juice (60 ml), lime juice (10 ml) and sugar syrup (10 ml). Shake well and strain into a tall glass, half filled with ice. Garnish with two watermelon balls on a wooden skewer and mint sprigs.
For herby-vores: Gin and Tulsi
Mix jaggery (100 gm) with water (100 ml). Heat and stir till the syrup is completely mixed. In a shaker, muddle five-six basil leaves, add ice, Beefeater London Dry Gin (60 ml), lime juice (15 ml) and the syrup (30 ml). Shake well, strain and serve in a martini glass. Top it with a tulsi leaf.
Drink-food pairings Yash Bhanage, Partner, The Bombay Canteen
‘I’ve made them at home. There are certain tricks to reduce the steps — muddle watermelon and pomegranate instead of juicing. Both drinks are refreshing, and can be paired with Cheeseling Jhalmuri Salad or potato wafers seasoned with chilli and chaat masala.’
Healthy Bang cocktail at Mr Baozi
For a guilt-free high: Healthy Bang
Muddle three pieces of star anise. Mix dark rum (65 ml), beetroot juice (60 ml), tamarind pulp (20 ml), honey syrup (25 ml) and ice in a shaker. Shake well and double strain in a champagne saucer glass.
The right substitutes
Gaurrav Gidwani, F&B director, Corum Hospitality
‘If you’re making an Asian-flavoured cocktail, use lemon zest instead of kaffir lime. Use a rolling pin instead of a muddler. Use an old fashioned rock glass for a cocktail of any kind; it’s multi-purpose. If you want to avoid soft drinks, you can use non-aerated ready-to-drink juices, flavoured tea, etc, which are lower on sugar and offer better flavouring.’
For beachbums: Very Berry Khatta
Muddle two mulberries, half a lime and one orange wedge. Add grape juice (60 ml), kala khatta syrup (30 ml), black salt to taste and stir. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh pomegranate, two mulberries and two lime rings.
For a warm-up: Mulled wine
Take one whole orange, stab it with four pieces of cloves. Put a pot on low heatâÂÂÂÂand pour half a bottle of red wine along with one cinnamon stick, two pieces of star anise, orange (with the cloves) and ginger. Let it simmer till the wine starts steaming. Add the remaining wine and let it steam but not boil. In an Irish glass, add Amaretto (30 ml), and top off with the hot wine. Garnish with apple chunks, cinnamon stick and an orange wedge.
Clive D’Sa manages the bar at Bonobo; (above) Forbidden Apple
Tips to host a fuss-free party
1) Premix cocktails beforehand: In large containers and jugs, premix your cocktails and store them in the fridge, so that you don’t have to be busy playing bartender through the night.
2) Check on ice: Ensure you are well-stocked with ice and soft drinks. Soft drinks help the most when you run out of ingredients.
3) Keep sugar syrup and lime juice handy: Both sugar syrup and lime juice (sour mix) are required for every cocktail. It is convenient to have them ready, rather than cutting and squeezing a lime while making a cocktail or trying to dissolve sugar in the drink.
4) Avoid using expensive glassware: Don’t be tempted to use your expensive crystal glasses for your house parties. Use paper glasses to avoid breakage and damage done by drunk friends.
5) Care for teetotallers: Make sure you have options for non-drinkers beyond bottled water. Try non-fussy pre-made mixes like cranberry juice with lime, ginger in sparking water (soda), flavoured lemonades or virgin mojitos. Also, ensure there’s enough finger food to last the night.
For whiskey drinkers: Forbidden Apple
Muddle three-four chunks of fresh apple in a glass. Add apple juice (60 ml), whiskey (45 ml), readily available hazelnut syrup (5 ml), sugar syrup (10 ml), lime juice (5 ml) and three to four ice cubes. Shake well, strain and pour in a glass. Garnish with fresh apple slices.
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