Of hot chocolate, alcohol and the Bard

Updated: 29 December, 2019 09:05 IST | Gitanjali Chandrasekharan | Mumbai

As a Khar eatery comes up with a five-drink Shakespearean-themed menu, we tell you which one to try.

Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

There's something about hot chocolate and winters (even Mumbai's slight dip in temperature) that makes the idea of a cup of hot chocolate inviting. It evokes the feeling of a quiet evening, curled up on a cosy couch with a book or your pet (human or otherwise). And, if someone can offer that drink, infused with alcohol and the sense of a Shakespearean night, how is saying no even a possibility? This festive season, Out of The Blue in Khar, had introduced five hot chocolate drinks infused with gin, whiskey, vodka and liqueur, available till December 31. We did a taste-test for you which left us in high spirits. Here's our verdict.

The Merchant of Venice
House-made coffee liqueur, chocolate ganache and marshmallows.
Rs 375

Our disclaimer: We had shots of each drink, because it was a work day. This drink is actually the only one on the menu that's closest to the regular hot chocolate. Smooth, you don't get a sense of the alcohol. Without the ganache and the marshmallows, it isn't overtly sweet either. Perfect for the evening when you want to wind down while meeting friends/family, but not wake up the worse for it.

The Taming of The Shrew

The Taming of The Shrew
House-made Irish cream liqueur, beetroot rum, cocoa, macaroons
Rs 375

Never liked the idea of this play, for all the obvious reasons. The drink, isn't a standout, because we were expecting a sense of beetroot, but the root vegetable tastes better infused in your morning smoothie. In rum, it just adds a sense of sweetness to an alcohol that's already sweet. Go for it, only if rum is your vice.

The Tempest

The Tempest
House-made pumpkin vodka, cayenne pepper, cinnamon powder
Rs 350

Now, this one has its own unique taste. And, even if you abhor experimentation, it is an easy option. The vodka, a branded one, is infused with roasted pumpkin for a day, and then poured into the drink. Cayenne pepper and cinnamon are spices you cannot ignore. But, they don't overpower the drink. Instead, they complement it and you wonder how you can make some at home. But, that's between you and the bartender.

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night
Jameson Irish whiskey, cocoa, chocolate ganache
Rs 400

A vegan? No problem. All the hot chocolate drinks here can be made to order with almond milk, should you want it. Ask and you shall receive. So, for the fourth drink of the afternoon, we get a vegan option. And, if you have had coffee with almond milk, you know it almost never feels the same. The Twelfth Night, however, isn't bad at all. Perhaps the whiskey masked the taste of the almond, perhaps the vegan milk's sweetness cut the strength of the whiskey. Either way, this is a good, strong drink with the warmth of a festive night.

When Romeo Met Juliet

When Romeo Met Juliet
Gin, shot of espresso, fresh orange puree
Rs 375

Now, all these ingredients together promise a very strong burst of flavour at first sip. Almost like the chemistry you'd expect when, you know, Romeo and Juliet first met. But, just like their family feud played spoilsport, the milk does it here (the essence of hot chocolate sadly, we felt was the haddi in the kebab). But, not all is lost. At every sip, there's a subtle sense of orange. It's impossible to miss.

Our Vote Goes To: The Tempest

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First Published: 29 December, 2019 08:53 IST

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