The potent and fruity punch
With more than lime and orange making their way to cocktail glasses, here are the most unique fruit-based drinks to try
Blueberry, blackberry and bananas have so far been typically identified with smoothies. But mixologists in the city are getting experimental with their concoctions, and fruits seem to have caught their attention and imagination when it comes to cocktails. Though the recipes vary, there are some crucial points to bear in mind.
"Pick a fruit that's available locally as it ensures access to fresh produce. Make sure they aren't overripe (that will be too sweet) or unripe (too sour), and can change the taste of the cocktail. Fruits change character based on their ripeness. Pair a darker fruit like blueberry with a white spirit like vodka; while tropical fruits like bananas gel well with rum or whiskey," explains Dinesh Mondkar, head mixologist, The Bluebop Café. Here are our picks of some of the truly unique fruity concoctions across city bars.
Cheeky with chiku
Inspired by local recipes, this chiku martini is a heady, sweet take on the much-loved fruit. "Chiku is naturally sweet and has a pulpy texture, which works well with the Indian audience. We muddle chiku, add apple liqueur, apple juice and tequila, a spirit that works well with this fruit. We do not use any added sugar. The sweetness is further balanced with lime," informs Abhishek Bindal, vice president - operations, KA Hospitality.
At Hakkasan, 206 Krystal, Waterfield Road, Bandra West.
Time 12 pm to 4 pm; 7 pm to 1 am
Cost Rs 850
When blueberry is bae
If blueberry anything is your go-to, this whisky sour with a twist that blends scotch, egg white, in-house triple sec and blueberry puree is a drink you must try. "Since we were dealing with an intense spirit like whiskey, we used a dark fruit like blueberry. It not only adds flavour, aroma and colour, but adds body to the drink as well. Besides, it helps balance the acidity and sugar in the drink," says Harshadeep Pawar, general manager of the Lower Parel eatery.
At Ishaara, third floor, Palladium Mall, High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel.
Time 12 pm to 12 am
Cost Rs 450
Fancy a fruity, not-as-sweet dessert in a potent drink? A newly launched banana drink at this Khar jazz café offers a refreshing take on the idea. "Bananas are sweet, so people don't expect them in a drink. Bourbon whiskey tends to be sweet, which goes well with bananas, and together complements pecan bitters. We also add a dash of caramel as it completes the dessert vibe," explains Dinesh Mondkar, head mixologist at the café. They use the su vide equipment to vacuum-pack the banana with whiskey, and let it cook. "We use the peels which work as a tannin, and add to the aroma. It has more flavour than the fruit itself," he adds.
At The Bluebop Café, 318, Linking Road, Khar, Khar West.
Time 12 pm to 1 am
Cost Rs 595
In a quirky twist, a BKC tapas bar kitchen whips up a sour cocktail made with scotch and smokey whiskey, a mushroom cordial, lemon and egg white. "The signature cordial, which is a concoction of mushrooms, maple and citrus, gives an umami feel to the drink. The umami is enhanced with beet powder and truffle oil," Priyanka Sharma, co-founder of the tapas bar kitchen, explains.
At Uno Más Tapas Bar Kitchen, Inspire BKC, BKC.
Time 12 pm to 1 am
Cost Rs 425
A shot of papaya
Most of us eat papaya for its health benefits. But this fresh papaya puree infused in a rum shot gives it a more delectable and badass appeal. "Papaya is a rarely used ingredient in cocktails but has a number of health benefits. It mixes well with rum and a shot like this is fresh, mildly fruity and the perfect way to kick-start you party," says Garrimella Venkat, senior mixologist.
At YOUnion, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
Time 12 pm to 1.30 am
Cost Rs 495
Of beer & blackberry
If you haven't sipped on vodka since you graduated from college, this mint-y beer, blackberry and vodka concoction could be perfect for you to enjoy the spirit. "The fruity tones and tartness of blackberry, along with the freshness of mint, adds a distinct flavour to the bitter undertones of the beer. Vodka acts like the neutral spirit to balance the potency," explains Harmeet Singh, co-founder of the Powai eatery.
At Turban Tales, JVLR, Powai.
Time 6 pm to 1.30 am
Cost Rs 425
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