Mumbai winters have been changing over the years and are certainly more delayed than before, with the chill setting in only in late December. When they coincided with the festive season earlier, parties and cocktails kept people warm. Unfortunately, that is not possible anymore not only because we are past the usual party season but also because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has made people hesitant to step out like they used to before.
Since the chill is here to stay for a few weeks and the need to feel warm is more than ever, a few potent sips of a well-balanced cocktail may be just what you need. Many may have a difference of opinion over their favourite tipples but rum always seems to be the undisputed champion of the chilly season.
So, Mid-day Online asked city mixologists to share their preferred cocktail recipes for this weather. From experimenting with the classics to concocting their own with ingredients like apples and grapefruit, here are some of their tried and tested recipes to try out this winter. The Twisted Nog has the familiar flavour of coconut, which blends perfectly well with eggs and pineapples. Photo: Impresario Handmade RestaurantsTwisted Nog by Nilesh Patel, beverage head (West), Impresario Handmade RestaurantsFor those who are still feeling the after-effects of the festive season, the Twisted Nog will not disappoint. Patel says, "Eggnog is a classic Christmas and winter cocktail and we have given it a twist. Our version combines the eggnog with Pina Colada." The innovative cocktail has the familiar flavour of coconut, which blends perfectly well with eggs and pineapples and is served warm unlike the chilled version.
Ingredients:Rum - 60 ml, coconut milk - 75 ml, pineapple chunks - 4-5 nos, vanilla essence - 1 drop, egg - 1 no, sugar - 1 sachet. Method:1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend it well.2. Pour the drink into a vessel and quickly heat it for 45 seconds.3. Serve in a latte mug or a glass of your choice.4. For an extra boozy kick, garnish with caramelised pineapple chunks soaked in dark rum and grate fresh cinnamon and nutmeg.City-based mixologist Abhilash Menon gives a seasonal touch to the cocktail with apple juice, maple syrup, spices and a dollop of butter. Photo: The Studs Sports Bar and GrillCozy Monk by Abhilash Menon, mixologist, The Studs - Sports Bar and Grill, Across all outletsFor those who love cocktails, it is hard to imagine winters without rum cocktails and especially the crowd favourite – Old Monk. Giving a seasonal touch to the cocktail, Menon makes a fruity Cozy Monk with apple juice, maple syrup, spices with a dollop of butter. He explains, "The Cozy Monk is a one-of-a-kind cocktail which is a mélange of your hot toddy, mulled Christmas pudding that will warm your spirits up inthe chilly season." Ingredients:Old Monk - 60 ml, apple juice - 150 ml, Maple syrup - 10 ml, cinnamon - 1 stick, star anise - 1 no, clove - 1 no, ginger - 2 dices, crusted fresh black pepper - 10 gms, unsalted butter - 10 gms. Method:1. Simmer apple juice with the spices and maple syrup. 2. Strain the juice once it is nice and hot. 3. Top the juice up with Old Monk. 4. Garnish it with a scoop of unsalted butter.Mixologist Bensan Varghese uses Bacardi Cuatro Anejo 4 YO and sweetens the drink with maple syrup which pairs perfectly with lemons and cloves along with ginger. Photo: Cafe NoirTales of Winter by Bensan Varghese, corporate beverage manager, Cafe Noir, Lower ParelVarghese feels the winter and rum go hand-in-hand and it is one of the best times one can choose to sip on a tropical rum cocktail. He explains, "The caramel and spice flavours of an aged rum work beautifully in winter drinks." Being a stickler for the kind of rum he uses, the city-based expert says he uses the Bacardi Anejo 4-Year-Old because it is not only delicious but also versatile in flavour. "It has a wonderful overtone of butterscotch and vanilla on the nose, with a mellow finish of toffee and oak on the finish," he adds. Varghese sweetens the drink with maple syrup which pairs perfectly with lemons and cloves along with ginger. Ingredients:Bacardi Cuatro Anejo 4 YO - 60 ml, maple Syrup - 15 ml, lemon squeeze - 10 ml, cloves - 2 nos, ginger juice- 5 ml, homemade ginger candy - 2 nos, boiling water - 180 ml. Method:1. Pour all ingredients in a premix glass, top up the same with hot water and stir for 30 seconds. 2. Strain the same and pour into a thick stem glass and garnish with ginger candy.Kailash Kamble recommends making the classic hot buttered rum for a cold day because of its sweetness and warmth. Photo: The St Regis MumbaiRum Buttered Spiced Pumpkin by Kailash Kamble, assistant F&B manager, The St. Regis Mumbai, Lower ParelThe winters bring with it the holiday season and Kamble recommends making the classic hot buttered rum for a cold day because of its sweetness and warmth. He explains, "Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are often used in the preparation of this winter-friendly cocktail to provide comforting warmth. We also add butter to give the cocktail some depth and the natural creaminess of dairy." Ingredients:Dark Rum - 60 ml, pumpkin Syrup or Purée - 15 ml, hot water – 150 ml, brown sugar - 1/2 tsp, unsalted butter - ½ tsp, honey - 1/2 tsp, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove powder - 1/2 tsp, dollop of whipped cream.Method:1. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, butter, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl until blended and smooth with pumpkin syrup or purée.2. Transfer the mixture to a vessel with 2-cup measuring hot water, bring to a boil, add the rum and stir.3. Divide the buttered rum among two mugs. 4. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and caramelised cream.For the All Spiced'Up, Lawitlangpui uses the grapefruit as a seasonal ingredient in the dark rum cocktail. Photo: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa All Spiced’Up by Angela Lawitlangpui, mixologist, The Smoked Vine, Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, NashikMixologist Lawitlangpui says the potent dark rum cocktail is infused with black raisins, spices and grapefruit and is the perfect drink for the season. She explains, "It is warm, fruity and spiced. The cocktail gets its hints of sweetness from jaggery syrup and slight bitterness from raisin bitters.” Among the many seasonal fruits, she chooses to use the grapefruit, which also combines citrusy flavours with organic black raisins, which Nashik is well known for.
Ingredients: Raisin infused Spiced Dark Rum – 120 ml, spices – star anise, cinnamon stick, ginger (half an inch), cardamom and clove – one piece each, raisin bitters – 6 drops, jaggery syrup – 20 ml, grapefruit peels – 3 nos, grapefruit – 2 slices, black raisins – 10 nos, lime juice – 15 ml (freshly squeezed). Method:1. For Spiced dark rum – soak the above-mentioned spices in 120 ml of dark rum and leave aside for 2-3 hours. 2. In a hot pan, add the spice infused dark rum, jaggery syrup and slice of grapefruit, black raisins and lime juice. 3. Strain this concoction into a balloon glass, garnish with grapefruit peels and slice.The Hot Apple Toddy is easy to make and bartender Peter DaCosta at Wakai recommends it as the perfect rum cocktail for the winter. Photo: Wakai Hot Apple Toddy by Peter DaCosta, bartender, Wakai, FortA toddy is a no-fuss all-winter favourite in a wine glass because it appeals to every palate and is even easy to make. DaCosta, who is the bartender at the newly-opened Wakai, says, "Throw some spices and hot rum in a pot to make the simple cocktail. The beautiful amber color and fruitiness of this cocktail makes it feel more festive." Ingredients:Dark rum - 45 ml, hot apple juice - 120 ml, cinnamon stick - 1 no, garnish - sugar and cinnamon powder rim. Method:1. Heat apple juice in a saucepan.2. Add cinnamon stick and bring it to boil.3. Add dark rum in a rimmed glass.4. Pour hot apple juice.5. Add two apple slices and serve.
09 July,2022 12:52 PM IST
| Nascimento Pinto