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Neither stirred, nor shaken: Cocktails from the future are here

Now, you can smoke and bite into your cocktails. Welcome to the future

HT48HRS_Special Updated: Jan 14, 2016 18:28 IST
Manali Shah
When it comes to cocktails, quirky flavours, spices and herbs no longer make for an unusual experience.
When it comes to cocktails, quirky flavours, spices and herbs no longer make for an unusual experience.

In a city that’s infamous for patrons who tend to get bored quickly, restaurants and bars are always looking to up the ante. When it comes to cocktails, quirky flavours, spices and herbs no longer make for an unusual experience. And while molecular gastronomy still excites people, it no longer surprises them. The newest fad when it comes to drinks is cocktails you can smoke or inhale.

Take for instance, Asado — The Cocktail Street’s Pain Killer — absinthe is flamed up and is then to be inhaled. This week, Hoppipola’s Lower Parel outlet introduced vapshots — vaporised alcohol in a shot. Vapshots have already taken the west by storm. “We’ve come to realise that people in Mumbai are open to experimenting not just with their food but also their alcohol,” says Avik Chatterjee, owner of Hoppipola.

For now, you can order a vapshot of pure spirits (vodka, jagermeister, whisky), but Chatterjee has plans to introduce mixed spirits and flavoured vapshots based on the response. Hoppipola is promoting the shots by claiming that consuming drinks in such a way gives an instant kick, and minimises the chance of a hangover.

Hoppipola is promoting vapshot of pure spirits (vodka, jagermeister, whisky).

Cocktails seem to be the drink du jour. January 1 saw the launch of a fine dine bar and brasserie: Doppio, at Breach Candy. With drinks like rum cappucino and whisky latte, the place is a delight for coffee and cocktail lovers. Again, new entrant, 145, in Kala Ghoda, sees 70 per cent of its bar sales from cocktails. We saw the rise of food, beer and dessert trails in the year that went by. Today, an event by Paprika Labs — A Streetpass Named Desire will take female patrons on a signature cocktail trail across eight restaurants in Mumbai, such as Havana and Sante.

The Daily in Bandra recently launched Cocktail Cockamamie, a cocktail festival with an extensive list of 50 new cocktails on the menu. Made using only premium alcohol (Absolut, Beefeater, Jim Bean, Teacher’s) and priced at an affordable `300, the drinks contain ingredients like aloe vera, bacon, and bubble gum. “I realised that we are not a cocktail-friendly city. We decided to change that,” says Dishant Pritamani, owner of The Daily.

Interestingly, Asado — The Cocktail Street in Bandra, transitioned from a Latin American grill eatery to a cocktail bar last month. Owner Trimaan Chandok insists he’d always wanted to set up a cocktail bar. Asado serves up community concoctions — drinks that can be comfortably consumed by 4 to 6 people at a table. With your drinks served in upturned cowboy hats and pyramids, Chandok believes it adds to the experience.

A Terrific Tea at Asado, Bandra.

Moving ahead, a lot more concept cocktails are bound to show up on menus across the city.

Luxury Japanese restaurant in Juhu, Ruka, is working on introducing edible cocktails — drinks you can eat. Later this month, 145 will launch smoking cocktails and mocktails — drinks mixed inside a hookah, which you then smoke. Initially, 12 to 14 flavours (like kiwi and kacchi kairi) will be rolled out. As The Daily’s Pritamani puts it, “I wouldn’t be surprised if more cocktail bars open up in the city soon.”

Gone are the days when cocktails were seen as a lady’s drink. Men in the city are not shying away from cocktails anymore. “Sixty per cent of our cocktails cater to women, 40 per cent to men. We see a women to men ratio of 6:4 ordering cocktails at The Daily,” says Pritamani.

A Treasure Box cocktail at Asado, Bandra.

Try these unusual cocktails

* Love & Lock: Two kamikaze shots served in a white cage. You can write your name on the padlock, and take the key back home as a souvenir.

Where: The Bar Terminal, Fort

Call: 221 00100

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*Adam’s Godfather: Whisky is mixed with green apple juice and sour mix. A cinnamon stick is lit on fire and stirred in the drink.

Where: 145, Kala Ghoda

Call: 4039 6632

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*Soul Sacrifice: A sharer for six, it comprises dark rum, brandy, tequila, a bit of vintage port wine, blended with fruit juice and almond syrup.

Where: Asado — The Cocktail Street, Bandra

Call: 6568 6666

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*Cloud Burst: A combination of vodka, peppermint, paan liquer and cardamom.

Where: The Daily, Bandra

Call: 3015 0828

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*House of Eden: A sharer for four, it’s a combination of peach and passion fruit, with dark and white rum, and pineapple juice.

Where: Asado — The Cocktail Street, Bandra

Call: 6568 6666