Some might argue that a good cocktail is one that gets your party going. But, in an age of viral images and live streaming, how things look is as important as how they taste. So, don’t be surprised if your mojito turns up in a fish bowl or your cosmo is served old-school, in a plastic straw-held zipper pouch. But, does it really make a difference? “Presentation matters when it comes to cocktails. It has to be the right balance of everything: from the style of glass to the garnish, little things can add a bit of flair,” says Prakash Bhatt, bar manager, Kylin Premier. “Cocktails have become a style statement for customers and a positioning statement for restaurants and cafes. Guests are bored of authentic cocktails glasses. So, we try and mostly focus on ingredients, new age glassware and garnish, ” says Kumar Sambhav, liquid chef at 38 Barracks. Here’s a glimpse of all that adorns new-age bars in the city:
Get over the glass
From tea pots and bulbs to bird cages and IV drips, city-based restaurants are going packaging crazy. While zip-lock pouches can be spotted at Defence Colony Social, the whiskey-based Bankruptcy Cocktail at Cafe Dalal Street comes encaged in a futuristic mould, complete with dramatic smoke.“ We used a chamber to enclose the cocktail and added a cloud effect to give it a gothic look,” says Vidit Gupta from the outlet. The glass thus has got a revamp with its own accomplices, including the caged cocktail at Molecule Air Bar in Gurgaon.
So not a teetoaller!
Green tea has its own place, and well, so does your weekend dose of a mean case of Margarita. The ketli concept seems to be a favourite with cocktail stylists, focussing on perking up old-school chai. The cocktail concoctions here also take inspiration from tea, thus the presentation. For example, the US Mule at Odeon Social that combines Earl Grey with gin.
Rustic goes chic
Fancy is synonymous with fun (not particularly practical!) when it comes to cocktails in the city. While new-age glassware including oversized goblets are a bit mainstream now, the focus has shifted to making the rustic and everyday look interesting.
Exhibit A: Cocktails served on cracked cosmetic egg-shells or making your childhood banta look super swanky and instagram-ready.
Of towers and deconstructed mixes
Your LIIT is now served in version of 500ml and one litre towers, but what has got us excited is Dexter’s Laboratory-worth cocktail constructions that’ll take you through the night. Another trend? The de-constructed cocktail. This architectural marvel (hic!) includes breaking down the ingredient and each component of a cocktail and fusing the elements together once you take a swig. Scientific much!