A sip of goodness

A sip of goodness

Pleasing the palate

A sip of goodness

We live in a rather creative world where there’s always someone to take things up a notch higher with their ideas. Whether it is fashion, travel or how one should work, there is an interesting way to present the same old boring things in a colourful manner. The food industry is one such arena where chefs and mixologists are constantly striving to improve their work.

     In the world of mocktails, the latest buzz is the use of Indian ingredients to entertain guests and their palates. Mixologists and bartenders are experimenting with various ingredients available in the country in order to present something new. They are using a mix of spices as well as  crushed or ground raw ingredients to present the final drink.

Rohit Parwani, the head brewer of ‘The Biere Club’, says that the popular Indian ingredients used are jaggery, honey and chilli. He explains, “We made a version of virgin mojito where we used organic jaggery with other liquids. It had a very interesting flavour to it — a touch of sweetness and darker in colour compared to the original version. We have also made mocktails with saffron which our customers loved.”

Though he says that many still prefer the usual classic mocktails, there is still a good number of people who are open to experimenting. “It takes a lot of trial and error to get the flavours that you want to bring out. Since we don’t infuse alcohol in them, it takes a bit of extra effort to balance the flavours. Not everything will come out the way you anticipate but it sure is fun to experiment,” he explains.

Aman Dua, the head mixologist of ‘Farzi Cafe’ and ‘Made in Punjab’, says the use of Indian spices and herbs are popular among the customers.He says, “The ‘Aam panna’ and ‘Litchi panna’ are the mocktails many prefer. Since people are well-travelled these days, they know that they can get classic drinks anywhere else. So they are more than happy to experiment with new things available on the menu.”

However, he explains that one must research about the ingredients before infusing them in the drink. He shares, “Many a time, you might be using the right ingredients but not the right technique. I was trying to create a ‘masala’ tea foam once but that turned out to be a disaster. So I had to redo the whole process again to match the other ingredients.”

With the trend of Indian ingredients in mocktails growing, Jose George, mixologist at ‘Bottle & Glass’, says that some of the vessels being used now also have an Indian touch.

He explains, “The touch of copper vessels and the bottles used adds an extra punch to the mocktail. The use of ingredients like ginger, five spice powders and even filter coffee are making  the rounds these days.”

Even with a plethora of ingredients available, he says that there are a few ingredients that he is sceptical about. “Many usually think of bay leaf as a dried leaf but I think the use of fresh leaves will make a difference to the drink. I am yet to try that too. However, even with the innovative touch to mocktails, a healthy version of the drinks is yet to be discovered,” he adds.