Snuggle with some warm cocktails this season

Snuggle with some warm cocktails this season

From classics such as ‘Old Fashioned’ to innovations like ‘Santa-gria’, warm cocktails are the flavour of the season

Bengaluru is getting colder by the day, and what’s better than staying warm during this time. This cold weather, switch from traditional hot chocolate to something boozy. 

Warm cocktails are now a thing among pub-goers in the city and mixologists say they have many benefits too. So, its time you take a sip of some spiced cocktails that will warm
your spirit. 

From a new take on ‘Sangria’ to a fresh spin on the classic ‘Old Fashioned’, there is a lot to explore this season. 

The hot toddy, that has been an iconic drink for the longest time, still holds its position of being one of the most favourite warm cocktails.

While mixologists in the city are experimenting with many Indian spices; ginger and cinnamon are the most popular ones. And people love them too. 

 

Victor Salter mixologist, Three dots and a dash

We get a good number of people who ask for warm drinks made of ginger and honey. In a week, we get at least three people asking for warm cocktails. 

Considering the demand, we have included ginger in most of our warm cocktails, simply because of its benefits such as antibacterial properties, digestive properties, treating congestion, cold and flu. It also keeps the body warm. It is also my favourite Indian spice to work with; apart from strengthening immunity, ginger also helps with flavouring in a cocktail. As a base, I like to work with brandy. The combination of brandy and ginger, brandy, ginger and honey and brandy and clove are classics. Brandy has skin benefits too. 

Ginger Pumpkin

Ingredients 

Brandy - 60ml

Fresh ginger -  2 cubes

Honey - 1 bar spoon

Lime juice - 15ml

Pumpkin syrup - 10ml

Hot water - 90ml

Instructions

Muddled fresh ginger and add honey, brandy and fresh seasonal pumpkin syrup. Garnish with seasonal pumpkin, spiral lime and mint sprig. Serve hot in a pumpkin shell.

 

Robert Hospet, head mixologist, Sanchez & Sriracha 

During winters, warm cocktails are in demand. Indian spices like star anise, cinnamon and saffron play an important role in warming cocktails.  

For example, hot toddy, made of cardamom, cinnamon, star anise and grated nutmeg, is a  carrier of flavours, that gives warmness to the distilled spirit used. It is a mass favourite.

Now even the crowd in restaurants prefers, say, an ‘Old fashioned’. 

The cocktail need not be warm in texture or content but it should make the person feel warm. 

We have worked on a drink called ‘Munchkin Bliss’, made with Jack Daniels fire. It is a two-ingredient and no sugar warm cocktail. It is a take on the old fashioned drink. I prefer using honey to sweeten the drink.  I also love using turmeric and play with the flavours of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and star anise. 

Munchkin Bliss 

Ingredients 

Jack Daniels fire - 60 ml

Angostura bitters - 2 dash

Instructions

Fill the mixing glass with ice and add the liqueurs followed by a dash of bitters. 

Old Fashioned 

Ingredients

Bourbon - 50 ml 

Honey water - 12.5 ml

Angostura bitters - 2 dashes

Instructions

Fill a rock glass with ice cubes and pour bourbon over the ice.  

Add remaining ingredients and stir for 20 to 30 seconds. Garnish with an orange twist.

Stir well and serve in a chilled coupe glass.

 

Richard Alang, Mixologist, URU Brewpark

Hot toddy is a classic winter warmer. It consists of brandy, mixed with warm water and apple juice along with the aroma of Indian spices and sweetened mildly with honey.

The spices used in this cocktail has many health benefits, for example, the spices help clear a sore throat which is supported by lemon and honey. Not commonly known but toddy also helps relieve stress and anxiety by acting like mild sedative, to induce calmness. Sipping on the hot toddy slowly also helps in clearing up the cold.

I love to work with Cinnamon, especially Chinese cinnamon. The richness of the spice makes a drink very aromatic and delicious. It is also one of the healthiest spices available. It could cure and helps lower blood sugar levels, reduces heart diseases and helps during a common cold and cough.

Hot toddy

Ingredients

Cinnamon

Cloves

Cardamom

Nutmeg

Star anise

Orange peel

Jaggery

Homemade apple cider 

Infused cherry brandy

Instructions

Infused all the ingredients.

 

Kaushik Roy, bartender, Hyatt Centric MG Road 

Warm cocktails have made their way into the Indian market, and we have seen a surge in its demand quite recently. 

Keeping this in mind, we curated, Santa-gria, a homemade ginger wine made with clove, cinnamon, burnt Kafir lime syrup and rosemary concoction. These spices give a good punch in the throat. So, if you have a sore throat or cold, this will warm up the blood.      

Clove is good for the throat, cinnamon and rosemary are flavouring agents and kafir lime reduces calories and is good for throat. We also add pomegranate juice to give a fruity twist.   

One can use whisky, brandy or sambuca to make warm cocktails but I prefer wine as the base. It gives me ample room to be innovative in terms of flavouring.

Santa–Gria

Ingredients 

Homemade ginger wine (Rose) - 90 ml

Bacardi orange - 15 ml

Homemade rosemary concoction - 10 ml

Burnt kaffir lime syrup - 10 ml

Fresh pomegranate juice - 60ml

Garnish with rosemary attached cinnamon stick.

Instructions

Mix all the above ingredients well and garnish with rosemary attached cinnamon stick. 

 

Does adding Indian spices to a drink make it less strong? 

At the end of the day, it is a remedy but in an alcoholic form. People don’t really get drunk with warm cocktail as the percentage of alcohol is just 30 ml and the rest is the spices, hot water and other ingredients. It just makes the body warm, says Victor.

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