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DIY Your Cocktails With Homely Flavours

If you are like me who drinks not for getting tipsy but to enjoy the flavours, then perhaps, you would enjoy reading this article. I have a typical habit of drinking only on Sunday evenings (unless there was a party to attend to, alas in those good old days). And on Sundays too, nothing is decided in advance. It depends at that particular time of the evening, what I feel like having and simply going for it. I have a special liking for Cocktails. While Bloody Mary, Screwdriver, Mojito or Long Island Iced Tea still interest me, I would want to play with flavours and try to create something different, yet simple.  So, during this lock down period, I did experiment with a few Spirits available in my stock and the regular ingredients available at home. Come, let us see how.

I had Scotch, Campari, Vodka, Plantation Rum, White Rum, Gin and Beer in my home. And then I do not keep at home, any Bitters, Angostura , Vermouth, Olives, Triple Sec, Curacao, Grenadine, Simple Syrup etc (although I must). So, I saw what was and is normally available in your kitchen or fridge and tried out some recipes with those. Frankly, each came out quite well, refreshing and potent too. But before we begin, a disclaimer. I am neither a Mixologist; nor a Bartender. I just try to align flavours and enjoy them.

Rummy Jugglurry

I found a bottle of Plantation Rum  from Mauritius in my collection. Despite scratching my head a lot, could not really figure out as to how it landed in my cupboard. Some friend did gift it to me but could not recollect, who and when. But many thanks to him (or her) for gifting this delight. I Googled for cocktails but each one needed ingredients which were not available in my home. But one thing I figured out that it is made out of Sugar Cane and has some aroma of it as an aftertaste. That was an enough lead. We all have enjoyed Sugar Cane Juice and quite a few, like me, love it. So, my experiment revolved around it.

Recipe

In a glass, add

2 tsp of  Gur (Jaggery)

One tsp Lemon Juice (or half a lemon)

Half tsp of Black Salt

A few Mint Leaves

and muddle it to crush the Gur and release the flavours of mint.

Add lots of  Ice, followed by 60 ml Plantation Rum (Sugarcane based)

Now top it up with Club Soda.

Give a nice stir and you are ready to enjoy this.

I have named it Rummy Jaglurry !!

Jamuni Campari

Some times I am in a mood to have Campari. One, I love its bright Red Colour and two, I love its flavours. Really, flavours? Now that reminds me of my friend Chef Sanjay Pawar who jokingly tells me that I don’t have a typical Indian Palate for I love Campari. But yes, I like its aroma and flavours.

So, I one of these weekends, I wanted to have Campari. It turned out that there was no Orange Juice in the fridge (one makes Negaroni by mixing Campari and Orange Juice). Instead, there was Pomegranate Juice. Never mind.

Recipe

In a glass, add lots of Ice.

Pour 60 ml Campari

Add Pomegranate Juice (If you have fresh Pomegranate, crush some of its pearls and add)

top it up with Club Soda.

Give a nice stir and you are ready to enjoy this. You would feel a hint of Jamun Flavours in it.

I have named it Jamuni Campari !!

Melonka

I had fresh Water Melon in the fridge and I had Vodka. So, I tried to combine the two.

Recipe

Cut the Water Melon in Chunks / Cubes and remove the seeds (a tedious job though). Now keep these in the freezer over night or minimum twelve hours to freeze them. One could do it the other way round too. First put these cubes in a blender and make a liquid out of it and then freeze.

When you want to serve or make yourself a cocktail, take these frozen cubes / melon juice out of the freezer and put it in a blender and run it. One it is broken a bit, add;

60 ml Vodka (depending upon the quantity of juice, add 60 ml per glass)

Some Mint Leaves

Half tsp of Black Salt (or as per your liking)

One fourth of  Black Pepper Powder

One tbsp of Sugar Syrup

One Tbsp of Lemon Juice and;

a dash of Club Soda.

Run it in a blender till the ingredients mix and turn into a slush.

Now apply lemon on the brim of the glass, and cover the brim with salt or chat masala or salt & red chilli powder mix. Pour the slush in the glass and garnish it with a chunk of Water Melon.

You are ready to serve / enjoy this.

I have named it Melonka !!

Lychee Blast

I had fresh Lychees in the fridge and I had Vodka / Gin. So, I tried to combine the two.

Recipe

Remove the skin of Lychee, remove the seed and chop the fruit into two (a tedious job though). Now keep these in the freezer over night or for minimum twelve hours to freeze them.

When you want to serve or make yourself a cocktail, take these frozen fruit chunks out of the freezer and put it in a blender and run it. Once it is broken a bit, add;

60 ml Vodka or Gin (depending upon the resultant slush, add 60 ml per glass)

Some Coriander Leaves

Half tsp of Black Salt or as per your liking

One fourth tsp of Black Pepper Powder and;

a dash of Club Soda.

Run it in a blender till the ingredients mix and turn into a slush.

In a long glass, pour this slush. Add some Aam Panna Syrup and give it a light stir. Now garnish it with a sprig of Coriander.

You are ready to serve / enjoy this.

I have named it Lychee Blast !!

Lemoni Regular

I had this Limon White Rum from Bacardi and I had Sprite in the fridge. Though they are natural accompaniments, I tried to add a twist.

Recipe

Fill a broad Whisky glass or a long glass with ice.

Add 60 ml Bacardi Rum (Limon)

Add juice of one small lemon or half of medium size lemon

Insert a slice of lemon on the inner side of the glass (between ice and the glass wall)

If you wish to spice it up a bit, slit a green chilly and add in it.

top it up with Sprite.

Give a stir and you are ready to serve / enjoy.

I have named it Lemoni Regular !!

This is what I have been doing with the Spirits, Fruits, Juices, Aerated Drinks and Spices available in my house. It was good fun. Now I have come to know that Whisky Samba in Gurgaon has started a home delivery service where they send you the Cocktail Mixes with a recipe card. All you have to do is to add the spirit from your home and add the delivered ingredients as per the recipe. A novel idea of DIY Cocktails. Similarly, an online site Jimmy’s Cocktails is delivering Cocktail Mix (as of now 4 variants only) which you add in your spirit of choice and enjoy cocktails in the comfort of your home. This way you become the Bartender. Mix, Click, upload on Social Media and relish the drink.

Do you also have your home recipe of any cocktails or what has been your experience with these DIY home deliveries? Do share with me. Till then….

Bon Appetite !!

Rajesh Tara

#MagicOfFlavours

A food enthusiast who weaves Food Stories about #MagicofFlavours. A weekend cook who loves to add twist to the recipes. Otherwise a full time HR Pro.

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