7 Vodka Cocktails With A Desi Twist For Your Next House Party
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While fusion cooking is often times what people think of when it comes to giving international classics a desi twist, cocktails are often times overlooked. Unless one may find a crisp drink at an artisanal bar that uses local or seasonal ingredients, chances are that most people with home bars stick to the basics of cocktail making. However, infusing spirits like vodka, gin or tequila is rather effortless, when you understand how each helps complement the other – making way for a wide variety of libations to add to your repertoire. Here are a few innovative desi cocktails to help you start off.

Desi Mojito

An Indian reinvention of the classic mojito – the Desi Mojito introduces a delightful element of jal jeera or roasted cumin beverage. This tangy summer drink made from a blend of roasted cumin, black pepper, dried mango powder, cayenne, ginger and mint adds a burst of captivating flavours to the cocktail, giving it a savoury depth of flavour and freshness.

Imli Margarita 

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Imli or tamarind – a commonly used souring agent in India, is an underrated flavour to pair with drinks. If you've never savoured a tamarind-flavoured drink, you’re in for a treat that blends sweetness and tart flavours. In the classic margarita, the addition of tamarind concentrate and ginger simple syrup join forces with vodka, triple sec and lime juice to create a harmonious blend of bright, earthy and citrusy notes.

Boozy Mango Lassi 

For lovers of a rich and creamy mango lassi, the yoghurt-based beverage gets a delightful twist in the Boozy Mango Lassi. The combination of mangoes, yoghurt, buttermilk, kaffir lime syrup and lime juice is elevated to be a summertime favourite for adults with the introduction of a touch of vodka into the mix, creating the perfect boozy antidote to sweltering days.

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Indian Hot Toddy

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A comforting blend of bourbon, ginger, brown sugar, lemon and Indian spices, taking a sip of this warming concoction dispels the chill and lifts your spirits on cold winter evenings. The addition of a shot of rum, along with some brandy, gives this hot toddy a potent capacity to make your throat feel better, while also keeping you in high spirits.

Mumbai Mule

There’s the Moscow Mule, and there’s the Mumbai Mule – comprising vodka, ginger spice syrup, lemon juice and sparkling water. Encapsulating the spirit of the city it is named after, the Mumbai Mule boasts of a unique blend of sweet, tart, warming and soothing flavours that is sure to enchant your taste buds.


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The indigenous summer fruit, also known as the Java Plum, is a luscious berry-like fruit which boasts of a delightful combination of sweetness and tartness, accompanied by a subtle astringency, making it an ideal ingredient for crafting a fruity vodka martini with an exotic twist. When skillfully muddled for a Jamuntini, the inky purple hue of the jamun bleeds into the otherwise opaque cocktail, giving it a pink and purple shade, offering a taste that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Vodka Shikanji

Make old-school lemonade feel more grown-up with the addition of vodka, and sip over lots of ice as the summer begins to seep in. The vodka-based shikanji is the perfect cold beverage to sip on during the day, and tastes even better with the addition of lemon zest or fresh mint leaves. Spike a large batch of shikanji with vodka, if you’re throwing a brunch party, so that guests can enjoy sipping on it as and when they feel like.