I had once thought of making red chilli and basil margarita. I even did. The idea was to make something that had a Thai element to it. And what could be a quintessential pairing than red chilli and basil, right? It turned out to be delicious! So I continued to explore. I don't know why I asked myself how to put an Indian touch to that cocktail? But the idea was too interesting to ignore. I decided to swap the basil for gooseberry, otherwise known as amla in India. Since gooseberry is used mostly to add a sweet touch, I couldn’t help but wonder if I made a cocktail using the richly-flavoured gooseberry.  

Nowadays, people make so many berry cocktails in the summer, and rarely would they consider gooseberry a suitable fit. But on my side of the world, gooseberry is eaten in so many interesting ways. It is spiced with black pepper and cardamom powder to make murabba. It’s tasty. Gooseberry is used to make juices for a healthy kick. It is used in sweets, curries and pickles too. So why not cocktails?  

Although all varieties of gooseberry are citrus-rich, I prefer the green one for this recipe. I’m ready to find out how this will taste. The gooseberry and chilli pairing sounds pretty interesting to me, so I’m going for it. Would you like to try the recipe?  

Photo: Tatiana Glazkova

I will not be able to share the personal results with you all but do share your experience.  


45 ml tequila 

45 ml lime juice 

4-5 gooseberries  

1 bowl ice  

2 teaspoons chilli oil  

Salt, a pinch  

1 cucumber slice, to garnish


  • To make the syrup, chop the gooseberries into cubes.  
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil. 
  • Add the gooseberries.  
  • Simmer down the heat.  
  • Once the gooseberries are mushy, transfer them to a blender.  
  • Add a cup of the boiled water along with the gooseberries.  
  • Blend.  
  • Rim a margarita glass with salt.  
  • In a cocktail shaker add lime juice, tequila, 2 tablespoons of amla juice and ice.  
  • Shake well.  
  • Strain into a margarita glass. 
  • Top with chilli oil.  
  • Garnish with a cucumber slice. 
  • Serve chilled, or at room temperature.   

We hope that you’ll enjoy this recipe!