Kokum, Chai: 10 Desi Ingredients That Make For Great Cocktails
Image Credit: Spiced Mango Margarita. Image via Instagram

Discover a fusion of cultures and flavours as we present a collection of tantalising cocktails inspired by the vibrant and diverse world of Indian cuisine. These innovative concoctions take traditional Indian ingredients, spices, and flavours and infuse them into classic drink recipes, resulting in a harmonious blend of old and new, east and west. Join us on this exciting adventure as we explore the rich and diverse tapestry of Indian drinks with a twist.

Tamarind Whisky Sour

The tangy taste of tamarind balances the smoothness of whiskey in this twist on a whiskey sour. Combine tamarind paste, whisky, lemon juice, and sugar with ice and shake well. The tamarind adds a touch of sourness and depth of flavour to the traditional whiskey sour. Garnish with a lemon wheel and maraschino cherry.  

Ginger Masala Mojito

Muddle mint leaves, lime wedges, sugar, grated ginger, and masala spices. Add rum and ice and shake well. The ginger and masala spices provide a spicy zing that complements the mint and lime. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig. This mojito is invigorating yet balanced.

Spiced Mango Margarita

The sweetness of mango pairs beautifully with the warmth of spices like cardamom and chilli, blended with tequila and lime for this perfect summer cocktail. Muddle fresh mango with lime juice, chilli, and cardamom pods. Add tequila, triple sec, and ice and shake well. Rim the glass with chilli and salt for some heat and garnish with a mango slice. The tropical flavours of mango fuse with Indian spices for a unique margarita experience.

Cardamom Rose Martini 

The aromatic rose water and subtle spice of cardamom infuse this martini with an enchanting floral flavour. Combine rose water, cardamom pods, gin or vodka, and vermouth with ice and shake well. Double strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a rose petal. The fragrant rose water and exotic cardamom transform a classic martini into an elegant elixir.  

Coconut Curry Colada

Transform a piña colada into a tropical delight with the richness of coconut milk and exotic curry spices. Blend coconut milk, pineapple juice, rum, sugar, and yellow curry powder with ice until smooth and creamy. The curry powder adds a savoury kick that complements the sweet coconut and pineapple. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and coconut shavings. Transport your taste buds to an Indian paradise.

Chai Old Fashioned

 Infuse an old-fashioned with the comforting flavours of masala chai for a cosy cocktail. Muddle sugar, water, and masala chai tea bag or spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Add whiskey and ice and stir well. The masala chai spices blend with whiskey for a warm, aromatic cocktail. Garnish with an orange twist. Curl up and relax with this spiced whiskey delight.  

Saffron Gin Fizz

Elevate a gin fizz with the opulence of saffron for a visually stunning cocktail. Combine gin, lemon juice, sugar, egg white, and a pinch of saffron threads with ice and shake well. Double strain into a glass and top with club soda. The saffron adds a vibrant golden hue and a touch of floral aroma. Garnish with a lemon wheel. This luxurious saffron gin fizz is a golden elixir fit for royalty.

Pomegranate Mint Lassi Martini

Combine the traditional Indian yoghurt-based lassi with the fruity flavours of pomegranate and the freshness of mint, transforming it into a martini-style cocktail that's creamy and invigorating. Mix together yoghurt, pomegranate juice, fresh mint leaves, and a splash of vodka. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a martini glass. The result is a delightful fusion of creamy texture, tangy pomegranate, and refreshing mint, perfect for those seeking a unique and indulgent martini experience.

Kokum Mojito

Experience the tangy and slightly sweet taste of kokum, a fruit native to the Konkan region, combined with muddled mint, lime, and rum, creating a vibrant and tropical twist on the classic mojito. Begin by muddling fresh mint leaves, lime wedges, and a spoonful of kokum syrup. Add rum and ice, then shake vigorously. Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with crushed ice, and top it off with soda water. The result is a refreshing and tropical delight, where the tanginess of kokum pairs perfectly with the minty freshness and the kick of rum.

Jaljeera Margarita

Spice up the classic margarita with the invigorating flavours of jaljeera, a popular Indian drink made with cumin, mint, and black salt, resulting in a unique and fiery cocktail experience. Start by rimming a margarita glass with a blend of black salt and chilli powder. In a shaker, combine tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and a splash of jaljeera concentrate. Shake well with ice, then strain into the prepared glass. The result is a tantalising combination of the classic margarita's tanginess with the zesty and spicy notes of jaljeera, creating a truly festive and unforgettable drink.

These cocktails pay homage to the heritage of Indian cuisine by incorporating elements such as mango, tamarind, cardamom, and more. By blending traditional flavours with classic cocktail recipes, these inventive concoctions offer a unique and unforgettable drinking experience.