Mayur Mallik On Goa's Cocktail Culture And Upcoming Trends
Image Credit: @maaigoa/Instagram

Goa, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, has always been a hub of leisure and relaxation. And with its laid-back attitude and low-cost alcohol, it's no surprise that over the years, the cocktail culture in Goa has grown in popularity and sophistication. Today, it's a must-visit destination for cocktail enthusiasts. In the early days, cocktails in Goa were limited to simple, classic drinks like the Martini and the Manhattan. However, with the influx of tourists from all over the world, the cocktail culture in Goa has evolved to include a diverse range of cocktails that cater to every taste and preference.

The first wave of the cocktail culture in Goa was marked by the emergence of beachside shacks serving up classics like the Margarita and the Daiquiri. These simple, refreshing drinks were perfect for sipping on while lounging on the sandy beaches of Goa. However, as the cocktail culture in Goa evolved, so did the demand for more complex and innovative cocktails. Today, the cocktail scene in Goa is defined by a plethora of creative cocktails that showcase the local flavours and ingredients of the region. 

One of the key factors that contributed to the growth of the cocktail culture in Goa is the emergence of talented mixologists who are passionate about creating unique and exciting cocktails. These mixologists have taken the art of cocktail-making to new heights, experimenting with innovative ingredients and techniques to create truly one-of-a-kind drinks. The growth of the cocktail culture in Goa has also been driven by the increasing number of cocktail festivals and events that are held in the region. These events bring together mixologists from all over the world, giving visitors a chance to sample some of the best cocktails from around the globe.

We caught up with Mayur Mallik, Sr. Bartender and Mixologist at Maai Goa to learn more about his journey and what he envisions for the future.

How did you come to work in the mixology space? 

I started working as a bartender 12 years ago, when I first joined I was a barback (washing glasses, and helping the bartenders). I started understanding the flavours of each alcohol and learnt how to match flavours. This intrigued me, and so I decided to become a mixologist.  

What are your thoughts about the current cocktail culture of Goa?

Goa knows what cocktails are. The people who come here to drink cocktails understand different flavour profiles, and they understand that a  good cocktail can also be bitter and sour, not only sweet, and extra sugary.  

The cocktail culture is only getting better day by day, with more alcohol companies coming in and helping create recipes and alcohol based on what it would taste like in a cocktail.  

What are some tips you can share on how to pair food and cocktails?

There's only one thing I can say while pairing food and cocktails, “close your eyes and follow the flavour” You will keep trying to mix and match, but there will only be 2-3 perfect matches.  

What are some of your favourite cocktails, techniques or flavours to work with? 

From the Classics, I like a good Negroni. I feel like the bitterness brings out the characteristics of the Gin. I work with simple techniques, of smoking, infusing, and fermenting but I really enjoy working with fresh fruits, herbs and tangy flavours. 

Could you share a signature cocktail that you would serve and what dish it should be paired with? 

Spicy Kokum with Tadka Curry Leaf (choice of Gin or Urrak) 

  • 60 ml Gin/Urrak 
  • 45 ml Fresh Kokum Extract 
  • 10ml Lime Juice 
  • 6-8 pieces of Curry leaves.  
  • 1 Green Chilli  

This cocktail is perfectly paired with our Maai-Inspired Fish Curry or Pineapple and Roasted Cashew Caldine Curry.