Try A Jaljeera G&T Cocktail To Desi-fy Your Next Cocktail Night

The Gin-naissance is well underway and all across the world, people are discovering new and exciting ways to drink gin. But the legacy of the classic Gin and tonic goes back far further than you might imagine. The drink began as a cure for malaria during the time of the British Raj when soldiers used to drink a quinine-based tonic to help prevent the disease. But the bitter medicine was unpalatable and to help make it easier to consume, they added water, lime, sugar, a splash of gin and sometimes a touch of angostura bitters. This was the first iteration of the now world-famous G&T cocktail.

Similarly, India’s own Jaljeera has a storied past and it’s believed that it originated on the banks of the river Ganga where a group of people used to grind the powder on stone slabs called silla-batti and then mixed with water and preserved it in clay pots. A typical Jaljeera powder contains cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt, a tart fruit powder like amchur (raw mango) and chilli for added heat. It’s thought to have innate cooling abilities and is soothing to the digestive system.

So these two drinks with unique histories and flavours actually blend really well together into a perfect desi cocktail that’s refreshing and delicious. The botanical nature of gin means it’s well-complemented by the spices of Jaljeera and the punchy, in-your-face flavour is sure to be a winner.


  • 60 ml Gin 
  • 15 ml Lime Juice
  • 15 ml Cumin Honey syrup 
  • A pinch of Black Salt 
  • A pinch of Chaat Masala 
  • Tonic Water 
  • Mint leaves
  • Orange slices


  • To make the cumin-honey syrup, dry roast 30 mg of cumin seeds until fragrant.
  • Add 250 ml of water to it and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Blend with 500 ml honey. 
  • In a shaker add ice and all the ingredients together except the tonic water. 
  • Shake till cold, and pour into a tall glass. 
  • Top it up with tonic and garnish with mint and orange slices.