Jaljeera is a much-loved beverage from North India with many benefits besides being delicious and refreshing. But wouldn’t it be even yummier with a splash of gin? This desi twist on a classic Gin and Tonic will surely be your new favourite tipple.
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.