Holi evokes happy memories of getting doused in gulaal, a spray from a pichkari and the almost tangible taste of Thandai. While most of us may not get to play a traditional Holi this time around, this recipe guide is here to ensure the flavour of the festival is not forgotten. Ring in the spring with a selection of ice cold cocktails designed by the best of the best. To give your house party or small celebration a boozy kick, scroll away!
The Sahib Room & Kipling Bar
Who doesn’t love a well-made paan? Add a little vodka to that, and it’s sure to take your saada paan to the next level! Kailash Kamble, Bar Operations Manager at the St. Regis Mumbai shares his fool proof recipe for a cocktail that will get everyone buzzing. Chopped betel nut leaves and gulkand balance the sweet and spicy in this class combination of flavours.
60 ml Vodka
20 ml rose water
5-10 ml lime juice
1 tsp Gulkand or Paan masala
1 finely chopped betel nut leaf
10-12 cubes of ice
Muddle the Gulkand, betel leaf and lime juice with a pestle in a martini shaker until all ingredients are crushed together. Drop in ice, vodka and rose water and shake well for 30-45 seconds. Strain and pour contents into a martini glass and garnish with a fresh Paan leaf.
Nothing screams Holi more than a tall, cold glass of Thandai. The popular milk-based beverage is flavoured with hints of almond, saffron, cardamom, rose, and pepper. Prashant Issar, co-founder, Ishaara says of the drink, “We make our drink in a margarita glass, with a medley of flavours, cutting the sweet with a bit of tart by adding orange juice.”
2 cubes crushed ice
20 ml Thandai syrup (available at your local grocery store)
45 ml orange juice
15 ml almond syrup
45 ml Vodka
30 ml milk
1 gm grated nutmeg
1 chopped almond – Garnish
Place crushed ice in the blender, add Thandai syrup, orange juice, almond syrup, milk, and vodka and blend all the ingredients together, until smooth consistency, for approx. 90 seconds. Pour in a glass and garnish with grated nutmeg and chopped almond.
Holi Kesar Kasturi
Bar mixologist Jayesh at Epitome ideates an exciting cocktail for the festive season, Holi Kesar Kasturi. Kesar, one of the most precious and expensive spices forms the base of this zingy fruit and herb cocktail. With this one, you’re sure to impress your guests.
1 bar spoon orange marmalade
10ml saffron syrup / strands of fresh saffron
Sprig of fresh thyme
60ml Bourbon whisky
Muddle together the cloves, thyme and orange marmalade. Add saffron syrup, Bourbon whisky, ice cubes and stir. Garnish with a sprig of thyme and cloves.
The Kaala Chasma Black Out
A flavour that every street food fan is familiar with, Kala Khatta, this drink is ideated by bartender Raman Mondal! Reminiscent of the colour of gulaal, this tangy cocktail has it all! With sour, sweet, salty flavours, and a shot of vodka nothing can go wrong!
90ml fresh pineapple juice
20ml Kala Khatta syrup
Pinch of black salt
15ml lemon juice
45 ml cranberry juice
Shake together the vodka, kala khatta syrup, lemon juice, splash of cranberry juice and blend. Add ice and garnish with the pineapple leaf, maraschino cherry and dehydrated pineapple slice, and voila!
Super cocktail– Turmeric
Add a splash of colour to your party, with a dash of beautiful golden yellow turmeric. This boozy vodka-based drink is a fantastic way to end your long weekend.
45 ml Belvedere Vodka or Belvedere Ginger Zest
30 ml fresh lime juice
20 ml honey syrup
60 ml Moroccan mint tea
60 ml ginger beer
1 dash turmeric
Place all ingredients into a shaker except for soda water. Strain into highball glass and top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint sprig.
Ginger Orange Fizz
Couple the fizzy Svami Ginger Ale with the heavy smoothness of whisky and you have yourself a perfect cocktail. For an extra fruity zest, perfect for the summer, orange does the trick.
45 ml whisky
1 tbsp orange marmalade
10 ml lime juice
Svami Ginger Ale
In a highball glass, stir the whisky, orange marmalade and lime juice. Fill the glass with ice and top up with Svami Ginger Ale.
Marrakesh Mojito Cocktail
Holi marks the beginning of the spring, and this refreshing mint drink is what you need to kick off the season in style. Use mint tea to brighten up your day, and a splash of rum to sharpen your senses.
2.5gms or 1 Brew Pocket Marrakesh Mojito Green Tea
150 ml at 80 degrees water
50 ml rum
4-5 slices lemon
10 fresh mint leaves
2 teaspoons sugar syrup
Brew the tea for 4 minutes and keep aside to cool. Muddle the mint leaves and lemon slices. Add the brew to the glass and fill it with ice cubes. Pour in the white rum and top it with soda as desired. Stir, and garnish with a lemon slice.