Hemant Pathak is all for mixing desi with cocktails
Summer’s blazing down on us. No better time to sip on your favourite cocktail by the pool. And The Mumbai Cocktail Week did just that. It presented to us a variety of cocktails at different bars and pubs across the city for the cocktail lover. But what if you could stir up a glass of deliciousness in the comfort of your home? Mixologist Hemant Pathak, currently working in New York at the Michelin-starred restaurant Junoon, tells how to do just that.
1. Kaffir Caipirinha
Glass: Old Fashion
Garnish: Lime wedge and Kaffir lime leaf
60 ml (2 oz) Cachaca
One-and-a-half bar spoon of Kaffir lime sugar
Half lime quarter
Method: Place lime quarters in the bottom of the old fashion glass, add the Kaffir lime sugar and muddle while extracting the juice and the oil in the skin from the lime quarters. Add cachaça, mix well and chill the rock glass with cracked or pallet ice. Add garnish.
How to make Kaffir lime sugar:
50 grams Kaffir lime leaves
300 grams sugar
Put Kaffir lime leaves and sugar into a Robocop Grinding Mill. Grind till the leaves get crushed. The grinding process is to get the oil out of the leaves into the sugar. Transfer into a dehydrator and dehydrate overnight. Next morning, strains the dry leaves out of the sugar, and your Kaffir lime sugar is ready.
Food Pairing: Pan seared fish or seafood, Thai green curries or Chinese food go well with this drink, as the citrus element cuts the oily texture on the palate.
2. Hendricks Smash
Glass: Double Rocks Glass
Garnish: Mint sprig and cucumber slice.
60 ml (2 oz) Hendricks gin
15 ml (.5 oz) St. Germaine
15 ml (.5 oz) simple syrup
15 ml (.5 oz) cucumber juice
22.5 ml (.75 oz) lemon juice
Six mint leaves
Method: Except for the mint leaves, shake all the ingredients vigorously with ice. Place mint leaves at the bottom of the glass and fills the glass with pellet ice. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with mint Sprig and cucumber slice
Food Pairing: Palak Paneer is one of my favourite dishes to pair with this cocktail as the green creamy texture out of Paneer goes well with the minty floral flavour out of the drink. Rest pasta with pesto sauce is another favourite Italian dish to pair with this cocktail.
3. Adraki Punch
Glass: Copper mule mug
Garnish: Candied ginger
60 ml (2 oz) Fig infused vodka
22.5 ml (.75 oz) freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
22.5 ml (.75 oz) Lemon juice
15 ml (.5 oz) Honey ginger syrup
1 small piece candied ginger
Method: Shake all the ingredients except the candied ginger with ice and strain into a copper mule mug with pellet ice. Garnish with candied ginger.
Food pairing: I usually pair this cocktail with any meat dish, which has a roasted tomato sauce along with ginger, garlic and little fenugreek. For example, Chicken Tikka Masala or Paneer Makhani. Another pairing could be spiced lamb chops or fried jumbo prawns.