A good cocktail can make or break the mood of the evening (or daytime, there are no judgements in this family). Like most things, your choice of cocktail can reveal a lot about your personality. Are you someone who likes to live on the edge and enjoy gin cocktails like the classic Negroni? Or do you like to live out your best Sex and the City fantasies and sip on Cosmopolitans with your best girlfriends while you dish about men, the dismal state of politics in the country, and the rising petrol prices? So you can see, your cocktail order is very important.
On the occasion of World Cocktail Day, a real and important holiday, we asked some of our favourite food and wine connoisseurs what their go-to cocktails and here’s what we found out…
Anjali Batra, Co-Founder Food Talk India
“My cocktail personality has got to be a Negroni—simple on the exterior—three ingredients perfectly balanced but such complex flavours. It’s bitter sweet flavours are almost rebellious,” says Anjali Batra, adding that she is a sucker for classic cocktails, “The art of achieving a perfectly balanced cocktail is hard and for me, it’s always a classic done to perfection.”
On her go-to cocktail, Batra can’t pick just one! “It’s a very mood based thing for me I think, but always. always with gin,” she says, “A Gin & Tonic on any and every occasion, a spicy Margarita to elevate a sunny day, a Martini to end a rough day and kick back and a Negroni as the perfect nightcap.”
Make a classic G&T yourself:
50ml soda water
50ml tonic water
For the garnish: A wedge of lime and plenty of ice
Add a wedge of lime to your glass which should have a lot of ice already in it. Pour over the gin and top with the soda and tonic water. You can now serve it.
Shuchir Suri, Founder of Jade Forest and Co-Founder Food Talk India
Shuchir Suri can tolerate a lot of things but a room temperature cocktail is not one of them. “We all have our breaking points!” exclaims Suri. He believes that a good mixer can make or break your cocktail and calls a well-made Negroni his go-to cocktail, “Its balance of bitter and sweet hits different.”
Make a classic Negroni yourself:
25ml sweet vermouth
For the garnish: Slice of orange
To a mixing glass or jug, add ice, and pour the gin, vermouth, and Campari. Stir until the outside of the container feels cold. Strain the mixture into a tumbler and add fresh ice to it. You can garnish it with an orange and serve.
Chef Kush Koli, Head Chef at Saga, Gurugram
If there’s one thing Chef Kush Koli takes seriously, it’s his Martinis. When recounting his worst drinking experiences, he says, “One day in a fine bar, I ordered one Martini and after some time he brought me Martini Rosso (Apéritif). And then I had to remind him of the movie James Bond—a Martini, shaken not stirred.”
Despite his strong feelings towards Martinis, his go-to cocktail is a good old whiskey sour. “I really enjoy drinking a nicely made whiskey sour with a quality of whiskey balanced with sweet & sour and some bitters.”
Make a classic whiskey sour yourself:
35ml lemon juice
12½ml 2:1 sugar syrup
2 dashes of your favoured bitters
½ fresh egg white
Small, coin-sized piece of lemon zest
For the garnish: Slice of orange and a cherry on a stick
Barring the lemon zest, shake all the ingredients together hard with ice and then strain the mixture into an ice-filled glass. Squeeze the lemon zest, shiny side down, over the drink. Add your garnish and serve.