Cocktails have been a popular choice for the longest time, but with the introduction of molecular mixology and the craft cocktail culture, drinks have become a lot more exciting. Mixologists have been cycling through refreshed approaches to cocktail aesthetics, and creating new tastes that suit the hot summers.

Interestingly, cocktails have had a colorful history — many drinks that we relish now were created more than 100 years ago. And as menus change, new places come up, people have also been wholeheartedly welcoming new, delicious cocktails curated by chefs. Anje Britz, F&B manager, Baale Resort, Goa, suggests that gin and tequila are the spirits of the season. He articulates, “Gin will always be in the front run when it comes to cocktails, especially in the heat of summer. There is nothing more refreshing than a curated gin cocktail, but tequila has been slowly sneaking in again when it comes to guests’ preferences. Premium anejo tequila has been a firm favourite amongst guests for cocktails, as it packs a little bit of a punch.” The mixologist at The Library Bar from The Leela Bhartiya City, Bengaluru, is also in accordance with gin being the choice this season.

“Gin is my favourite spirit to experiment with in summer because of the availability of seasonal fruits. Fruits act as a natural sweetener,” states Kamlesh Tiwari, Club Cuba Manager, The Leela Convention, Delhi. “Spirits can be paired with fruits like mango, ice apple, fresh watermelon, stone apple, guava, and many more. Top up your favourite concoction with fresh juices like sugarcane, sweet lime, watermelon, mango, etc. Even some fresh herbs can be paired well with simple soda or tonic water,” they add. Kshitij Goel, beverage ambassador, W Goa, also recommends gin and sparkling wine. “Gin is the current ‘it’ drink, there’s no denying that. As the weather gets warmer, it’s the perfect spirit that is light, refreshing, and pairs greatly with a wide variety of summer appetisers.” While we all know that tonic water is an obvious choice, did you know bartenders and mixologists are looking at kombucha as a mixer? “Kombucha or homemade soda are preferred. Today, people are more conscious of the food and beverages that they’re consuming. They’re essentially looking for healthier options without compromising on taste. Guilt-free (or less guilty) indulgences,” adds Goel.

While we are talking to these experts, we take the chance and ask them to share some unique recipes and cocktail essentials that will help us make that perfect glass of a refreshed bacchanalian drink, including a beer cocktail. Let’s take a look

EARL OF MANGO by The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel, Delhi

Ingredients:

• 60 ml Jodhpur Gin

• 20 ml lime juice

• 4-5 pieces of raw mango

• Half a green chilli

• 20 ml simple syrup

Method:

• Muddle raw mango chunks infused in gin, and the green chilli

• Add lime juice and simple syrup

• Add ice cubes

• Shake well

• Strain in a martini glass

• Use a salt-rimmed glass

• Garnish with mango slice

ROCK MELON SMOOTHIE from The Gibson Course by W Goa

Ingredients:

• 60ml gin

• Melon

• 15ml heavy cream

• 15 egg whites

• 15ml honey

Method:

• Blend the gin with melon, heavy cream, egg whites, and honey

• Garnish it with some super seeds and serve it in a julep cup

DRESSED MICHELADA by Copter7

Ingredients

• 30ml tequila

• 2-3 dashes of hot sauce

• 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

• 120ml tomato juice

• 20ml lime juice

Copter7 Premium Smooth Lager Method

• Garnish a tall glass, or a beer mug with salt

• Add all the ingredients to the glass, and build the cocktail over ice and stir well

• Once the mixture is combined, top it up with Copter7

BAALE SUNSET by Baale Resort, Goa 

Ingredients:

• Cocktail shaker and a coupe glass

• 60ml Silver tequila

• 60ml pineapple juice

• 15ml lemon juice

• 15ml trip sec

• 1 pinch turmeric

• Fresh pineapple wedge or dehydrated pineapple slice for garnish

Method:

• Rim your glass with a mixture of chilli powder and salt

• Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously until nice and cold

• Strain into a glass and garnish with your pineapple

FIVE COCKTAIL ESSENTIALS FOR YOUR HOME BAR by Bryan Bonifacio, chief mixologist for Employees Only Singapore

• Proper glassware and bar tools for cocktail making

• Ice cube, sphere, or block ice

• At least seven different spirits

• Bitters and liqueurs (to stretch your range of available cocktails)

• Fresh fruit or fresh juices