The Standards

These aren’t drinks that will blow you away, but they are served quickly in big fat pitchers.

45ml tequila, 15ml triple sec, 30ml fresh lime juice and ice shaken well and poured into a chilled margarita glass with the rim salted; garnished with a lime wedge

The Indian partying scene is incomplete if it doesn’t have a new tequila-related obsession every few years. This year, no one has been allowed to say they have had a truly great night unless they’ve done at least one shot of Patron XO Cafe. A couple of years ago,flavoured margaritas were the essential accompaniment with (if not the excuse for) a long weekend brunch. The margarita was voted Esquire magazine’s drink of the month way back in December 1953, so it obviously possesses some timeless qualities.

Long Island Iced Tea
15ml triple sec, 15ml light rum, 15ml gin, 15ml vodka, 15ml tequila and 30ml sweet and sour mix poured over ice in a highball glass, topped up with Coca Cola and garnished with a lemon wedge

Before lounge bars with Romanian names were flying in pony-tailed mixologists with fancy degrees, the bartender-cum-waiter-cum-busboy at your local dive was dumping a bunch of different drinks into a pitcher and spraying some fountain Coke on it. This drink gets its name from the place where it was invented — Long Island, New York. Frankly, it could just as easily have been conceptualised in the boys’ dormitory of an Indian engineering college. It is, basically (as the engineers say),a surefire way of getting sloshed without really tasting any alcohol.

65ml white rum poured over ice in a highball glass with 1½ limes, 20 mint leaves and 2½  teaspoons of granulated sugar muddled in it; topped up with soda and garnished with a mint sprig

The story of the mojito’s rise to fame is a case study in the efficiency of marketing. The drink was afforded an air of sophistication by the widely-held belief that it was Ernest Hemingway’s favourite cocktail. An inscription on the wall of a Cuban bar declares his love for it, but several researchers say the inscription is a fake. In India, the mojito has been aggressively pushed by rum brand Bacardi. There are still several bars in Mumbai and Delhi that list Bacardi as one of the ingredients of a mojito, rather than white rum. Of course, we should mention that the mojito is extremely refreshing.


Location Courtesy: Cheval, Mumbai