London is all with sunshine these days, giving us a notion that summers have already arrived. But you cannot trust English weather –it is so unpredictable and uncertain. Totally loving how Londoners are walking around with unbuttoned, thick overcoats – again a sign of a complete mistrust in sunny weather!
Infact last weekend temperature rose up to 18 degrees which was way too hot for the month of March. But summers in India are not the sunny, warm and bright like London. Summers in India mean scorching heat, sand storms and sweaty days. Back then, simple nimbu pani or jaljeera with lots of crushed ice were the only things that I longed for. London is never that hot but even with a little sunshine I crave for the street stalls selling lassi, sugarcane juices and freshly opened coconuts filled with sweet coconut water. *sigh*
I miss simple things; People here prefer high end cocktails-drinks mixed with fruit juices and alcohol. Do you know how to make cocktails? I have made Bloody Mary before and I liked it, may be because I love tomatoes. After coming to London I tried some combinations with vodka, gin, tequila and whiskey but nothing became the beloved drink...until one day I had mojito- a blend of mint, lemon, sugar and vodka. It matches with Indian nimbu massala which posses same features.
After sipping mojito so many times, I tried creating ‘Indian inspired’ cocktail at home. I am so novice and new to the mixology world, I have no fancy things like shaker, vodka glasses, bar spoon, muddler. All I had was some imagination and guts to experiment something new. Gathered all strength and ingredients and voila.....it was the faultless Indian cocktail.
Touch of black pepper, homemade chaat massala and jaljeera (both available at any Indian store) were the secret elements that I added to bring that much-wanted Indian taste. Everyone was hooked, even the ladies who were trying cocktail for the first time. Oh! It was perfect way to relax and unwind.
If you are having a party or a get-together and want to serve something new and royal then DO make this. I know you will thank me for this idea.
Vodka- 100 ml (I used Smirnoff)
Mint- 10-12 leaves
Sugar- 5 teaspoons
Jaljeera mix- 1 teaspoon
Chaat Massala- 1 teaspoon
Crushed ice- 2 cups
Lemon Juice- 1/4 cup
Soda water- 1/4 cup
Black pepper- 1 teaspoon
Salt- for the glass rim (optional)
First ready the glasses. Take some salt in a plate. Rub a lemon wedge lightly around the rim of a glass to wet it and then turn it upside down and dip the rim in the salt. Slightly shake it, so all the excess falls off.Cut a lemon into 6 pieces or as small pieces as possible.
Then add divide all the ingredients in 2 parts (for 2 glasses). In each glass put vodka, chopped lemon, chaat massala, black pepper, sugar, mint and jaljeera. Muddle well to give out the lemon and mint flavors and then top with crushed ice and soda water.
Mix with the spoon and enjoy.
If you don't have a muddler, Take something heavy to muddle them up. I used pestle; you can use rolling pin or anything heavy that fits in the glass.
Rimming the glass in optional. I like it that way.
If you don’t have crush ice, just take ice cubes and run them in the mixer or cover ice cubes in towel and smash it with rolling pin.
Take caution while muddling up, I applied much pressure the first time and ended up breaking the glasses.
See the recipe for homemade chaat masala here
This is perfect even without alcohol
I paired with simple Peri Peri almonds (Nandoos style).