How many of us know the etymology of something that our generation enjoys on a regular basis; a cocktail? When questioned by Ajay Nayyar, the brand ambassador of United Spirits, a lot of us found ourselves wondering why we hadn’t thought about it despite of having delved into some of the ﬁnest blends.
The master class at Odeon Social was as informative and interesting as I’d expect my school classroom to be. So the two theories go like this:
First, Antoine Amédée Peychaud, a French apothecary, served brandy with bitters in coquetiers (egg cups) in 18th century. The word cocktail seems to have come from a mispronunciation of coquetier. Second is the Dregs theory where the tavern owners combined dregs of (nearly) empty barrels together and sold the resulting mixture at a discounted price. The mixture was described as Cock tailings.
Having discussed etymology and preferences, we transcended to the subtle yet exciting art of bartending. The ﬁrst cocktail that the connoisseur made along with two volunteers was Mausambi Sour, also called ‘In the Air’ when following the existent theme of IPL. With a little egg white, 10 ml of lime juice, 50 ml Smirnoff (or any preferred vodka) and some tonic water topped with ice, the cocktail was ready to be served after mild shaking. A little beetroot juice was added to impart colour to the cocktail.
The second cocktail (that I would personally recommend and suggest you make/order) was ‘All out’.
A simple blend consisting of
a spoonful of orange marmalade,
10 ml lime juice,
50 ml Smirnoff Orange
and tonic water, topped with ice, dressed with a slice of orange and served chilled.
It did turn out to be the majority’s favourite.
And the third on list was specifically for the Indian palate. It gets its name from the popular Mojito- ‘Corito’ because of the main ingredient being coriander. Few coriander leaves, chaat masala and Smirnoff along with tonic water is all that is required to prepare the Corito.
Having concluded with precision, the curator of the aforementioned drinks slipped into a lively conversation with the enthusiasts. An experience that counts often outlives your memory and becomes a soulful reminder on the blue days. And that is exactly how I can sum up the short experience with Ajay Nayyar, who along with being a great bartender, also did justice to the brand he was endorsing, by not just talking but exemplifying the greatness of the same. And ensuring that everyone on the table was on the same page and entertained.