Is it possible to create a healthy cocktail? Apparently it is. Take authentic natural sugars, ‘artisanal’ spirits, some bitters …and there it is. Simple, eh? Well, Jitendra Singh made us believe so. He seemed to effortlessly ‘craft’ one cocktail after the other.
Jitendra is the Senior Bartender at Westin Gurgaon and the event was the celebration of the introduction of Crafted at Westin, “a new signature cocktail menu that invites guests to choose well behind the bar.” Crafted allows you to enjoy cocktails with a healthy twist at the resturants at The Westin Gurgaon.
What is a craft cocktail?
The concept of “craft cocktails” isn’t new. Extremely popular in the US, the concept I said to find increasing popularity in India as well. (I, however, admit that I learnt about the concept at the event.)
Craft cocktails are the ones where every element is handmade or tailored specifically to the drink. These make use of house-made syrups and are finished with a dash of small-batch bitters. These cocktails are made with a lot more care than your usual mixed drinks and hence are priced higher. The flavor is best enjoyed in slow sips. “Obverse to the idea of drinking to get a quick high, these cocktails are meant to be enjoyed slowly. It’s a great way for our guests to unwind after a day at work or when relaxing with family and friends,” explained Sanjay Sharma, Area General Manager, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. when Blue Sky Dreamers asked about the thought behind introducing this concept.
Craft Cocktails at The Westin
The hotel will offer eight cocktails: Pomegranate Green Tea, Whiskey Punch, Camomile Mule, Chai Experiments, Monk Sapphire, Wake Up, Squeeze, and Bourbon Carrot Mule. There will be refreshing mocktails too: Granny Julep, Pine is Mine and Aambi will be introduced.
We loved the concept of blending wellness with cocktails and sipping it slowly. We tasted almost all the cocktails (just a sip or two for most). Most of the cocktails are slightly bitter for obvious reasons. The best of the lot was Pomegranate Green Tea, made with Henderick’s gin, fresh pomegranate, lemon juice, green tea syrup and orange bitters. Camomile Mule was my other favourite; made with chamomile infused vodka, honey syrup, lemon juice, topped with ginger beer.
Cocktails at Home
If you want to try a crafted cocktail, here are two recipes. Be warned, infusion requires 1-2 weeks’ time!
- Pomegranate Green Tea
|Hendricks Gin||60 ml|
|Fresh Pomegranate Seeds||2 Espresso cup|
|Fresh Lime Juice||30 ml|
|Green Tea Syrup||25 ml|
|Orange Bitters||2 dash|
|Method||Muddled & Pour|
2. Monk Sapphire
|Cucumber Infused Old Monk (for a week)||60 ml|
|Sugar Syrup||10 ml|
|Fresh Lime Juice||10 ml|
|Cucumber Slice||3 slices|
|Ruharb Bitter||2 dash|
|Method||Muddled & Strain|
3. Chai Experiments
|Masala Tea infused Absolut (for one to two weeks)||45 ml|
|Grand Marnier||7.5 ml|
|Angostura Bitter||2 dash|
|Glass||Urban Style Margarita|
|Method||Shaken & Strain|
Looking for usual cocktail recipes? Try cocktails suggested by Smirnoff.