Winter Wonderland 26/12/2016 in Musings

Cocktails We Love ‘Tis Season

She tiptoes into the moonlit kitchen. Her feet delicately pirouetting over the cold marble floor. She sets the stove alight, pouring in four mugs of ivory milk, adding to it a vanilla pod and warming it so as to let the two components copiously work their magic. The resultant liquid is allowed to cool and settle. She hears the jingle of bells and the shuffle of feet and yet knowingly ignores the interloper. She adds to another bowl, twelve egg yolks and whisks in the sugar and cream, all the while swaying and humming to “jingle bells…”. The fluffy, white result is like a cloud in a bowl, tender and innocent and willingly welcomes the vanilla infused milk, half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon, half a nutmeg and three brimming cups of licentious brandy. She mixes it precisely and expressly, adding a generous dose of Christmas spirit, love and joy. The fifteen-minute refrigeration allows her to slip into something more festive. With two glasses in her hand, she tip-toes towards the intruder. Santa turns around, the eggnog betrays her presence to him. Its saccharine spiciness is intoxicating. “Hi Santa, your eggnog is ready. What have you brought me this Christmas?” was her mischievous question. “Ho! Ho! Ho!” was his equally cheerful reply…

Try it at home, or you can always get Santa worthy eggnog at A Ta Maison, Sunder Nagar. Francophile is another one of their “potions” that is an enthralling amalgamation of rum, wine and lots of Christmas spice. We won’t tell you what is in it. Go ahead and find out.

Delhi is home to many focal points of midwinter merriment. They help exacerbate the joy of winter, the positivity of festivity and the propagation of generosity. You must express your joie de verve through these yummy potions of winter. Your elixirs to a winter wonderland.

Yangdup Lama of Cocktails & Dreams Speakeasy in Gurgaon mentioned that winter cocktails should use spirits that are aged, full of flavour, and expectant with character. Bourbon whiskey is more versatile, as compared to the fussier scotch. It goes well with caramel, cinnamon, orange zest and chocolate. We reckon that this establishment is creating magic boldly and wonderfully. We suspect that they have Santa’s elves in-house. Do let us know if you see any.

Woody cinnamon, sumptuous plum cake, indulgent chocolates and always sublime mulled wine, all add to the warmth of winter and the festivity of the yuletide.  The bar sees a paradigm shift. Wood, fire and warmth are echoed through the use of rum, brandy and whisky. They presage a sense of warmth, merriment and the spirit of companionship. Winter cocktails tend to be silkier, richer, spicier and more multifaceted, often meant to complement and intensify the indulgent gusto of the food. The Christmas holly and the ivy, the decked-up tree and the sparkle in people’s eyes. What more can one ask for. Ladies and Gents, carry a mistletoe with you…

Nothing beats nursing a spicy winter cocktail in your hands, as you nibble on chocolate, and surround yourself by the laughter of people and the earnest hues of innumerable spirits.

Why go for traditional mulled wine or hot toddy, when, Sakely’s The Secret Garden in Greater Kailash I are true wizards of in-house bitters. The bar also grows organic garnishes on its rooftop, which are plucked fresh, for each and every cocktail. The Fig infused Gin, Coffee Orange Rum, Chocolate Bourbon and Plum Whisky are used to create artisanal cocktails, and are to die for (melodramatic praise still doesn’t do them justice). So, it should be under “must go” on your winter wonderland list.

We thus end this article with a tipple in our respective hands and bashful smiles on our individually enthused faces. Winter Wonderland has come to town, and it’s time for you to have some fun. And, if the comfort and warmth of your bed ever happens to beckon you, do ensure that you let someone else do the driving, as you serenade (and sway, we’re sure) to the tune of Winter Wonderland.


Story contributed by AGGIE THE ALIEN