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Indian cocktails recipes

5 Indian Cocktails Recipes That You Absolutely Must Try

Vasudha Srinivasan | December 30, 2015

Drinks  Food  Recipes  

Hear the words Indian and alcohol, more often that not, it conjures up pictures of Old Monk, Kingfisher Beer and if you have led an adventurous life, Toddy. All of which are great but not the easiest (or let’s be honest, the classiest!) to serve when you’re looking for a dash of Indian spice to liven up your parties. Just in time for your New Year’s bash, here are 5 Indian cocktails recipes that made us reach behind the bar for that bottle.

1. The Sassy Lassi

Sassy Lassi Indian Cocktail

Let’s start with the queen of all Indian drinks, the lassi. Deliciously frothy, lassis are a delight whether salted, sweet or fruitily flavoured. You’d think nothing could make a missish lassi more tasty but adding a hint of rum, voila! Please meet Ms Sassy Lassi!

Serves 2, or 1 if you’re in a happy mood

• 6 ounces of mango
• ½ cup coconut water
• 4 ice cubes
• 6 ounces plain yogurt
• 3 shots Kraken rum
• Pistachios to garnish (These are good and crunchy. Do not skip them.)

Put everything in a blender except the pistachios and mix it up. Garnish and enjoy.

(Reproduced from

2. The Tamarind Martini

Tamarind Martini Indian Cocktail

Tamarind is the staple of any South Indian kitchen (and believe it or not, Mexico!)  Literally meaning “Sour” in the tamil language , sipping this tamarind concoction will make your lips pucker and then tingle with its heady mix of sweet, tang and spice. While the Indian cocktail recipe calls for tamarind concentrate, using tamarind pulp is likely to enhance the taste while giving the drink texture.

Serves 2 (or 1 if you’re looking to indulge)

• 1 ounce tamarind concentrate
• 4 ounces cold water
• 2 ounces vodka
• 6 tablespoons Tajin (mixture of chili powder and sugar)
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
• Ice

a) In a martini shaker add the tamarind concentrate, water, vodka, and ice. Shake until all the ingredients are incorporated.
b) Rim a martini glass with lime and dip into the Tajin powder.

Pour the martini mixture and enjoy!

(Reproduced from

3. The Indian Spiced Wine

Mulled wine, in my personal opinion, is an understated drink – I’d like to think of it as the chai of the alcohol kingdom. Meant for cosy evenings with friends or as cliched as it sounds, for an evening curled up with a good book.  Traditionally only using lemon and orange rind paired with cinammon and cloves, the zest of ginger, the warmth of star anise and the subtle spice of coriander all give this already cosy  drink a flavour of home.

Serves as many as you invite

• 1.5 litres red wine
• 125ml orange juice
• 215g sugar
• 3 strips orange rind
• 2 strips lemon rind
• 3 cm piece fresh root ginger (peeled)
• 10 green cardamom pods (lightly crushed)
• 5 cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 4 star anise
• 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
• flaked almonds, toasted, to decorate

a) Place all the ingredients, except the almonds, in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the wine begins to bubble. Keep heating, uncovered, over a very low heat for 20 minutes, so that the mixture is barely simmering. Do not allow the mixture to simmer properly or boil as this will eliminate the alcohol from the wine.
b) Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand, covered, overnight in a cool place.
c) Strain into clean wine bottles and seal with corks. Serve immediately or store until required – it should keep for up to 1 month, stored in a cool, dark place.
d) To serve, reheat gently and pour in cups; decorate with the flaked almonds. When reheating, be careful not to simmer or boil the mulled wine. I usually heat each cupful of wine in the microwave oven for about 1 minute on HIGH.

(Reproduced from

4. The Everest

The Everest Indian Cocktail

Named after the Himalayan mountain because it scales unprecedented heights in cocktails (ok, fine, we made that up), this is a fool proof recipe combining unexpeccted flavours. Using two of India’s favourite ingredients coconut and curry, don’t be surprised if you decide to use it as a side dish for your chappathi instead!

Serves 1 adventurous soul

• 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
• 1 ounce Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
• 2.5 ounces Beefeater 24 gin
• ½ ounce lemon juice
• Garnish: Bay leaf

a) Mix curry powder with Coco Lopez to make a paste.
b) Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled glass.
c) Garnish with a sprinkle of additional curry powder and a bay leaf.

(Reproduced from

5. Nimbupani Julep

Nimbupani Julep Indian Cocktail

Ahh, the taste of summer – cool citrus flavours mingled with a little tartness – is probably the best way to usher in the new year and in this part of the world, everyday is a summer day. A cross between a margarita and a mint julep, there’s no reason to wait till June for the summer

Serves you

• 1/2 cup sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon black Indian rock salt
• 1/2 bunch fresh mint leaves, plus more for muddling and 1 sprig for garnish
• 2 juicy limes
• Crushed or shaved ice
• 2 ounces good-quality Kentucky bourbon
• Seltzer water

a) Combine 1/2 cup water with the sugar, black salt and mint in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until the sugar and salt dissolve into a sweet and salty simple syrup. Strain the syrup and transfer to the fridge to cool. Discard the mint leaves.
b) Squeeze the limes into a pitcher and add the chilled simple syrup.
c) Crush or muddle a few mint leaves in the bottom of an 8-ounce mint julep cup until they form a paste. Fill halfway with ice.
d) Add 2 ounces of the simple syrup and the bourbon and top with seltzer. Stir until the silver cup is frosted on the outside.
To serve, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Reserve the remaining simple syrup for additional drinks.

(Reproduced from

Inspired but feeling like this is too much work? Check out Saha at the newly opened National Art Gallery in Singapore, and their range of Indian Themed Cocktails. Completely original, we are totally in love with their Kari-Tini and Kokum Margarita!

Happy New Year!

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Vasudha Srinivasan

The Indian Ahlian (sometimes known as Vasudha Srinivasan) is 99.99 % Indian with a pinch of something else. She sketches because she is much better at doodling her thoughts than speaking her mind. Find out more about her at here or tweet her @indianahlian. Other articles by this author



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