Although it’s still low-key, the cocktail culture in India has quietly skyrocketed. With the outset of crafted cocktail mixes, this revolution has further catapulted. Now, there is a whole legion of mixologists, dreamy bartenders, and those who want to sip, savor, and share new flavors; coming up with something new is the latest trend of all in the world of tasting, creating, and traveling.
Needless to say, coming up with something new every time, is easier said than done. Therefore, the new focus is on servings that are a complete escape from the regular cocktail charts. The secret to it is organic extracts and essences. What this fresh inlet of ideas and imagination has done is push the timeworn simulated syrup and ice combo to the wall.
Delving deeper into the chugging scene, one learns that the change is much bigger than just the count of a few flavors being upped, for it is essentially a reflective one. Traditionally, cocktails were just seen as a mix of a spirit, sweet, or sour. But the generational shift, which saw the dawn of the millennial age, demanded more than just alcohol; they wanted to show off their jug, brag about their drink, and boast of the exclusivity of their flavors. They want their drinks tinged. Something that their loyalist-ancestors never thought of!
But what kicked off this revolution? Well, for starters, as the world came closer with the advent of the internet and the ever-inflating bubble of affordable travel, cultures mingled and people all around shared with open hearts, their most-claimed spirit secrets! Bars transformed from being age-old hangout places to becoming melting pots of stories, smacks, and senses.
In India, bartending has become a role that is now seen with respect and relish, as professionals freely get to tickle with their traditional recipes, and charm their customers with their striking skills. The transformation is one like never before.
The fad that now overwhelms the town’s most upbeat bars is to flatter the frequenters with in-house liqueur, homemade syrups, countless infusions, seasoned classics, tinctures, and whatnots! It seems that the rule now is to break all rules.
And though, the classic Old Fashioned and the sexy Cosmopolitan are still the king and queen of the cocktail-kingdom, they certainly face some competition with outbursts of botanicals, herbs, and scents, which have completely turned the tables in favor of the vivid, versatile, and more vibrant cocktails. Ambient spaces, impressive lighting, and classy beakers and apparatus create a vibe that instantly makes one Instagram their experience.
Besides the newfound vein in bars, the cocktail-craze is increasingly inspiring individuals as well. One driving force that has brought about this change is Bab Louie. Offering a host of Premixes, Bitters, and Garnishes, the aspiring vendor goes by the motto, ‘Add a soul to your spirits’. Although it’s quite new, raw, and tenderfoot, Bab Louie has made a niche for itself among the lovers of cocktails. It is also among the very few in their vocation, who spoil their customers with bar kits and classy pitchers.
Given amid this COVID crisis, as bar-hopping and trying out new places has become extinct, Bab Louie’s imaginativeness, obsession with mixology, and the sheer passion to offer a good time, taste, and treat to its customers, has allowed them to bring their recipes closer to cocktail lovers by delivering them to their doorsteps. In India’s constantly changing cocktail landscape, they have gushed their fascination to smaller cities as well.
At a point where innumerable people are stuck at their homes, only reminiscing about the old days when they could go out and raise a toast, such thoughtful savor-servers add more than just flavor to their white liquids, they also add a feel to it. They help make our loneliness pleasurable, comforting our aching nostalgia. And behind all this, is an effort to perfect the art of the cocktail, and to give your bar at home a finishing touch; an idea that rarely echoed with anyone before the outbreak of the pandemic.
What’s more, is that the setting is still evolving as we speak. The former trend to live up to western bartending standards has long disappeared. Nowadays, Mixologists are infusing Indian flavors, spices, and ingredients such as Jal-Jeera, Kala-Khatta, Jamuni, Aam-Panna, and many others to ginger up their drinks.
The scene has exploded to such proportions that you don’t even have to step inside a bar anymore, instead, you can stumble upon cocktail-lovers who have crafted unheard-of recipes at their homes in your neighborhood. Hopefully, the culture thrives further and brings more peeps, peps, and pints together. And, given how outfits like Bab Louie are making the scene, there is a whole galaxy awaiting cocktail zealots.