Vetiver Based Cocktail | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
In the hallowed halls of Rahi Neo Kitchen & Bar, Bengaluru, a secret rendezvous awaits the intrepid drink enthusiast – a world where the essence of ancient Ayurveda is fused with the art of mixology. Here, amidst the whisper of nectar and the aroma of herbs, a symphony of flavors is unveiled. Rahi’s Beverage Head Avinash Kapoli and Eka’s Head Mixologist Jishnu AJ in Mumbai have come up with a collection of timeless Ayurvedic cocktails.
Jishnu’s passion for authentic Indian representation in the cocktail industry led him to discover mixology, the fusion between traditional Indian herbalism and Ayurveda. “We are witnessing a change in the cocktail landscape and it is important to embrace Ayurvedic and traditional Indian herbs to reflect the diverse flavors of India,” says Jishnu.
The careful selection of traditional Indian herbs for Jishnu is a thoughtful and exhaustive process. “It involved five months of in-depth study and discussions with experts in the field as well as local Ayurvedic vendors who are knowledgeable about the proper use of these herbs,” he says.
Cone based cocktail | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
As Avinash rightly puts it, “These cocktails are like a whisper of the past, where the botanical secrets of Ayurveda combine with the modern techniques of mixology, resulting in drinks that are both innovative and delicious.” In fact, within the carefully crafted elixir are contained the essences of Vetiver, Jatamansi, Shankhpushpi and Himalayan Cedar, each carefully selected for their unique characteristics and ability to transport you to a realm of flavor beyond compare.
Imagine this: a highball glass full of botanical wonders. Gin, the liquid spine, dances with vetiver – an aromatic botanical known for its aromatic power. Himalayan fir takes center stage in the martini, which evokes the tranquility of pine forests with its floral, woody and spicy notes. Shankhpushpi and Kapoor Kachari grace the other blends, adding depth and a touch of Indian heritage to the overall drinking experience.
“A testament to the evolving landscape of Ayurvedic cocktail mixology, where unique flavor profiles and exceptional drinking experiences reign supreme,” says Avinash. It’s not just the blend of Ayurvedic botanicals with gin-like spirits that mesmerises; It is the meticulous attention to detail and organizing techniques that elevate these efforts to new heights.
Kapoor kachri based cocktail | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement
While Jishnu is aware of the medicinal values associated with Ayurvedic herbs, he does not seek to promote those aspects in his cocktails. “Given that cocktails ultimately contain alcohol, there is a greater focus on highlighting the unique flavor, aroma, and cultural significance of these ingredients,” he says.
The boundaries of mixology continue to expand, and emerging trends testify to this vibrant growth. Indian spices, once reserved for curries, now pair brilliantly with gin. Black pepper and cinnamon, among others, lend complex notes, turning gin-based cocktails into veritable spice bazaars. With each sip, new flavors are revealed, a testament to the boldness of innovation.
In the dimly lit ambiance of Rahi Neo Kitchen & Bar, ancient wisdom and modern craftsmanship meet to give birth to a new era of liberation. It is a union with the past, a celebration of botanical treasures that have stood the test of time. So, if you are looking for a thrill for your taste buds, where tradition and innovation mix, then indulge in Ayurvedic Cocktails.
And remember, when it comes to Ayurvedic cocktails, the only spirits that should bother you are the ones you drink. encourage!