A little libation to ease our lockdown woes is only natural. So, in the name of self-care and staying inspired and entertained while stuck at home, we’ve started brushing up on our bartending skills, concocting drinks with ingredients, we already have on hand and spirits otherwise catching dust on our bar shelves. To be clear, not all of us are bartenders and experimenting with anything and everything, which makes for a dizzying affair.
Take for instance Kay “Nana” Curci, who used quarantine as
the perfect excuse to come up with a ‘quarantini’. This New Jersey grandmom went
viral on TikTok after she shared her recipe for the lockdown-themed drink on
her grandson’s account. It starts with her sanitizing her hands. Then, in a
cocktail shaker go ice, two shots of vanilla vodka and two shots of orange
vodka, Chambord liqueur and orange juice. And then you’ve got to “shake shake
shake, shake shake shake!” That’s how you get a “quarantini” she quips.
Throwing caution to the wind and being open to making mistakes is a good thing when concocting cocktails. Nilesh Patel, Beverage Head (West), Impresario Handmade Restaurants tells us that sometimes some of the most delicious drinks are “born out of mistakes”. Encouraging us to explore our pantries and the back of our fridges in search of ingredients to make quarantine cocktails, he suggests, “Go with ingredients that would suit or interest your palate.” Try making some of your favourite cocktails, starting with the simpler ones with fewer ingredients and working your way up, suggests Garrimella Vishwanath Venkat (Garry), Senior Mixologist at Massive Restaurants. Besides, if you’re armed with a decent shaker, juicer, jigger and strainer, nothing stops you from faring well at most cocktails. if you don’t happen to have shakers at home, Venkat recommends using jam and honey jars or air-tight containers with lids.
So here are a few at-home martini cocktail recipes that are sure to make your self-quarantined days a little bit sweeter.
Shimla Mirch Martini
By Nilesh Patel, Beverage Head (West), Impresario Handmade Restaurants
4 to 5 chunks of pineapple
3-4 chunks of yellow bell pepper
30ml pineapple juice
lime juice of 1 wedge
10 ml sugar syrup
60 ml vodka
1. Muddle the pineapple chunks with sugar syrup
2. Then add the yellow bell pepper to the mixture and muddle
3. Add vodka, lime juice and pineapple juice
4. Shake well with ice
5. Double strain it in a pre-child glass
6. Garnish with fresh mint spring
By Garrimella Vishwanath Venkat, Senior
Mixologist at Massive Restaurants
60 ml vodka or gin
6 to 8 watermelon chunks
a handful of basil leaves
90 ml lychee juice
20 ml lime juice
1. Shake all these ingredients in shaker, and then serve in a martini, coupé or a crystal bowl.
Classic Tanqueray Gin Martini
By Meghana Balaji, Diageo Brand Ambassador
50 ml Tanqueray London Dry gin
10 ml vermouth
2 dashes olive brine or pickle juice
a few skewered olives (optional)
1. Fill a stirring glass, or a large mason jar with ice to the brim. Pour in the Tanqueray London Dry Gin and dry vermouth.
2. Stir briskly for 10-15 seconds down to cool the spirit
3. Add the olive brine to make it as dirty as desired.
4. Strain and serve into a chilled martini glass.
5. Garnish with skewered olives.
Tip: If you like citrus notes in your drink, drop in an orange or sweet lime peel. You could also drop a split green chilli minus the seeds for a pretty powerful sip.
Ketel One Martini By Meghana Balaji, Diageo Brand Ambassador
45 ml Ketel One vodka
10 ml dry vermouth
a citrus peel to garnish
ice cubes, per choice
1. Shake the Ketel One vodka and dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker (or mason jar) with ice.
2. Strain and serve into a chilled martini glass.
3. Twist the lemon peel over your martini glass to release its oils. Rub the garnish over the rim for added chutzpah.
4. Plop the lemon peel into the drink as garnish and enjoy the martini
Tip: If the martini is too dry for you, sweeten it with an additional 5ml of vermouth
The Cadillac Style Recipe
By Rohit Hegde, Head of Operations at The Daily All Day
55 ml gin
5 ml Midori melon liqueur
2 pcs lemongrass
2 pcs kaffir leaf
60 ml cranberry juice
30 ml sweet and sour mix
1. Muddle kaffir leaves and lemongrass in a cocktail shaker.
3. Add the gin, Midori and cranberry juice, ice cubes and shake well.
4. Double strain the concoction in a pre-chilled martini glass and garnish with some kaffir leaves.
The South Korean four-ingredient Dalgona coffee, went viral almost a month back. A boozier and sophisticated version is making waves now. Known as the ‘Dalgona Martini’, the coffee-based cocktail involves dolloping the whipped coffee onto a creamy, ice-cold liqueur rather than good ‘ol milk. Some recipes suggest Kahlúa or RumChata as a base, but you could also use cream liqueurs such as Bailey’s Irish Cream and Amarula with vodka. Check out one such Dalgona Martini recipe by Luco Morton, a spirits specialist at Edrington-Beam Suntory:
By Stanley Tucci, Actor
Guessing from the Julie & Julia actor’s latest Instagram videos, it’s safe to say that he has an endless supply of drink recipes. On one of the virtual episodes of The Late Late Show with James Corden, Tucci taught Corden how to make a stirred vodka martini.
Here's how you can make Stanley Tucci’s martini:
1. Add a handful of ice to a glass, then pour in about half a shot of vermouth. "You can measure it, you can NOT measure it, whatever you want," Tucci says of the vermouth.
2. Next, stir the mixture to create vermouth-infused ice. Strain the liquid out of the cup, leaving only the ice cubes. Add one to two shots of vodka, stir the liquor with the ice, and let it sit for a minute.
3. Using a strainer, pour the liquid into a martini glass, which, as Tucci demonstrated, can be garnished with a classy lemon rind.
Tucci also shared his gin martini recipe, which you can
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