12 Indian Cocktails To Spice Up The Winters

Guaranteed to keep you warm.

26/10/2016 1:03 PM IST | Updated 02/11/2016 12:20 PM IST
Factory By Sutra

Winter is almost here and that is all the excuse we need to mix desi spices with alcohol. Not that temperature matters so much: whether you're in the hills freezing your socks off or enjoying the golden Goan sun, here are 12 winter-themed cocktails that can be concocted in your own kitchen with fairly simple ingredients.

Whether you want to invite friends over or enjoy a lazy brunch or just curl up in bed for a marathon session of F.R.I.E.N.D.S., these drinks are ideal for any occasion.


This nicely potent cocktail, soon to be made available at SodaBottleOpenerWala, combines two of India's most popular winter alcohol choices -- Old Monk rum and whisky. With a dash of sticky syrup and a bright marigold crown, it can't get any more comforting than this.



  • 30ml whiskey
  • 30ml Old Monk dark
  • 45ml date and saffron syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 15ml lime juice
  • 1 marigold flower


Put all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well. Remove the ice. Then shake again. Place the marigold on top and serve.


Not that you need to justify drinking this deliciously refreshing cocktail to anyone, but in case anyone does ask, you can explain the benefits of consuming betel leaves to them. Bee tee dubs, betel leaves are popularly recommended as a cure for the dreaded common cold. The vodka is the cherry on top and if that wasn't literal enough, you can actually top off the mix with a maraschino cherry for a more festive feel.

Tabula Beach


  • 2 fresh paan leaves
  • 4 cardamom
  • 1 spoon gulkand
  • 45ml vodka
  • 15ml sambuca
  • 1 maraschino cherry


Muddle the paan leaf, gulkand and cardamom in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka and sambuca to this concoction. Add ice and shake well. Fine strain this into a glass filled with ice and paan leaves. Garnish with cardamom and cherry.


According to Anne Frey, the proprietor of Philadelphia's 1 Tippling Place, who will be hosting a special popup at the Olive Bar and Kitchen in Bandra during all of November, curry and scotch are the perfect match. What's more, the former doesn't always have to be served on a plate.

Olive Bar and Kitchen


  • 60ml blended scotch
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 25ml curry simple syrup
  • Handful of mint


Combine, shake and strain.


Who wants to drink chai when you can drink masala wine? The Gurgaon pub, Factory by Sutra has added their own desi twist to mulled wine with a couple of yummy ingredients that can easily be sourced out of your own kitchen. Serve in a kullhad for that extra desi touch.

Factory By Sutra


  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 60gm demerara sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 big black cardamom
  • 1 orange, sliced into half
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 60ml sloe or damson gin (optional)


Put the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bay leaf and the spices. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Taste to see if you want the wine sweeter. Once you've taken the wine off the heat, stir in the sloe or damson gin if you are using it. Strain into heatproof glasses and serve immediately.


If you're looking for a hair-of-the-dog solution after a particularly heavy Diwali night, this delicious chai-based martini (courtesy: Factory by Sutra) might help stir your senses. Make sure you add plenty of crushed ice, and generous dollops of your favourite liqueur.

Factory by Sutra


  • 4 masala chai tea bags (can use vanilla chai or mocha chai tea for variety)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce of any liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Freshly ground nutmeg


In a large cup, carefully pour boiling water over the tea bags. Let them steep in the water for five minutes before removing them, and squeeze out any excess tea before discarding. Refrigerate the tea for at least 30 minutes to cool well.

Then, in a martini shaker, add half a cup of the chilled tea, vodka and the liqueur of your choice (almond, hazelnut, orange or coconut flavours work well). Add crushed ice, and shake well. Strain the liquid into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg.


Flush with ginger, this spicy ale by chef Kelvin Cheung's gastro-bar in Bandra, One Street Over, will add some heat and refresh you at the same time. It's perfect for those Mumbai winters which are not so wintry, and yet need some warmth.

One Street Over


  • 60ml vodka
  • 20ml lime juice
  • 20ml home made ginger syrup (here's how to make it)
  • Ginger beer
  • Spices of your choice


Combine all the ingredients and mix. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fragrant spices.


The Little Door (in Andheri, Mumbai) combined whisky with Assam chai (spiced with lavang and elaichi) to produce this bright red potion that will outshine the brightest Diwali cracker.

The Little Door


  • 20ml apple juice
  • Dash of green apple syrup
  • Dash of maple spice syrup
  • 60ml Assam tea,
  • 60ml whisky
  • Fresh apple chunks
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon


In a Boston shaker, muddle fresh apple chunks, cloves and cinnamon. Then add apple juice, green apple syrup, maple spice syrup, Assam tea and whisky. Shake with ice then strain into a rock glass. Garnish with an apple slice.


This drink, according to the people at Mumbai's The Little Door, is Christmas in a glass with a desi twist of fresh pudina.

The Little Door


  • Fresh cucumber chunks
  • Melon syrup
  • Basil leaves
  • Ice cubes
  • Dash of lime juice
  • 60 ml of vodka


Blend together cucumber chunks, melon syrup, basil leaves, ice cubes, lime juice and vodka. Serve frozen in a martini glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.


The magicians at the Bottles and Barrels microbrewery in Gurgaon have actually found quite a drool-worthy way to combine beer, rum with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. It's the best way to get over a big loss at teen patti this year.

Bottles and Barrels


  • 30ml Old Monk rum
  • 15 ml Bacardi white rum
  • Beer
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Clove
  • Brown Cardamom


Boil all the spices in water and use 30ml of the liquid. Add it to the rum, and top the whole thing off with some beer in a tropical glass. Add a slice of orange for some freshness.


This drink by Bottles and Barrels in Gurgaon is a bit like serving chaat in a glass, and specially goes down well with those who enjoy their mirch-masala.

Bottles and Barrels


  • 60ml tomato juice
  • 5 drops Tobasco sauce
  • 5 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • Chaat masala
  • Lime juice
  • Lager beer


Mix the tomato juice with both sauces. Then add some chaat masala and lime juice. Top the entire thing off with lager beer. Preferably serve in a tall glass.


Possibly the best way to enjoy a spoonful of naani's home-made marmalade.

Hungry Monkey


  • 1 freshly grilled orange
  • A couple of freshly chopped strawberries
  • Black pepper
  • Tequila
  • Whiskey (Tennessee has been used for this recipe)
  • Marmalade


In a bar shaker, muddle the strawberries and grilled orange. Top with ice, add the tequila, whiskey and marmalade. Cover and shake till the shaker has a frosted look around it (approximately 30-40 seconds). Strain and serve in a martini glass. Garnish with a bit of the grilled orange and a pinch of black pepper.


The best way to bid adieu to Diwali this year is with a goblet full of heartwarming brandy-based toddy. And we don't mean the coarse moonshine variety from Kerala, either. Try the Indigo Deli's delicious concoction that has honey, cardamom and cinnamon sticks along with several other yummy ingredients.

Indigo Deli


  • 60ml house brandy
  • 30ml apple juice
  • 10-12 orange peel
  • 10ml honey
  • 5ml lemon juice
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 3-4 lime slices
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 crushed green cardamom
  • 150ml piping hot water


Stir the ingredients well in a brandy balloon glass and drink.

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