The Mumbai Cocktail Week was ending and it couldn’t have gotten better with us attending the masterclass. Masterclass on how to make good cocktails thereby understanding that a cocktail merely is not a glass of appeal but also soothing sensation to your palate.
Nick Ord, the person behind the bar and one of the masterclass representative began the class with the history and story behind the existence of the famous martini. Surely nobody thinks about where a cocktail originates from but in your free time look down on the history of your favourite drink and be amazed.
The exact origin of this famous drink is unknown but various speculations are made about the same. Now a martini can be dry or wet, whichever you like. A dry martini is basically with less vermouth where as a wet martini has more of it. A classic martini is garnished with an olive or is given an orange twist. Both have their own different flavours.
It might amaze you to know how important is the role of ice in your cocktail. The quantity of ice you introduce in your cocktail can be a game changer. If a glass has just 2-3 cubes of ice then they melt quickly and dilute your drink.Where as if the glass is filled with ice, it keeps the drink cold and does not melt quickly to spoil your drink at hand so either put a lot of ice or no ice at all.
We are all well versed with the person who made the martini a lot more famous with his on screen presence. A martini was never shaken before, it was always stirred but this new concept was developed by the movie makers themselves which caught on and became a trend.
Nick was a master and worked effortlessly engaging and making us listen to this piece of history. In a span of 20 minutes not only did he pass on his knowledge to us but also prepared 3 different martinis i.e a martini with gin, a martini with vodka and the espresso martini which was the best.
Up next was Evgenya Prazdnik. She has been an official contender of many international bartender competitions. She belongs to that elegant niche of female mixologists whose skills are unmatched in the modern liquor industry. 12 years behind the counter and her experience could be clearly seen.
Not only charming, Evgenya showcases her intellect in the art of mixing liquor not just in terms of its ingredients and flavour, but also making it theatrical also being one of the main components in the art of mixology. Evgenya is presently working at Gunpowder restaurant in Goa.
During the course of the Masterclass, Evgenya taught 4 different signature cocktails of hers. They are as follows :
Red label 50 ml, fresh lime juice 20 ml, simple syrup 20 ml, egg white, aromatic bitters ( 2 dashes of Peychauds bitters), red wine for float.
All the components were mixed except for the red wine into a shaker and it was given gentle dry shake to aerate the mixture. Ice was then added and she shook it vigorously until her hands went numb with the cold. She strained the mixture into a glass with rocks of ice. Then she brilliantly used pipet of a bar spoon to incorporate Merlot float between egg white foam and the cocktail. Wine appeared as a tiny red line on the top edge of the drink which made it look beautiful and dazzling. The orange zest was then infused in very smoothly. She garnished it with an orange peel, fresh mint spring and dried beet-berry flakes which was pure lush.
Twisted and sour, winning duo between Scotch and Merlot. Touch of Peychauds Bitters completes the cocktail perfectly !!
*FRIDAY MARKET *
(Gordon’s gin 50 ml, fresh coriander, lychee juice 50 ml, fresh lime juice 20 ml, honey syrup 20 ml, Kewra water spray)
The coriander leaves were blended with honey syrup until smooth paste appeared. Then she added coriander-honey paste, lime and lychee juices and full measure of Gin into a shaker. Later she added ice cubes and shook it firmly. She strained the mixture into tumbler filled with ice and then sprayed the glass with Kewra water. It was smelling so aromatic and soothing. She then garnished the cocktail with coriander leaves, lotus root and chips soaked in beetroot juice.
She is pretty much inspired by local market in Goa. So her Friday market just made it bigger and better. Organic picking was the key component of the cocktail. Coriander combined with lychee and complimented by Kewra water played incredibly well with Gordon’s and gins botanical and herbs. The infusion was amazing and spellbinding which one can ever think of.
She muddled whole peas and added all the ingredients into the shaker filled with ice and gave it a nice hard shake. Then she strained the mixture into a glass filled with rock ice. She garnished the cocktail with portioned peas and vanilla infused castor sugar to make it look more beautiful. She then decorated the glass with banana leaf in which she poured the cocktail to give even more organic touch to the cocktail.
You never expect a pea to taste so smooth and refreshing in the cocktail ! A very innovative and different kind of idea for a cocktail. Vanilla scented sugar and gentle sprinkle of coconut water into the neat vodka platform called for a perfectly balanced drink.
She infused Gordon’s gin with earl grey tea using cold dripping technique which was surprising and unusual to see or learn. Then she Combined full measures of infused gin with fresh lime juice, lavender syrup and egg white. A gentle shake was given to the mixture to aerate it and then filled the shaker with ice for hard shake. Then she double strained the cocktail into chilled coupe glass. She also decorated the glass with powdered earl grey tea and lavender buds. The overall cocktail looked so beautiful and attractive.
Part of earl grey tea, which transforms gin with the combination of lavender was absolutely unexpected and stunning.
Overall the experience was memorable. She taught everyone very patiently and was very descriptive about all the ingredients which were used. The only let down being there was no food as promised.