Rajeev Singh, the bar manager at Double Tree by Hilton, Gurgaon, loves to whip up cocktails that are ‘healthy’. So, muddled fruits are more likely to find their way into his cocktails rather than fruit juices.
Singh is using fruits innovatively by grilling them first on a charcoal fire before infusing them into the drinks. He says: “When you grill the fruit, the sugar oozes out and caramelises on the surface to give a smoky flavour to the cocktail.”
Singh began his career as bartender in 2005 at Agni, the lounge bar at The Park, New Delhi. He shifted to Aqua, the hotel’s poolside bar where he spent another six months. In 2008 he moved to F-Bar at The Ashok New Delhi as the head bartender and worked there for a year.
Looking for a change in his work profile and in order to widen his horizons, he left for Livingston in Scotland where he joined Club Earth, a pub, as a management trainee. Within 18 months he was promoted to assistant bar manager. He returned to India in 2010 and joined Setz (then called Zest) at DLF Emporio Mall in Delhi. He joined Double Tree when it opened in November 2011.
Ingredients • 60ml gin • 4-5 apple chunks • 5ml lime juice •1 sweet paan •4-5 cubes ice
To garnish: 1 betel leaf
Take the apple chunks and muddle them gently in a glass or shaker. Add the whole paan to the shaker followed by the lime juice. Gently add the gin and the ice cubes to the concoction and give the mixture a vigorous shake. Garnish with the betel leaf and serve.
Grilled Orange Caprioshka
Glass: Old fashioned
Ingredients • 60ml vodka •4-5 orange chunks • 2 tsp brown sugar •3-4 lemon chunks • 4-5 cubes crushed ice
Garnish: 1 grilled orange chunk
Grill the orange chunks over a charcoal grill till the sugar in the fruit gets caramelised. Put the grilled orange chunks, lemon chunks and brown sugar in a shaker and muddle. Add vodka and crushed ice to the mixture and stir. Garnish with a grilled orange slice and serve.
Ingredients • 60ml vodka •10ml cinnammon syrup • 30ml fresh apple juice • 4-5 slices fresh apple • 5ml lime juice • 4-5 ice cubes
Garnish: apple slices
Line the rim of a cocktail glass with brown sugar. Muddle the apple slices gently in a shaker. Add cinnamon syrup and fresh apple juice and lime juice to the mixture. Mix the vodka and the ice in the cocktail and give it a good shake. Pour the drink into the cocktail glass and garnish it with apple slices.