Spirited blends

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By Vikas Nagar is shaking up perfect drinks for the Capital's swish set As told to Hoihnu Hauzel; Photographs by Rupinder Sharma
  • Published 4.07.09

Conjuring up pub-class cocktails at home is easy. Vikas Nagar, the 23-year-old captain of Insomnia Bar in Delhi’s Taj Ambassador, offers a simple tip. “Always use the right base with a flavour that matches it,” he says.

Nagar prefers to mix his cocktails with vodka or whisky as base. “But one must be careful not to add lime with a whisky-based cocktail,” he warns. While some bartenders prefer fresh fruit, Nagar prefers fruity syrups. “Syrups are as delicious as fresh fruits and can be stored for a long time. What’s more, premium quality flavoured syrups are also easily available,” says Nagar. His bar is high on syrups with flavours like kiwi, coconut, chocolate, mint, green apple and peach.

Nagar learnt all about mixing drinks during his first job. He joined The Grand in Delhi in 2004 after doing a diploma in Food and Beverage Service from the Delhi Institute of Hotel Management. He began his career as an assistant steward at the hotel and later moved to the F&B department and worked at the hotel’s bar. In May last year he moved to the Taj Ambassador.

Nagar shares his three signature cocktails in which he has improvised with the ingredients. For the Apple Sip Martini, Nagar has used cinnamon syrup and green apple to make it different while his Singapore Sling is made with gin and Cointreau rather than the standard gin and soda. In the Fresh Fruit Margarita he’s used fresh fruit juice rather than canned juice.

Apple Sip Martini

Glass: Martini

60ml vodka 15ml brandy 5ml cinnamon syrup 45ml apple juice

Mix all the ingredients, shake and strain. Serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with a green apple slice.

Singapore Sling

Glass: Tall glass

45ml gin 15ml cherry brandy 15ml Cointreau 5ml grenadine syrup 90ml pineapple juice 90ml orange juice A slice of pineapple for garnish

Mix all the ingredients and shake with lots of ice. Serve in a tall glass and garnish with a cherry and a slice of fresh pineapple.

Fresh Fruit Margarita

Glass: Margarita

45ml tequila 15ml almond liqueur 5ml lime juice or any citrus fresh fruit juice like orange

Blend all the ingredients with ice. Garnish with fruit slice and lemon twist and serve in a margarita glass.