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Gin and T gets a taste of Darjeeling with new AMPM x Glenburn tea cocktail menu

The Spring Tea Trail menu features teas from the Darjeeling estate with Bombay Sapphire gin and AMPM’s flair of mixology

Urvashi Bhattacharya | Published 29.05.24, 09:48 PM
In a latest collaboration put together by Gormei, AMPM Kolkata's Spring Tea Trail cocktail menu features Glenburn's tea blends from Darjeeling and Assam in unique combinations and flavours with Bombay Sapphire Gin

In a latest collaboration put together by Gormei, AMPM Kolkata's Spring Tea Trail cocktail menu features Glenburn's tea blends from Darjeeling and Assam in unique combinations and flavours with Bombay Sapphire Gin

All photos by Upama Dutta

G & T now has a new spin. In April, the AMPM Kolkata bar team embarked on a journey into the 1,600-acre Glenburn Tea Estate in the foothills of Darjeeling. This wasn’t just a holiday, but an initiative aimed to deepen their understanding of tea, sampling varieties from diverse bushes, altitudes, and seasons.

For what, you ask? Well, the team were foraging ingredients from the region to use in a new cocktail menu, crafted with Bombay Sapphire gin.

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On May 25, the new Spring Tea Trail cocktails were launched at AMPM, where the Park Street kitchen served up the tea-infused tipples along with tapas and took attendees behind the scenes with a short movie clip of the mountain adventure.

From the mountains

The AMPM Kolkata bar team embarked on a two-week journey to the foothills of Darjeeling, delving deep into the region’s rich tea heritage. Using local and locally inspired ingredients, the team crafted three unique cocktails, each featuring a different tea variety. The aim was to curate a tea trail, forage for ingredients, and understand the roots of these exceptional flavours. This venture marked the beginning of a collaboration between Gormei, Glenburn Tea Estate and AMPM.

During their exploration, the team visited tea gardens, sampled local produce and did some foraging. Talented mixologists and chefs came together to craft a menu that beautifully incorporated both tea and local ingredients, with the herby Bombay Sapphire spirit.

L-R: Husna-Tara Prakash, MD of Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Resort, and Bacardi Trade Ambassador Ashitosh Narayanan at the launch

L-R: Husna-Tara Prakash, MD of Glenburn Tea Estate and Boutique Resort, and Bacardi Trade Ambassador Ashitosh Narayanan at the launch

Know your tea

Also known as the ‘champagne of teas’, Darjeeling tea faces market discrepancies with only six million kilograms produced annually but over 20 million kilograms sold. Its uniqueness stems from its geographical origin, protected by a GI (Geographical Indication) tag, with only 87 estates worldwide producing authentic Darjeeling tea. Unlike teas from Assam, Kenya, or Sri Lanka, the bushes of Darjeeling, if planted elsewhere, do not replicate their distinctive flavour.

Darjeeling tea bushes yield varied flavours throughout the year — the fresh, green first flush in March, the grapey, earthy second flush in mid-to-late May, and the stronger, richer tea during the monsoon season, culminating in the ‘autumn crescendo’ unique to Glenburn.


Originally from China, the tea bushes were smuggled to the north Bengal city by an English botanist in the 1860s. With its suitable climate, it became a favourable location to grow tea. Darjeeling was a sparsely populated land during the British era and they brought people from Nepal to cultivate the tea gardens. Many of these families still reside at Glenburn, and Nepali ingredients are used in local cuisine — a fact that Kolkata’s Chef Shaun Kenworthy and OMO Café Delhi’s Chef Vanshika Bhatia explored during the trip.

L-R: AMPM Kolkata mixologist  Pankaj Singh Gusain in action, and Rajan Sethi, the co-founder of AMPM savouring the Berries in the Bungalow cocktail

L-R: AMPM Kolkata mixologist Pankaj Singh Gusain in action, and Rajan Sethi, the co-founder of AMPM savouring the Berries in the Bungalow cocktail

Tea and tipples

AMPM Kolkata mixologist Pankaj Singh Gusain was the brain behind the four new cocktails, each with a different blend of tea.

Garden Breakfast Smash

Garden Breakfast Smash

The first cocktail on offer, the Garden Breakfast Smash, is made with Bombay Sapphire, Darjeeling green and second flush tea cordial, tonic and carbonation. The tea is naturally sweet with zesty high notes.

Tea House Tales

Tea House Tales

The second cocktail on the menu is called the Tea House Tales and has lemon ginger green tea infused Bombay Sapphire with elderflower and tonic water. The tea is a mix of citrusy freshness with warm restorative ginger and honey.

The Plantation Afterhours is a Moroccan mint green tea infused with Bombay Sapphire, finished wit tonic water and a cucumber leaf for garnish and some added freshness. The tea is a smooth refreshing Darjeeling blend with a cool burst of spearmint.

Berries in the Bungalow

Berries in the Bungalow

The fourth, a My Kolkata favourite, is the only cocktail on the menu featuring not Darjeeling but Assam tea. The Berries in the Bungalow cocktail which is made with Bombay Sapphire gin that is infused with strawberry black tea — a fruity, malty brew from the river valley of Assam — along with clarified milk and topped with tonic water.

A motley crew

L-R: Husna Tara Prakash, Gail Brinkmeier, US Consul General Melinda Pavek, Chef Katherine Lim of Gormei, Argha Sen the founder of Gormei, and Rajan Sethi

L-R: Husna Tara Prakash, Gail Brinkmeier, US Consul General Melinda Pavek, Chef Katherine Lim of Gormei, Argha Sen the founder of Gormei, and Rajan Sethi

Present for the launch was co-founder of AMPM Rajan Sethi, who brought the coffee and cocktail bar from Delhi to the City of Joy. When asked about the collaboration he emphasised how particular their team is about such collabs. “We wanted to collaborate with the brands that have the same enthusiasm as AMPM. Glenburn Tea Estates produces some of the finest tea and we did a two-week long stay at the estate. Husna took us around where we did a lot of foraging,” said Rajan. The foraged items were then used for meals put together by chef Shaun Kenworthy and cocktails were also curated by the attendees.

Chef Shaun Kenworthy

Chef Shaun Kenworthy

Last updated on 29.05.24, 09:48 PM
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