Now, a herbal spin to cocktails: Mixologist says cheers to hilly plants
Master mixologist Yangdup Lama, who recently launched six cocktails with the iconic Makaibari tea, has come up with a few more Darjeeling hill-inspired concoctions.
This time, however, local herbs and plants are Lama’s muse.
So, there is timbur (Sichuan pepper), lali gurans (rhododendron), dalle khorsani (round chillies) and tite pati (mugwort) in the mix of his brew.
“I have come up with these cocktails for Taj Chia Kutir Resort and Spa at Makaibari. The idea is to make use of locally available plants to enable visitors get not just the unique feel of our place, but also its tastes,” Lama said.
The Taj Chia Kutir Resort and Spa, which started operations in December last year, is located amid tea bushes, a short distance from Kurseong.
The locale of the resort with lush green forest and cascading water of the Rakti Khola, almost like a giant waterfall, on the hill otherside is a sight for sore eyes.
Drink connoisseurs among the tourists visiting the hills can stop by at the resort, which is off Pakhabari Road, about 30km from Siliguri, and enjoy Kharsang ko Sero Phero (Kurseong’s surroundings).
But Kharsang ko Sero Phero is also a drink. It’s actually is a cocktail of timbur-infused gin made by Lama.
There are also Rato Piro Rakshi, a mix of the famous dalle and vodka, and Lali Gurans Hi Ball, a concoction of any light spirit and rhododendron nectar, among others.
“I am really excited about these cocktails, and hope people will love them. I do make use of flavours from the hills in my bars in Delhi, but I am doing this for the first time here,” said the Gayabari-born and Delhi-based Lama, who was recently featured among the 100 best bartenders of 2021 in the Drinks International magazine.