The summer sun has started to bear down on the Indian capital, and that means only one thing – it’s time to bring out the summer drinks. In spite of the general perception, milder alcoholic beverages can be a great way to beat the extreme summers of Delhi. I’m usually not a big fan of the non-alcoholic beverages, but then a good mocktail is a rarity. Yauatcha’s bar staff does a fantastic job at both kinds. So how does this promotional menu at Yauatcha score on taste and overall appeal to the patrons? Let’s find out.
Starting with the mocktails, patrons are in for a nutty surprise with the coconut water based drink, na-real. Coconut water, a dash of lime juice, palm sugar, cumin and coriander make an extremely refreshing drink that is low on sweetness, well balanced and easy on the palate in spite of the raw cumin in the muddle. Looks very deceptive with a plain appearance, but offers an excellent twist on the coconut water. Sunny-side Down, another mocktail on the menu, is a bit more acidic with fresh pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, sea salt, lime juice and soda. Looks better, more like a mocktail than the previous drink, but would’ve/could’ve been better with a dash of gin or a vodka with a neutral taste profile. That would be an oxymoron, but such is life.
The cocktails on the menu fare better. We started with Begum, a concoction of gin, drambuie and elderflower. This one is clearly aimed at the ladies, although I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it. The elderflower is very prominent on the nose and the palate, in spite of the gin’s bouquet, and adds a refreshing punch to the drink. Served in a martini glass, and carrying a clear appearance, this drink has a good balance of sweet and bitter elements giving it a long, lingering finish on the palate and nose too.
BBC, a bourbon based cocktail with cointreau, orange bitters, ginger, carrot and orange juice, and brown sugar muddle is another one that found favor with me. The amount of bitters going into the glass was fantastic – it gives the drink an amazing balance. The orange bitters and cointreau make it an excellent pair with Asian flavors on the establishment’s food menu. However, the best on the summer menu was yet to come.
I have not had a dessert cocktail that completely blew me away. That has changed with Yauatcha’s summer drinks menu. Bar staff at Yauatcha nail it with Below 36º, a rum based dessert drink with vanilla pods, sugar, lime, and lemon sorbet. The vanilla pods in the sorbet and then in the muddle give it a very subtle mix of vanilla and lemon that works beautifully on the palate and the nose. The vanilla and lemon sorbet mix also lends a great texture on the palate. With this drink, there’s no need to order a dessert separately, this will do the trick on its own accord.
While Yauatcha tries a mix bag of offering for all palates, the dessert drink, Below 36º takes the cake and eats it too. Definitely worth a try, even if you plan to just go for a quick drink with some friends. The summer drinks menu is on till May 15 and is available at all locations of Yauatcha in India.