• Smoky Mezcal Margarita

    Keeping in line with the spirit at disposal, here is the Cocktail with Mezcal.

    Mezcal is made from Agave Espadin which is the most commonly used agave in mezcal.  Though Mezcal can also be produced from any species of agave from Oaxaca region. Espadin Agave generally takes about 8-12 years to mature.

    So what Blue Agave is to tequilla –  Espadin Agave is to Mezcal!

    The handprint on this bottle of Marca Negra Mezcal Espadin represents the tireless work of the master distillers.  Coming to the tasting notes & aroma profile, it has a fresh aroma of ripe fruit on the nose with spicy, citrus notes on the palate.  Must say it’s iconic smoky identity stands out which comes when the agave hearts, or pinas, are grilled over hot rocks prior to distilling – which imparts a rich smokey flavor. This is what makes this cocktail go one notch up for me


    Mezcal – 60 ml @marcanegramezcal
    Triple Sec – 30 ml
    Fresh Lime Juice – 30 ml
    Honey – 10 ml
    Salt/Sugar/Chilli powder – to rim
    Fresh lime – to garnish & rim

    Preparation Method

    Muddle the granulated sugar & mix it with a little of chilli powder & salt. Cut a notch in the lime and run all around the glass. Tip the glass in the salt, sugar, chilli mix twisting it all around the glass.

    In a shaker, add mezcal, lime juice, honey & triple sec. Shake it with ice. Strain it in the margarita glass. Garnish with lime & enjoy this smoky delicious sip as its blend with sweet, salty & spicy rim.


  • The Twins


    Vodka – 30 ml @magicmomentsvodka
    Gin – 30 ml @bombaysapphire
    Ginger ale – 10 ml
    Lime juice – 10 ml
    Triple sec – 10 ml
    Orange juice – 20 ml
    Rose Wine – 20 ml
    Peychaud’s Bitters – 2 dashes


    Preparation Method
    Combine all except Wine in a shaker & shake it with ice🧊Pour it in a cocktail glass & top it up with Rose Wine. Drop gently two dashes of bitters

  • Tamnavulin – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    The name Tamnavulin is the Gaelic translation of ‘mill on the hill. The distillery located  in the heart of Speyside opened in 1966 in the village of Tomnavoulin, Scotland. It is said to have closed  the doors in 1995 & reopened in 2007 after refurbishment & since then, they have crafted exceptional single malt whisky with a true Speyside character – rich, smooth and mellow.

    Speyside is home to almost over 50% of Scotland’s Malt whisky distilleries. Tamnavulin – Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky a Double Cask Scotch is matured in American oak barrels for a sweet, mellow taste with a rich, smooth Sherry cask finish.

    It is amber gold in colour. On the nose luxurious, aromas of apple, toffee and honey and subtle tangy citrus notes. The palate is fresh and mellow with  pear, peach and pineapple flavours. Smooth and refreshing finish.


    A classic Speyside malt!


  • Hot Toddy

    It’s been a while now I wanted to brew this one. Well, this cocktail can be made with any type of liquor some  honey or sugar, hot coffee or tea or hot water with a dash of  lemon. However, popularly the Hot Toddy recipe consists of bourbon, honey, hot water and lemon.

    It is believed to be a very old drink invented in Scotland in the 1700s. It is said the country’s staple liquor, Scotch, had a harsh smoky flavor that women were not fond of. The Hot Toddy may have been designed as a sweeter-tasting alternative for ladies.

    Hot Toddy, is a popular cold-weather drink and preferably enjoyed at home in a relaxed environment.

    With a little twist, here is my Hot toddy instead of the popular Bourbon, I go the traditional way by having  a Speyside Single  Malt Scotch Whisky ‘Tamnavulin’
    Double Cask finished in sherry butts. This whisky comes with notes of dried orange, ginger and wood spice and sure is perfect match for the mix.

    Hot Toddy

    Whiskey – 50 ml @tamnavulinwhisky
    Orange Juice – 10 ml
    Lemon juice – 10 ml
    Cloves – 2
    Star Anise petal – 2
    Cinnamon stick – 1/2 an inch
    Sugar cubes – 2
    Black Coffee – 100 ml

    Preparation Method

    Add to 100 ml of hot water the cloves, star anise petal, cinnamon stick and let it infuse for 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon of instant Nescafe coffee and sugar cubes & let it rest for 2 minutes. Strain the spiced infused black coffee in a  mug and add to it the whisky, orange and lemon juice. Stir it gently .
    Enjoy this  invigorating drink.


  • Curacao Rum Runner

    Mar 23rd, 2020

    Curacao Rum Runner

    With my outdoor sports running activities coming to a standstill, here is a simple home twist to running passion – A Cocktail Rum Runner keeps you in high spirits 


    Dark Rum – 45 ml  @matusalemrum_global Gran Reserva
    Bols Dry Orange Curaçao – 30 ml
    Reagan’s Orange bitters – 2 dashes
    Orange wedge

    Preparation Method

    Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir gently to chill and mix. Strain in a short tumbler over fresh ice cubes. Garnish with orange wedge.


  • Nordés – Gin & Tonic

    Mar 21st, 2020

    Nordés – Gin & Tonic

    Nordés is a Spanish Gin from the Galicia region on the country’s north west Atlantic coast. It uses several local botanicals & comes with natural aromas and exquisite flavours.

    On the bottle label is world map that highlights the Galician origin of Nordés and the compass, an expressive symbol that connotes  the Atlantic character.
    The base alcoholic drink is the wine distillate that happens to be produced by using a portion of the Galician Albariño grape. To this are added botanicals viz.,sage, laurel, verbena herb, eucalyptus, peppermint, and a type of seaweed called glasswort. All these impart the freshest subtle floral notes and white fruit aromas. The other botanicals such as juniper, ginger, cardamom, hibiscus flower, and black tea contribute subtle secondary notes that balance the final product.

    Thanks @anuj2691 my boy for gifting this Galician
    So the best way to try out this gin is the G&T way
    Nordes Gin – 50 ml
    Tonic water – 200ml
    White grapes – 3 nos.
    Fresh Mint leaves

    Preparation Method
    Add plenty of ice to glass. Add in the Nordes gin & top it up with tonic water. Garnish with three white grapes & a fresh mint sprig. Stir gently and relish

  • The Dalmore – Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky

    Back after a wine tourI was treated by my brother with this classic whisky & what a treat it turned out to be.

    A little background. The distillery was founded in 1839 by Alexander Matheson & is located at Alness, Scotland. The name Dalmore means ‘big meadowland’.
    Simply fell in love with the crest on the bottle. The Dalmore’s iconic crest  has been on every bottle of the Dalmore since 1867. Legend has it that back in 1263, Colin of Kintail, the chief of the Mackenzie  clan saved the Scottish King, Alexander III, from a charging Red Stag who then bestowed on the clan the right to use the 12-point “royal stag” as the clan crest.
    Dalmore 12 yrs is matured for first 9 yrs in ex-bourbon casks and then half is transferred to ex-oloroso sherry casks for the final three years with the other half continues to mature in Oak cask. The result is a whisky with a combination of sweetness and rich sherried influence.
    On the nose lot of sherry, fruitiness, ripe citrusy & orange notes with aromatic spices. No smoke.
    On the palate rich aromatic  spices with a hint of dark chocolate and coffee. The second sip is more intense.
    To finish cinnamon, wood , vanilla & mild orange flavours .



  • Vallonne Vineyards – Nashik

    Vallonne Vineyards – Nashik

    The last stop on wine tour was Vallonne Vineyards. The boutique winery lies on the gentle slopes of the Sahyadri mountain ranges and the Mukhne Lake overlooking the Kavnai Peak, making it an ideal place for vineyards.

    Vineyards on Slope

    With their wine making techniques and state-of-the-art technology their wines include Malbec, Rose, Vin De Passerillage and Anokhee Cabernet Sauvignon which are unique offerings in the Indian wine market.

    Wine Educator Chetan

    Enthusiastic Chetan, their wine executive, with his wonderful  knowledge was the tour guide & expert who then took us through their wine processing production line to their  fascinating barrel ageing cellar where the  temperature is regulated. The filling of nitrogen in bottle to using nitrogen dry ice in the case of white wine at the beginning. Well every bit was useful input during the tour

    Barrel Cellar

    The tasting of the wine was uniquely held & included:
    Vallonne Riesling
    Vallonne Viognier Reserve Collection
    Vallonne Rose Cab Sauvignon
    Vallonne Merlot Reserve
    Vallonne Vin de Passerillage ( Dessert wine)

    The Tasting Line up

    Must say thier limited release Vin de Passerillage ( Dessert wine) which reminded me of the ice wine was a luscious treat. This one is produced in small quantities from the good handpicked grapes, sun-dried to ensure the highest concentration of aromas and sugars. The rich, deep golden wine has a wonderful complex nose nostalgic with hints of honey, vanilla, melons, citrus and apricot which said to pair perfect
    with rich chocolate, fruit tarts, dried fruits, ice creams and cheeses.

    Cheers Chetan

  • Grover Zampa Vineyards – Nashik

    Grover Zampa Vineyards – Nashik

    Was excited & looking forward to  visit this winery which is know for some of its’ finest wines. However, was a bit disappointed as their winery was under revamping.

    With Wine Educator Shushant

    Nonetheless Wine Coñnoisseur & Educator Shushant was gracious to invite us for the tour and tasting.  He was so welcoming and gave us the insight to their wine making process.


    The Vineyards of Tempranillo, Granache, Viognier  and Syrah were so enticing.

    Wine Storage in Concrete Tanks and Maturation in French Oak Barrels

    He talked about the terroir and how it is so conducive to the grape varietals, to pruning process, harvesting, grape selection, pressing technique to preserve the freshness and maintain the softness of the wine, fermentation, filtering, storing in stainless steel & cement tanks imported from Italy, New Oak Barrels aging, bottling & packaging. He talked about Michel Rolland the French Oenologist & Mathias Pellissard Viticultureist who are instrmental in bringing their expertise to their vineyards.

    Barrel Cellar

    The Barrel Cellar to Packaging was perfectly explained.

    Packaging Wine Bottles

    Their collection includes Insignia, Chene, Auriga, Vijay Amritraj, Soiree, La reserve, Art collection depicting paintings by renowned artists on the label, Zampa & more.
    The wine varieties tasted & analysed were:
    Grover Sauvignon Blanc
    Grover Rose
    Grover Cabernet Shiraz
    Grover La Reserve 
    Grover Chenin Blanc

    Tasting Table

    Their La reserve was power packed with delicious black fruits, hint of spice. In the palate dark creamy intense  chocolate, roasted beans, vanilla& soft tannins with a good long finish.

    Had lots of fun & knowledge!
  • Soma Vine Village – Nashik

    Soma Vine Village – Nashik

    The next stop was the Somanda Vineyards. This Soma Vine Village with its lush green vineyards is at the entrance is a treat to the eye.

    Sauvignon Blanc Vineyard

    As we stepped in we were greeted by the smiling Sommelier Bhushan who introduced us and gave the boutique winery’s guided tour

    With Wine Educator Bhushan

    Apart from knowing their processes of making White, Red, Rose we also had the first hand knowledge of their Sparkling wines (method champanoise)

    Riddling process

    The process of making sparkling wines right form bottling the blend of wines, the secondary fermentation by adding little sugar and yeast to each bottle to get a second fermentation started. The bottle is then closed with a crown cap. The Yeast converts the added sugar into alcohol, and since the bottle is capped, the carbob dioxide thst is naturally produced is captured and remains in the wine as bubbles.

    After this secondary fermentation, sparkling bottles have to go through a laborious process called riddling. Over the course of several weeks , the bottles are slowly, gradually turned and lowered until they are upside down. The idea is to get the dead yeast into the neck of the bottle so that it can be removed. When they are ready to go the necks of the bottles are frozen and the crown cap is disgorged with the pressure that has built in the wine which pushes out the frozen yeast deposit. The bottle is topped off with some wine and sometimes sugar also known as dosage before being corked and sealed with ta wire cage.

    Disgorging the crown cap and corking the bottle after adding the dosage

    Finally, it was wine tasting session wherein the wines tasted & analysed were:
    Zinfandel Reserve -13.5%
    Reisling Reserve – 12.5%
    Sauvignon Blanc – Silver – 12.5%
    Chenin Blanc Gold – 12%
    Rose – 12%
    Zinfandel Rose Litchi – A seductive, blush pink wine carefully crafted from the zinfandel grapes. The sweetness is enriched with litchi Honey.

    Wine Tasting Session

    All in all the tour was absolutely amazing.

    Aroma Wheel

    Cheers Soma!

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