With the end of the festive season, the Eggnog has been replaced by the Bonfire. “The name Bonfire immediately reminds you of winter,” says Raj Khan Pathan, bar supervisor of Aer at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, when talking about the season’s most popular cocktail on his menu. This cocktail, poured from a teapot, is fragrant and comforting, he says.
Pathan prefers to make his warm cocktails with dark spirits and has mixed Scotch with Assam tea for Bonfire.
Cheers: Hot buttered rum. Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Deepak Singh Koranga, bartender at Wink, Mumbai, says requests for warm cocktails are at an all-time high now, especially from those who come in with the sniffles.
Concoctions with rum, cognac, brandy, Scotch, vodka, spices and liqueurs make for some exciting options to sip on this winter. Four bar managers give us their signature mixes.
Aer, Four Seasons Hotel, Mumbai
15ml Grand Marnier
A few mint leaves
15ml lime juice
45ml Assam tea
Take a Boston glass, add mint leaves and muddle well. Add Grand Marnier, Scotch, lime juice and honey. Stir well. Add Assam tea, ensure it is hot, stir well again and double-strain in a cognac glass.
Hot Buttered Rum
Dome, InterContinental Marine Drive, Mumbai
60ml dark rum
1 tsp soft butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 stick ground cinnamon
125ml hot water
Place the butter, sugar and cinnamon at the bottom of an Irish coffee glass and mix well. Pour in the rum and hot water, and serve.
Wink, Vivanta by Taj-President, Mumbai
45ml vanilla-flavoured vodka
15ml Grand Marnier
45ml hot chocolate
Mix all the ingredients together and serve in a Martini glass.
Citrus Mulled Wine
Opium Den, Trident, Mumbai
1 bottle red wine
1/2 cup brandy
3 cinnamon sticks
2/3 cup honey
2 tsp ginger, thinly sliced
One peeled and one sliced orange
Cook the ingredients for 25 minutes. Don’t boil the mixture. Strain and serve warm in a wine glass.