Every great place has its own signature cocktail; Hawaii has the Blue Hawaii, Singapore has the Singapore Sling, Russia has the White Russian, Alabama has the Alabama Slammer, Long Island has the Long Island Ice Tea and Japan has the Kamikaze. But not Bombay. As a long term Mumbai resident and alcohol enthusiast I find this absolutely unacceptable. The rational thing to do is just drink away the rage and shame, but I’m not a rational person. If I’m to destroy my body, mind and soul I should at least have the option of doing it with a cocktail that’s named after my place of birth. Because I’m a patriot. So I’ve taken it upon myself to create a few cocktails that I think best summarise the Bombay experience, or at least the more positive aspects of the Bombay experience all of which you can make at home for cheap, because being cheap is the most Mumbaikar of all virtues.
1) The Mango Dolly:
Mango Frooti (120ml), Vanilla Ice Cream (one scoop) and White Mischief Vodka (30ml).
If there’s one thing that all 90s kids from Mumbai can universally relate to (apart from being beaten with Apsara branded wooden rulers) it’s enjoying a nice cold Frooti after a tiring day finger painting at school. The ice cream greatly sweetens the Frooti but the White Mischief Vodka which tastes like a hand sanitiser that huffed lead paint is able to bring it back to more palatable and actually delicious levels.
You first start by pouring cold Frooti into a glass, then adding the vodka and stirring them. Give it a minute to mix and then add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Let the ice cream melt just a tiny bit the final product will be exactly like a melted Mango Dolly, but strong enough to tranquilise any fifteen year old while simultaneously giving him a hear attack from the sugar rush.
2) The Chaiwala:
Cutting Chai (1 serving), Blue Ridband Gin (20 ml), three pudina leaves and half a lemon.
Cutting Chai is as much a fixture of Mumbai life as the monsoon, the trains and Salman Khan Controversies. There’s nothing like sipping a hot chai on a rainy monsoon day and watching the flood levels rise. Now imagine that scenario, but the chai gets you drunk.
You first start by making some hot chai, a regular serving is roughly 160ml, pour the hot chai into a glass then add the gin. Sprinkle the pudina onto the mixture and give it a minute to settle, this should also allow the chai to cool down and not completely burn you when you down it. Now squeeze the lemon into the drink and you will have created something beautiful. This tasted weird as shit, so you should only try making it if you really love tea, and really hate yourself.
I was kidding about downing the hot chai like a shot. Please don’t do that.
3) The Hostelite:
Kingfisher Premium Beer (1 pint), Sprite (450ml), Old Monk Rum (180ml), Royal Stag Whiskey (60ml).
If you’re in your 20s and are living in Mumbai, there’s a good chance that you are or know someone who is a hostelite. ‘Hostelite’ is a made up word unique to Mumbai and means a person who lives in a hostel. The hostel experience is both endearing and sickening, which is why the Hostelite cocktail is a bit of both.
First you take the Royal Stag and pour it down the toilet. Royal Stag is disgusting. For the rest of the cocktail you’ll need a 1 litre bottle, we used Aquafina. First pour all the Old Monk into the bottle followed by the Kingfisher pint. Let the two mix and then top it up with Sprite. The Hostelite is best enjoyed straight out of the bottle with a friend on your hostel room floor.