15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer

A cocktail can add a vibrant and flavourful edge when it comes to drinking. Here are 15 Indian cocktails to make for the summer.

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer f

It is a refreshing Indian cocktail

When it comes to drinks for the summer, cocktails are the go-to, specifically Indian cocktails.

India is known for bold flavours and these are prevalent in the cuisine.

However, not many realise that these exotic flavours can be used to create some of the most wonderful cocktails.

These flavours can provide an Indian twist to some well-known cocktails or they can create completely original ones.

The arrival of summer also means that cocktails are more popular at this time of year.

So with that in mind, here are 15 Indian cocktails to make this summer.

Watermelon Mojito

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer - watermelon

Watermelon Mojito is a cool spin on the Cuban classic.

The sweetness of the watermelon provides a nice balance to the sourness of the lime, also providing a little extra body and fruity fullness to the drink.

It is a refreshing Indian cocktail that is a perfect drink to have while sitting on the patio.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces rum
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 3½ ounces watermelon, cut into small cubes

Method

  1. In a cocktail shaker, mix together the watermelon and mint.
  2. Add the rum, lime juice and simple syrup. Add ice and shake well.
  3. Without straining, pour into a double rocks glass.

Tamarind Margarita

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer - t marg

The Tamarind Margarita is an Indian cocktail that has a beautiful balance of flavours.

It offers subtle bitterness, sweetness and sourness, finished with a hint of saltiness from the rim of the glass.

The variety of flavours in just one glass makes for a great summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces tequila
  • 1 ounce triple sec
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 0.4 ounces orange juice
  • 0.4 ounces simple syrup
  • 0.2 ounces tamarind paste

Method

  1. In a shaker, combine the tamarind paste with tequila and triple sec until it has fully dissolved.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients. Shake well and pour into a salt-rimmed double rocks glass over ice.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Jaisalmer Negroni

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer - negroni

While Negroni is an Italian cocktail, the inclusion of Jaisalmer craft gin adds an Indian twist.

It is traditionally stirred and the use of vermouth and Campari add mellow herbal and bittersweet flavours.

Ingredients

  • 25ml Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
  • 25ml sweet vermouth
  • 25ml Campari

Method

  1. In a rocks glass, stir all the ingredients over ice for approximately 20 seconds until chilled.
  2. Top with more ice and garnish with an orange peel twist.

Black Buck G & Tea

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer - buck

This Indian-inspired cocktail contains Darjeeling green tea. West Bengal’s district of Darjeeling is known for its tea.

It is combined with the tart flavours of lemongrass and lemon while the syrup offers some sweetness.

This pale yellow cocktail is ideal for sipping during the heat.

Ingredients

  • 50ml Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
  • 100ml Darjeeling green tea
  • 15ml lemongrass syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • A pinch of matcha green tea powder
  • Ice

Method

  1. To make the lemongrass syrup, add 500 grams of sugar to 500 millilitres of water and add two sticks of lemongrass to infuse.
  2. Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in the gin.
  3. Add freshly brewed cold green tea and lemon juice.
  4. Top with the lemongrass syrup and a pinch of matcha green tea powder.
  5. Stir gently and serve.

Cucumber Cooler

15 Indian Cocktails to Make for the Summer - cucumber

The Cucumber Cooler is ideal for the summer as the natural coolness of the cucumber provides a refreshing taste.

The addition of coriander and chillies add an intriguing depth of flavour without overpowering the drink.

When it comes to the type of gin, use something which has a fuller texture to carry the range of flavours.

Ingredients

  • 2 half-inch slices of cucumber
  • 8 Coriander leaves
  • 2 slices of green chilli
  • 1¾ ounce gin
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup

Method

  1. Mix the cucumber, coriander and chilli into a cocktail shaker. Shake until the ingredients have fully incorporated with one another.
  2. Add the gin, lime and syrup. Shake well.
  3. Strain into a glass that is half-filled with ice. Garnish with cucumber slices.

Peppertini

gin

Peppertini typically contains vodka and dry vermouth but this version is made with gin.

The inclusion of pink peppercorn syrup adds strong aromas of pine and citrus while the syrup adds some sweetness.

It is topped with pink grapefruit juice for a sweet and summery cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 50ml Jaisalmer Indian Craft Gin
  • 20ml pink peppercorn syrup
  • 20ml lemon juice
  • 40ml pink grapefruit juice

Method

  1. To make the peppercorn syrup, add crushed pink peppercorns to a simple sugar syrup and allow to infuse.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, peppercorn syrup, lemon juice and pink grapefruit juice.
  3. Thoroughly shake then double strain into a pre-chilled coupe glass.

Dirty Mango Lassi

15 to Make for the Summer - lassi

This Indian cocktail is an alcoholic twist on the classic mango lassi.

The yoghurt drink is refreshing and has sweetness coming from the mangoes, however, the rum provides an added kick.

This is one for the grown-ups and makes for a great cocktail to share with friends.

Ingredients

  • 1 Mango, peeled and chopped
  • 4 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • A handful of ice cubes
  • A generous shot of dark rum
  • A sprinkle of cardamom powder

Method

  1. In a blender, add the yoghurt, mango, sugar, ice and rum. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into a tumbler and garnish with some cardamom powder.

This recipe was inspired by Hari Ghotra.

Red Snapper

15 to Make for the Summer - snapper

This is effectively a Bloody Mary cocktail, but with gin instead of vodka.

Nevertheless, it still offers the same spicy kick but with subtle smells of juniper.

It is warming, spicy and really enjoyable to drink.

Ingredients

  • Tomato juice (as needed)
  • 50ml gin
  • 4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 3-6 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • A sprinkle of garam masala
  • Ice
  • 1 Celery stick, to garnish

Method

  1. Place the ice into a large tumbler.
  2. Add the lemon juice, salt, black pepper, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and gin.
  3. Mix well then top up with tomato juice. Garnish with the celery stick and sprinkle over some garam masala. Serve immediately.

This recipe was inspired by Hari Ghotra.

The Everest

15 to Make for the Summer - everest

The Everest combines unexpected flavours but they work well together.

It uses coconut and curry powder, two popular ingredients within Indian cuisine.

The combination of ingredients with gin makes for a drink to have while in the sun.

Ingredients

  • ¾ tsp curry powder
  • 1 ounce cream of coconut
  • 2½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce lemon juice
  • 1 Bay Leaf

Method

  1. In a shaker, mix together the curry powder and cream of coconut until it becomes a paste.
  2. Add ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass.
  3. Garnish with the bay leaf and optionally, more curry powder.

This recipe was inspired by Serious Eats.

Tamarind Martini

15 to Make for the Summer - martini

This Tamarind Martini has a nice mix of sweetness and tang.

The chilli rimmed glass provides a kick of heat which is a nice surprise.

When it comes to making this Indian cocktail, use tamarind concentrate and high-quality vodka to ensure a well-balanced drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce tamarind concentrate
  • 4 ounces cold water
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 6 tbsp chilli powder-sugar mixture
  • 1 Lime, cut into wedges
  • Ice

Method

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the tamarind concentrate, water, vodka and ice. Shake until all the ingredients have fully mixed together.
  2. Use a lime wedge to rim a martini glass. Dip the glass into the chilli powder-sugar mix until the rim is coated.
  3. Pour in the cocktail and enjoy.

This recipe was inspired by Food 52.

Nimbu Pani Julep

15 to Make for the Summer - pani

Nimbu Pani Julep is a taste of summer as the cool citrus flavours blend well with the subtle tartness.

It is a cross between a margarita and a mint julep.

The refreshing ingredients complement one another and this drink is a great way to usher in the summer.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
  • Seltzer water (as needed)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ tsp black Indian rock salt
  • ½ bunch of mint leaves (have more for garnishing)
  • 2 Limes
  • Crushed ice

Method

  1. In a small saucepan, combine water with the sugar, black salt and mint. Heat until the sugar and salt dissolve into a syrup.
  2. Strain the syrup and refrigerate. Discard the mint leaves.
  3. In a pitcher, squeeze the limes and add the chilled syrup. Mix together.
  4. Crush a few mint leaves at the bottom of an eight-ounce mint julep cup until it becomes a paste. Fill halfway with ice.
  5. Add two ounces of the syrup mixture and the bourbon. Top with seltzer and stir well.
  6. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve.

Chai White Russian

15 to Make for the Summer - white russian

White Russian is made with vodka, coffee liqueur and cream.

This Indian version is made with chai. Not only does it have the same flavours as the original cocktail but the chai adds an added depth of spice.

It is a creamy yet spicy cocktail that tastes great.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce chai tea
  • 3 ounces cream
  • Ice
  • 1 Cinnamon stick (to garnish)

Method

  1. In a large cup, pour boiling water over the teabags. Let it brew for five minutes before removing the teabags, squeezing out any excess tea and discarding.
  2. Refrigerate the tea for at least 30 minutes.
  3. In an Old Fashioned glass, add the ice then pour in the vodka, chai and cream. Stir gently, garnish with a cinnamon stick and enjoy.

This recipe was inspired by Bella Online.

Jamuntini

15 to Make for the Summer - jamun

This martini comes with a sweet and sour taste thanks to the addition of jamun.

It has a vibrant purple colour and is an explosion of fruity yumminess in your mouth.

The fruity flavour and bright colour make for a delicious summer drink.

Ingredients

  • 60ml dry gin
  • 5-6 jamun
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • Ice
  • Salt, for the glass rim

Method

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the jamuns. Add the gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and top with ice.
  2. Shake well then double strain into a chilled salt-rimmed cocktail glass. Serve immediately.

This recipe was adapted from Firstpost.

Corrito

15 to Make for the Summer - corrito

This is a simple Indian cocktail that combines white rum with India’s favourite drink, Thumbs Up.

The addition of chaat masala, Tabasco sauce and coriander leaves spices things up.

A Corrito has all the right Desi flavours to make it a must-serve at parties.

Ingredients

  • 45ml white rum
  • 3-5 Sprigs coriander leaves
  • 3-4 Lime wedges
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • 2-3 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • A pinch of chaat masala
  • Thumbs Up (as needed)
  • Ice

Method

  1. In a glass, squeeze the lime juice and crush the coriander leaves.
  2. Add the rum, ice, chaat masala, sugar syrup and Tabasco. Mix well.
  3. Top up with Thumbs Up and serve.

Rum Panna

15 to Make for the Summer - panna

Aam Panna is a classic Indian drink that is made from unripe green mangoes.

It has a tangy, sweet taste with hints of cardamom, cumin and black salt.

To jazz this drink up, add a dash of white rum and you’ve got yourself a chilled Indian cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1 Raw mango (sour)
  • Black salt
  • Salt
  • Cardamom powder
  • Black pepper powder
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Sugar
  • A dash of white rum

Method

  1. Boil the mango until it is very soft. Allow to cool before peeling. Mash and strain the pulp.
  2. Add the spices, salt and sugar along with water and stir until combined.
  3. Top with white rum and stir again.
  4. Garnish with mint and refrigerate before serving.

These 15 Indian cocktails contain a variety of ingredients, meaning that there is something for everyone, especially when it comes to choice of alcohol.

With so many flavourful fruits and spirits to choose from, spice up the summer with a refreshing Indian cocktail!

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”