There’s a leafy balcony at Pali Hill, Bandra where people gathered despite the heat and also because of it – this weather matches the ‘Mexico’ theme night – talking about tequila and why you shouldn’t shoot it, how worms in bottles are so gimmicky. By now, Monday is a merry mess of mezcal margaritas. And as the night progresses, a totally unrelated, non-Mexican Daniel Craig is being boycotted, because although he’s a good actor, “how can Bond drink Heineken? I mean, really.”
This is the #BombayCocktailClub, a once-a-month casual bar session at someone’s home, fueled by a group of bibulous folk who know and love their drinks. At the head is Tim Judge, Diageo Reserve brand ambassador, bar consultant for hip city spots like The Table, and a certifiable “cocktail geek” (he was wearing a tee that said ‘Tequila Master’ for Mexico night).
How You Can Sign Up
The club started on Twitter – hence the hash tag in its name – and the idea behind it, Tim tells us, is to share the mad world of cocktails with a group that has a keen interest in fine food and alcohol. “I spend a lot of time training bartenders to make better drinks, and the #BombayCocktailClub is encouraging people to demand better drinks. Only with this 360 degree approach can we hope to see rapid, positive change in Mumbai's bar scene,” he says.
The event is free, but by invite only, so the best way to sign up is to follow Tim on Twitter (@gingerbitters) and get in touch for details. There are also a number of bigger events he’s planning around alcohol – we heard whispers of a secret vodka party- so we’d stay close if we were you.
Meanwhile in Mexico
One of us Scouters arrived at abovementioned Pali Hill apartment this past Monday to find two super hosts who’d done all they could to turn their Bandra home into Mexico: sign at the door, finger foods and even a dog named Mr Pickles. The group at this second edition of the #BombayCocktailClub featured a mix of people, mostly repeats from the first event – a photographer, restaurateur, PR executive, model, blogger, bar consultant, lawyer, chef and others.
Tim gathered his super troops - bottles of Tequila Don Julio Blanco and Anejo; Del Maguey Tobala mezcal; family of Ilegal mezcals including Joven, Reposado and Anejo; and agave nectar from Tommy's Mexican Restaurant in San Francisco, the world’s finest tequila bar. We stood at attention, listening to the theory part, and then participating in the practical lessons. The latter included neat tastings and many, many rounds of special margaritas made by several in the group.
You could tell the ones who’d been to #BombayCocktailClub before from those who hadn’t – they spoke of last time’s legendary absinthe-Old Monk shots and made 6 am cycling plans for the next morning, despite all that tequila. This Scouter, the new kid in class, not only met a bunch of fun people but also discovered that her system could be friends with tequila. And for a parting gift, @gingerbitter’s recipe for a Tommy’s Margarita.
Tommy's Margarita (available at The Table, Colaba)
2 parts Tequila Blanco
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice (mix 2 parts lime juice with 1 part water before using as Indian limes are very sour)
1 part agave nectar (mix 2 parts agave with 1 part water to allow for easier mixing)
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
Getting there: #BombayCocktailClub, for details on upcoming events follow @gingerbitters on Twitter, free.
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