Attention ladies and hubbies! Whether you’re a hardworking homemaker who wipes up a neat meal plan for your tribe or a proficient executive assembling law and order at workforce, a break with your significant other is never undesirable. Tried and tested, here’s what a couple should do to take a break – just check into Vivanta by Taj – Dwarka, and go straight to Tipple, the hotel’s very own pleasantly scented lounge bar. Don’t wait for Christmas, literally.
“I leave it in your good hands to serve the best you think you can”, I said to Varun Sharma who reigns amongst the top 5 bartenders in Diageo World Class and has annexed the position of 2nd best mixologist in Corralejo. Within three minutes of having said that, I was served a welcome drink, refreshing and tangy with wine vinegar and ginger ale and the maker’s choice of spice to garnish it with. Can’t say there was much alcohol in it, because it opened up my senses instead. “You want the real stuff now? Follow me,” said Varun, as he took me to the poolside and demonstrated an impressive alcohol creative process. It’s fairly simple – pick a good merlot such as Cadet d’Oc, use a range of homemade syrups, a dash of homemade wine vinegar, throw in a few bitters and infuse it mildly with whiskey, vodka or cognac. Or, just walk into Tipple and ask Varun for Mulled Wine. Served hot, Mulled Wine is a perfect winter day cocktail that kills the chills and sooths you smooth, especially as it is served hot.
If you think that’s all, think again! Their Gol Gappa shots were quite the thing, it turned out. Normally, one would have misgivings about the puri blowing up into a hostile tang of spirits. However, you can trust the Tipple, for what you get is a mildly refreshing gin and wine based paani that’s oh, so edible and can be consumed without the fear of being inebriated before one hits the lunch table. Oh, and speaking of lunch, I picked Japanese.
Carefully crafted by Chef Mayukh Mandal, the Spicy California Salmon Roll explodes into untold flavours of salmon, wasabi, sticky savours of rice, and the second round of Wasabi Tuna Roll is astonishing as one wouldn’t expect tuna to be so fresh! As the chef explains, they don’t keep the tuna for more than a day and that is maintained at optimum temperature, and the richness in colour and taste is a testament to that. A true lover of Japanese cuisine almost always calls for a platter of tender sashimi, the secret shrouded by dexterity in fish treatment. As the chef puts it, if the treatment is top notch and world class, then you have a succulent sashimi platter before you!
Just when I thought I could call it a day, I was offered a digestive gin drink. I cheerfully named it “Di-gin”. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.
So if you are headed to Tipple, here is our guide that familiarizes you with some terms that will come handy.
PDT- Please Don’t Tell cocktail is precious when you’re bringing kids who don’t think twice before piping, “Oh, my mom was drinking in the day! Is she an alcoholic?” Just walk in, order your drink, and ask them to make it into a PDT. They might turn up with a teapot and teacups with your blessed malt or Vino, and no one has to know!
Balloon effect – Every once in a while, a fragrant cocktail’s key smell notes are stuffed in a balloon. Don’t gasp in alarm if the bartender turns up with balloons even if it’s not your birthday, for he will just pop it for you to be engulfed with the citric aroma of ingredients and spices.
Homemade ice – which means they compress the ice to such an extent that they don’t melt in the cocktail. Finally, chilled cocktails and not diluted!
Stupid Sushi questions – If you choose to sit at the Teppanyaki counter, don’t forget to ask all the stupid questions you may have in mind, for Chef Mayukh is more than willing to divulge in grub tête-à-tête!