In the season of the king of fruits, here is Mango Rita for you
There is only one reason why I like Delhi summer; it is the profusion of mangoes of all shapes and sizes heaped all over the city. Ripe, raw, cut, juiced, pulped, name it and you can have it the way you want this super fruit. My favourite version as a kid was my mother's signature mango cake, pulped and mixed with the flour dough. With age, I have, however, discovered the versatility of mango as per my convenience, and many summers ago, there popped an evening with friends on a barsaati when a few pulped mangoes got muddled up with mango juice spiked with generous amounts of vodka.
That memory gets a nudge when I see a young and jovial Nikesh Lamba, beverage manager at WelcomHotel Sheraton New Delhi, trying to whip up for me a cocktail, Mango Rita, at the bar of the Pan Asian restaurant. In a blender, he drops loads of ice cubes and fresh mint leaves before pouring mango pulp measured to make one drink. He then adds about 90 ml of Cachaca, the popular Brazilian white rum. “We need to pour more than the usual amount because this is the only alcohol content,” says Nikesh. The concoction is then blended for about three-four minutes, to crush the ice to pulp. “This will give body to the drink,” he adds helpfully.
In a cocktail glass, the mixture is then poured out; a slice of fresh mango in turtle-back cut is thrust on one side of the glass with a sprig of mint as garnish.
The drink turns out to be super. It is a grand blend of two summer greats — mango and mint, and you savour every sip of it. Since no extra sugar has been added, its sweetness is natural and doesn't overpower the drink at all. To me it looks like a version of the Batida mango cocktail made with the same rum and yet, minus the lemon juice and sugar of Batida, Nikesh surely has come up with an excellent adaptation. The drink is soon to be made a part of the hotel's cocktail list, he says. Though he has termed it a ladies' drink, a few men sipping it on a summer evening won't look that odd for sure.
Keywords: mango cocktail