Can you name any bar that gives you a good cocktail in under ₹500? On that happy note, Rakesh Sheth — founder, &Stirred — and I get to discussing cocktails offered by various bars, and why making cocktails at home is an easier option.
“Most people I know love drinking cocktails, but somehow they usually end up not drinking them. The reason inevitably boils down to either not knowing how to make the drinks or considering it too much of an effort,” opines Rakesh.“And if I invite friends or family home, I spend more time mixing drinks than I do catching up with them.” That’s when he hit upon an idea to make cocktails at home for the uninitiated and the enthusiasts.
Currently, there are two ways to mix a cocktail at home: tetra pack juice and carbonated soda. Both are options born out of convenience, comfort and simplicity. But with &Stirred’s pre-mixed cocktail mixes to accompany a decent pour, the hassle of concocting a drink is out. Rakesh doesn’t propose to bring a radical change in our ritual of drinking, just the way we pour our drink.
So he has stuck to the classics: &Stirred features four variants — margarita, cosmopolitan, mojito and bloody mary.
We managed to get our hands on the pre-mixes and chilled our glass in anticipation. They came packaged in cheerful colours like blood red, pink, green and lemony yellow, representing the four flavours. They were a little too sweet for our palate, mixed with water or alcohol. But for an impromptu house party, they should do the trick.
Especially since, to make a decent bloody mary at home, one would otherwise need tomato juice, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice, sugar, rock salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper…
When we ask Rakesh about his preferred drink among the four, he chuckles, before answering, “I prefer a margarita. The tequila content in the drink, coupled with the mix we have, makes for a real smooth and potent drink.”
As of now, &Stirred ships via their website and Amazon; they have a strong presence in Delhi, Gurugram, NCR and recently tied up with Dorabjee’s, so you can spot them in Mumbai and Pune.
In Bengaluru, Metro Cash & Carry carries it. “Hopefully, you shall see us in Chennai stores in the next two years,” he signs off.