We are quite a metropolitan world right now, where country and colour lines are bridged every day for good! Food-wise India has always been very experimental. And we have embraced a new vegetable or fruit pretty whole heartedly! A bit of this has to be attributed to the fact that India has such a fertile soil and varied seasons all around the country that makes it easier for it to grow any vilayti stuff. While some of it has to be attributed to the fact that Indians just love to travel around the world, trying to maintain a bit of each country in our lives. We are a nation of foodies that leads a warm and beautiful welcome to everything from any land under the sun.
And in this endeavour, Sofitel Hotel opened its arm to welcome Zespri, New-Zealand based horticultural company, which is importing 2 different kinds of kiwi in India right now. A golden, sweeter variety and another tart green variety that we can find everywhere easily. Kiwi is a fruit of great value. Lots of nutrients, lots of fibres, lots of a lot of good things and when the chefs got their minds to it, they created a whole menu around it to celebrate this unique fruit in the Mumbai monsoon!
Though I did taste many bruschetta, salads and sandwiches made with kiwi at the tasting, but I believe this majestic fruit can be eaten in just 2 ways. Straight out of the peel, raw and refreshing! Or transformed into an even more amazing cocktail and had. Salads and sandwiches could be made with numerous other local products. Kiwis are premier fruits; and they have to be treated like so. The much fancier names like Lamb Sous Vide might have justified cooking with Kiwi, but as I didn’t taste it, I don’t know about it. A cocktail somehow is the best way to have this fruit. Trust me, it just takes your lovely drink to another level all together; and yet so easy and fast to make!
So this is what I made back home. A slight variation to what I had up there in the hotel, for the simple reason that I wanted to make kiwi the hero of my cocktail (and a lesser known reason would be the unavailability of mint in my house, LOL!!). But whichever way, the majestic kiwi added a wonderful twist to my refreshing monsoon drink!
60 ml kiwi pulp (fresh kiwi blended without water or sugar)
1 tsp brown sugar
A couple drops of lemon juice and grated peel
Rock salt and Aamchur (dry mango) Powder, to rim the glass
45 ml white rum
Plain Soda to top it off
Pound together the lemon and brown sugar in mortar and pestle. Chuck it all in a shaker with ice.
Put vodka and kiwi pulp and shake vigorously. Empty it in a high ball rimmed glass, or as in my case, 2 small cocktail glasses. Top it with soda and ice. Serve immediately.
Now I didn't add ice in my glass and made 2 small cocktails out of one shake. This is because the wind in my house is chilling us to the core, and ice could be avoided to dilute my drinks.
Making smaller portions actually takes care of keeping the drink chilled till the last sip of yours. The rim of aamchur powder and rock salt added another flavour profile altogether.
This was highly addictive, and I made this drink thrice before calling it a night. Rum and kiwi is a match made in heaven.