Cordials, cocktails, and Christmas are in harmonious tandem at Perch

You may have heard this repeatedly, but at Perch, they really have managed to take the spirit of Christmas and make delicious cocktails out of it

One chat with Perch’s Bar Supervisor Dhruv Sachdeva will tell you everything you can expect from the concoctions slated for Christmas. Keeping even the most minute of details in mind, the team has curated a menu that caters to a wide palate whilst still offering something new. 

It helps to have the person mixing your drink know exactly what he’s talking about. Every step, every movement is tweaked to achieve maximum ergonomic benefit. Amidst sipping a wide array of plum and pudding cordials, orange wine, and other experimental offerings at the bar, Dhruv takes me through the hitherto mysterious world of mixology. 

For starters, I’m told that mixologist and bartender could honestly be used interchangeably. While that may not be accurate to the T, a little forgiveness is called for this Christmas. Especially with the promise of delicious cocktails looming. 

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Speaking of which, Perch now has 4 stunning Christmas cocktails available for a limited period of time. Named Mrs. Claus’ Secret Stash, Naughty Snowman, Celebrations Special, and Rudolf’s Red Goblet, the drinks are every bit as exciting as they sound. They’re also sure to leave you a little red-nosed yourself, but it’s all in good spirits (pun intended)!

When questioned on the amount of time taken to conceptualize and create the menu, Dhruv stresses on the importance of practice making things easier over time. Which makes sense, seeing as he’s able to make recommendations based on his understanding of your palate quite easily, a skill that can only be mastered through trial and error. 

The festive celebrations' special is a cocktail perfect for the humid mumbai christmas
The festive Celebrations’ Special is a cocktail perfect for the humid Mumbai Christmas

Apart from this, he’s also careful to take into account the concept of the restaurant itself. What was perhaps most surprising was his mention of factoring in climatic conditions. 

“We’re in Mumbai right now, it’s Christmas, but it’s still quite humid. So the drink should also be such that it makes sense,” he says matter of factly. 

It’s a motto he applies to a lot of aspects of mixing cocktails, focusing greatly on the rationale. With Mrs. Claus’ Secret Stash, for instance, he highlights the difference a bartender’s choice of glass can make to the taste of the drink. Served in a short glass with a hand carved stamped ice, it is designed to melt over time due to body heat, ergo making the drink smoother to consume. 

For Rudolf’s Red Goblet however, a stem glass would suffice. This allows for a more chilled drinking experience and truly brings out the flavours of the cocktail. Incidentally, a bar’s choice of ice procurement and creation also plays a massive role in the cocktail’s taste. As Dhruv demonstrates with different spirits, a cold and room temperature version of the same drink could taste vastly different. 

Even in the case of wine, a popular drink around Christmas and winter festivities, it’s key to store the product at the temperature it was originally made at for maximum preservation. 

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The naughty snowman is a refreshing christmas cocktail, perfect for sipping at parties
The Naughty Snowman is a refreshing Christmas cocktail, perfect for sipping at parties

You know your Christmas cocktails are in good hands when the bar itself is designed to ensure everything is easily accessible. A one-step bar with spinners for hygiene is the apex haven for mixology, as I learnt. 

Despite boasting intricate processes for the creation of the ingredients itself, the cocktails are deceptively approachable and undeniably Christmas. From its festive appearance to familiar warm flavours, you can’t help but settle into the chairs at Perch with a cool cocktail in hand. It helps to have the clean contemporary aesthetic at the restaurant as well, painting a perfect evening picture. 

All semantics of cocktail making aside, what inspired Dhruv to go the extra mile and create these cocktails? Unsurprisingly, it’s the mantra of things making sense that makes an appearance again. For Dhruv, it’s all about keeping things as close to the Christmas spirit as possible.

He adds, “Keep it cozy and of course, tasty. The cocktail should be approachable and make sense to both the bartender who is making it as well as the customer drinking it.” 

Mrs. Claus' secret stash is a perfect christmas cocktail, inspired by the flavours of pudding cordial made from leftover traditional pudding
Mrs. Claus’ Secret Stash is a perfect Christmas cocktail, inspired by the flavours of pudding cordial made from leftover traditional pudding

Given the fast-evolving cocktail culture across India, there’s plenty of aromatic bitters, exquisite liqueurs, and a lot of information now available. For now, you can kickstart your mixology journey with these Christmas cocktails from Perch! 

Mrs. Claus’ Secret Stash 

Ingredients

  • 45 ml cognac
  • 15 ml pudding cordial  
  • 2 dashes bitters 
  • A sprig of thyme for garnish

Method – Stirred

Glassware – Old Fashioned 

Naughty Snowman

Ingredients

  • 45 ml cognac
  • 30 ml fresh grapefruit juice
  • 15 ml Italian bittersweet orange liqueur 
  • 20 ml fresh red plum juice

Method – shaken

Glassware – Cocktail Glass (Stem)

Celebrations Special

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Amaro
  • 15 ml gin
  • 15 ml citrus
  • 15 ml sugar syrup 
  • Sparkling wine, to top up
  • Lemon Slice, for garnish

Method – Shaken/ Build Up

Glassware- Highball

Rudolf’s Red Goblet 

Ingredients

  • 20 ml Amaro
  • 20 ml Port
  • 20 ml tequila
  • Brandied Cherry, for garnish

Method – Stirred

Glassware – Cocktail Glass (Stem)

Read more. 

Iconic Christmas desserts and dishes