Tipple Tales : HOME Delhi — A place like no other

“The earth has music for those who listen. Where flowers bloom, so does hope,” says one of the cocktails on the menu of HOME Delhi. A deep meaning behind a simple drink made using hibiscus and pink guava distillate, winter spice and bubbles. The reinvented ‘members club’ HOME now represents a blend of art, hospitality and entertainment in all its forms and is becoming Delhi’s quintessential home away from home. 
A members'-only bar, home in delhi is a cut above.
A members’-only bar, HOME in Delhi is a cut above.

The success of HOME’s experiential menu is built on funky flavours derived from fermented drinks and a story concocting solar energy. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? My first experience with such cocktails was in Taipei in 2018, one of Asia’s most promising hubs driving trends in the bar scene. Taipei has world-class drinks served in unimagined forms in its sleek, swanky or speakeasy bars, as bartenders constantly push the boundaries of their craft. Three years and a pandemic later, Indian bars are now experimenting with the same creative cocktail-making techniques. 

Fermentation and distillation are key to the production of any style of alcohol. However, using the same techniques in cocktail making is a recent phenomenon. It began with bartenders using homemade wine and vinegar to kefir and koji to create distinctive drinks for their customers. So much so that even Kombucha — a fermented tea drink touted as the best probiotic due to the lactic-acid bacteria in it — is considered a good ingredient for these next-gen cocktails.    

Santanu Chanda, Group Beverage Manager, HOME shares, “All the drinks at our bar are inspired by the energy of solar power. In our garnishes we use unique flavours of fermented fruits and vegetables.” 

The drinks at home are inspired by the solar system and fermentation.
The drinks at HOME are inspired by the solar system and fermentation.

Bars in Hong Kong, Europe and the USA have been making fermented cocktails for a while now, so besides the menu what makes HOME so special? 

Chanda adds, “From layers upon layers we aimed to create an atmosphere that exudes an innate and genuine sense of depth and timelessness where every single detail is carefully handpicked and results in a narrative that captures the essence of HOME. A place like no other.

“Nestled in the heart of South Delhi, HOME caters to the discerning bon vivant, the world travelled connoisseurs of all the good things in life. We share a distinct taste for understated luxury and seek the electric comfort of a bespoke haven of peace to stimulate the appetite and senses. It is a members club but as a cocktail bar.”

Chanda comes with years of experience working in one of Dubai’s best bars and feels that one cannot predict a trend, but can create one. “The beverage trend of UK, USA or Europe is different from India due to multiple circumstances, such as selection of spirits and laws, etc, but I see theme cocktails and theme menus are definitely a thing to watch for in coming days in bar across India,” he adds.

The team at home sure likes having fun with their drinks.
The team at HOME sure likes having fun with their drinks.

The Fermentation & Solar System menu may be an idea borrowed internationally, but it is well received by consumers as well as beverage connoisseurs in India, according to Chanda. “Each of our guests has been appreciating the creativity, technique and experimentation behind every delicious cocktail.”

All the cocktails on the menu are priced between Rs 800 to Rs 900 and may cater to a select set of cocktail drinkers in Delhi. However, Chanda believes that each and every spirit (whether it’s in-house made or a brand) used in these cocktails gives a different dimension to the menu. This is about how customers better understand that and how the bar team uses them with their creativity and brings innovation to the table.

Another subject that’s spoken about more often in the cocktail industry these days is sustainability and the use of locally sourced ingredients. HOME has been emphasising it through its bar programme with thoughtfulness and creativity by implementing each and every small detail to make things sustainable. Chanda says, “Sourcing local ingredients is a best practices every bar must have. It not only contributes to the ecosystem, but also helps in serving a great product to customers.” 

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He is proud of what his team has achieved in such a short span of time and it’s especially evident when he talks about his personal creation G2V. A cocktail inspired by the Sun, the star which is the source of energy for life. “Solar power is the last source of energy that isn’t owned or taxed yet. G2V is an amalgamation of flavours of Burnt Banana Butter Bourbon Distillate, Cactus Bee pollen tincture and lacto pear, elements derived from nature.”

The interiors at home have a very exclusive feel.
The interiors at HOME have a very exclusive feel.

This all sounds great, however, the process of fermentation comes with its own set of challenges such as maintaining consistency, balancing off notes, etc which is now addressed by the newly released book The Noma Guide to Fermentation by David Zilber and Rene Redzepi, which Chanda believes will be of great help for the bar industry to drive this trend further. 

Many other bars and independent bartenders in India are working on these concepts on a smaller or larger scale, but for now, HOME’s vision as a bespoke luxury and authentic drinks destination seems unparalleled. It is truly a place like no other, a HOME away from home.

Rojita tiwari drinks columnist 1
Rojita Tiwari is the Founder and Director of Drinks & Destinations, a drinks event and consulting firm. She is an award-winning drinks writer, educator, trainer & consultant and also a juror at several international wine, spirits & cocktail competitions. She is a Senior Specialist at International Drinks Specialist, UK and co-founder of Agents Of Cheer & Story In A Bottle, India’s foremost curated drinks events. Her Instagram handle is @rojitatiwari.

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