September 20, 2014
Cocktail Magic at Mamagoto
By Aisha Bhattacharaya
A warm September evening, good company, food and innovative cocktails in glasses crammed with ice cubes. That’s when you realise that life is good. This was the scene last evening at Mamagoto in Khan Market.
As a brand that is associated with fantastic food and has been around for 4 years already, it is safe to say that Mamagoto is here to stay and has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. They are well known for the wide spread of Asian food that is always cooked to perfection and maintains a consistency of standard. To add to this they are now experimenting with various new cocktails. I was lucky enough to get an invite for a Bloggers meet to try out their exciting new cocktails and give feedback.
There are 5 new cocktails on the menu:
1. Mama Gymkhana (359): honey, fresh ginger, hazelnut essence and orange juice mixed with blended scotch (Black & White)
2. The Botanist (399): Gin (Tanqueray), light coriander, muddled cucumber with sugar and lime
3. Oriental Pop (359): basil leaves muddled and balanced with white chocolate syrup, white rum (Bacardi), sugar and lime
4. Ohjay (359): cinnamon essence, spiced rum (Captain Morgan’s), orange juice, orange chunks and lime
5. Passion fruit mojito (359): the classic Cuban cocktail of mint, lime chunks, sugar and white rum (Bacardi) gets a nice tropical twist with some passion fruit puree
The first drink I tried was the Ohjay – the idea of Captain Morgan’s spiced rum with orange and cinnamon was rather exciting. The drink is visually appealing and was served in an Old Fashioned glass on ice and was garnished with a lovely orange spiral. Initially, I couldn’t get a strong enough flavour of the spiced rum and the orange juice was overpowering mostly because of its typical Real packet juice flavour. I felt the rum travel down my oesophagus and leave its distinct burning trail but other than that it didn’t pack a punch. The marketing manager for Azure hospitality, Priyanka Shangari was present at the event and came over to me and asked me what I felt. I told her and she called the bartender and asked him what could be done to make the drink more suitable for me. He asked me why I didn’t like it and I told him I prefer the taste of fresh OJ over tetra-pack OJ. He offered to remake the drink with fresh orange juice and I agreed. The fresh orange juice version of Ohjay was absolutely delicious! The fresh orange juice enhanced the cinnamon flavour which in turn added to the spicy flavours of the rum. This version hit all the right spots.
The second drink was the Mama Gymkhana – I was very interested to see how hazelnut would pair with honey, ginger and blended scotch. First off, visually similar looking to the Ohjay in terms of the glass and colour but on closer inspection you see the ginger slices on top. This drink is well blended and extremely smooth. If I didn’t know there was supposed to be hazelnut I wouldn’t guess off-hand that there was any. One of the other bloggers got his drink changed and said it was better with more hazelnut and less honey. I liked it anyway. It’s a brilliant drink and would go down well with men and women even though most people think women don’t drink scotch.
Next we tried the Oriental Pop – here again some interesting combinations of basil leaves and white chocolate syrup. I tried some of the syrup separately and it was pretty good. Visually the drink looks like Limca with basil leaves. The taste is interesting. A little sweet for me and the Bacardi has a strong hit. But an innovative concoction deserves credit and they’ve managed to pull it off.
The Botanist was being served to someone else and it looked good. Similar to the Oriental Pop in terms of colour but the clear distinction of the coriander leaves was there. So, I asked if I could try some and a sip was had. Not much was clear in that one sip. A very light flavour that is quite neutral. Maybe more could be done to the drink in terms of giving it that extra punch but I’m not so sure. I didn’t have enough to judge it in a real sense.
Last but definitely not the least was the Passion Fruit Mojito – unlike any other mojito you’ve ever had. The first mix they gave me was sharp, sour and the Bacardi was overpowering. The passion fruit and lime accentuated all the sour notes of the drink and the Bacardi being particularly strong just made it very hard to drink. I walked up to Priyanka and asked her if some changes could be made and she kindly agreed. I asked the bartender to go easy on the lime and put a little extra sugar syrup and to add some of the fresh orange juice that had been squeezed for the modified Ohjay. He topped the drink with Soda this time and Wow! The right balance was needed and this went straight to the top as my favourite of the 5 drinks on the new menu.
Mamagoto has been in a constant endeavour to give people a fantastic food experience and that achievement has led to the quiet incorporation of an innovative drinks menu that will give your taste buds a real kick and get the party started for you whenever you want. The new cocktails are tasty, innovative and definitely worth a try. Another thing which should be mentioned is that they are not stingy with the amount of alcohol in their cocktails. You can taste the liquor and you know you’re paying for a worthy drink. Their ability to take feedback and implement it immediately is amazing. Most places say, “It’s made like this here”. But not at Mamagoto, if they can make something better and improve your culinary experience they will. This is not to say that every person who says something is bad just for the sake of it will be accommodated but to say that if you have a genuine problem they will try their best to sort it out for you.