As we know it today, the term mixology is one that has evolved tremendously over the last few years from what we previously (and rather erroneously!) referred to as 'bartending'. Knowing just how much to add to a drink and how much to hold back on is truly an art, where that golden ratio of getting it just right is everything. And while we've been relying on our favourite restaurants and nightclubs all along to whet our drinking appetites and quench our thirsts, we've suddenly found ourselves out of options thanks to the lockdown. Recognizing this and hoping to provide you with a solution is this curated list of the top drink premixes that we've come up with for you to try in the comfort of your home.
These premixes range from the traditional liquid versions packed in bottles to the more experimental iterations in the form of powder pouches and even a rather ingenious tray of frozen, flavoured premix ice cubes. So, sit back and enjoy this selection of the best drink premixes to perk up your spirits.
1. SOCIAL Mixers
Calling themselves the pioneers of this premix drink segment, the SOCIAL chain of restaurants started this trend of delivering cocktail mixers in India from April 2020 onwards. From the fragrant Thai Maalish made with basil, galangal, lemongrass, kafir lime and coconut water, to the refreshing Dope Martini consisting of coffee cold brew, hazelnut syrup along with brown sugar, the mixers in a range of flavours are currently being prepared at all SOCIAL outlets. Each bottle comes with a little tag suggesting the appropriate spirit to match it. Or if you prefer, you could simply drink them on their own, straight out of the bottle.
This relatively new entrant on to the premix drinks' scene has come up with the truly novel idea of powdered drink mixers in India for a variety of suggested spirit bases. What Drinktales is trying to do is to bring the classic taste of cocktails to cocktail lovers with a twist. Presently, they offer five premixes in the likes of a Cosmopolitan, a Chilly Margarita, an Old-Fashioned, a Mint Daiquiri and a Cinnamon Sangria. They are available in either single-serve sachets or in a pack of four sachets and come with full instructions for use. What we really like about them is that their powdered formulation makes them very portable and easy to use in drinks that can be made without hassle anywhere simply by pouring, stirring and sipping!
Price: Rs 50 for a single sachet and Rs 180 for a pack of four sachets.
While the pandemic had all of us becoming master chefs at home, a good accompanying drink was always missed. That's when Iceburst was born. Climbing the innovation charts with their frozen premix ice cube packs is this new brand from the guys behind Mumbai's Toast and Hyde nightclubs. For the first time in India, Iceburst - an artisan frozen mix is handcrafted with what they claim are natural and fresh ingredients. With no added colour or preservatives, you get a restaurant-style drink at the convenience of your home. A pack of eight cubes comes in a range of five flavours like Spanish Summer (for a sangria), Tropical Muddle and the coffee-based Freshpresso among others. So, sit back, relax...peel, pop, drop and stir the Iceburst cubes into your favourite poison with a little soda to enjoy a drink you deserve!
Price: Rs 199 for a pack of eight cubes.
As one of the earliest players in this segment, &Stirred has one of the most extensive ranges of premixed drink flavours. From the more premium varieties like Pina Colada and Sangria to classics like Cosmopolitan and Bloody Mary, the premixes come in sealed pouches. All one needs to do is pour their contents out into a glass, add ice and optional suggested spirit pairings. The brand even has an entirely separate range of ready-to-drink mocktails like Moscow Mule and Mango Colada that come in 250ml bottles. And for all you shot aficionados out there, they even do Kamikaze shot premixes.
Price: Rs 50 onwards for the cocktail premix pouches and Rs 80 per 250ml bottle of the mocktails.
5. Lazy Cocktails
With its colourful bottles and a tagline of "We're not lazy, we just like it easy", Lazy Cocktails prefers to take the humourous route with its brand identity. This newbie of just six months prides itself on its mixes that it says have been developed and prepared by mixologists using authentic fruit extracts. They also claim to not use any artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners for any of their cocktail mixers, that for now, are available in just three flavours. These take the form of a Cosmopolitan, a Bloody Mary and a Passionfruit Ginger Martini.
Price: Rs 99 per 250ml bottle
6. Jimmy's Cocktails
Launched in September 2019, Jimmy's Cocktails is a ready-to-drink premium cocktail mixer brand that claims to deliver all the complexity and craftsmanship one would find at their favourite watering hole. Crafted by some of India's top mixologists, Jimmy's range of cocktail mixers are said to be made with fewer calories, natural flavouring agents and zero artificial sweeteners, which they say is achieved by using only the highest quality ingredients with their natural sweetness. The varieties currently on offer are a Whiskey Sour, a Cosmopolitan, a Mango Chilli Mojito and a Sex on the Beach premix.
Price: Rs 99 per 250ml bottle
About Raul DiasA Mumbai-based writer, Raul is an ardent devotee of the peripatetic way of life. When not churning out his food and travel stories at a manic pace, he can be found either hitting the road for that elusive story or in the company of his three dogs!