Chemistry of Drinks at Cafe Ludus

Molecular gastronomy and especially Molecular mixology seem like the new fad these days. Almost every bar or party you enter we have Molecular mixology which was what we were invited to review and test at Cafe Ludus with bartender Clayton Gracias. Since my review of Cafe Ludus I have been there a couple of times and tried their regular drinks so this was my first with their molecular mixology.

Cafe Ludus - Healthy Honeycomb Magarita Cafe Ludus - Smoked Whiskey SourCafe Ludus - Marshmallow Martini

Though Clayton’s explanation of Molecular mixology left more to be desired, with my previous experience what I gather is the idea is to break conventional norms in terms of taste and expectation. So if I was to shut your eyes and made you try the drinks you would get a hint of the original cocktail and a burst of the new added texture or flavour. For instance A Pina Colada will also have a burst of warm milk and is also a lot lighter than the original Pina Colada. Ultimately a lot of molecular mixology depends on a person’s personal taste and mine makes me stay away from most. Well firstly, cause I anyway usually only drink Vodka or Wine and then if it is a cocktail I am very particular about how it should taste and how fattening it will be. Don’t laugh, alcohol is very fattening and I don’t need to add other fattening substances. Well though he went through a list of drinks my favourites were Healthy  Honey  Comb  Margarita, Espresso  Nutty  Martini, B  52  Blast. So if Molecular mixology seems like your kind of science do try it and let me know about your experience!

Focus:Spring is in the air

Finally the cold winters are exiting and I can feel glorious Spring in the year. Unfortunately, it is too short-lived in India; mid March it will be closer to summer than spring, but till then we have a few weeks to enjoy this beautiful weather with amazing picnic and brunches.So get together a hamper of goodies and set off with your partner for a romantic date (Valentine day is just around the corner) or with your friends for a fun day out by the country-side(even a park in your locality or city will do!)

Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

From Left to Right
1. Wooden Tray, Goodearth, Rs.362 2.Jars, Pearlpet, Rs.60 each 3.Vintage Bottle, FCML,Price on Request 4.Quilt, Home Stop, Rs.2,099 5.Elan Amphora Love pitcher, Crazy Daisy, Rs.1,050 6.Wicker Basket, Home Stop, Rs.1,099 7.Flowers, Home Stop, Rs.799 8.Cushion, Home Stop, Rs.499 9.Ice Vodka, Local Wine Shop, Rs.750

Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

I think cocktails/punches are a perfect addition to any brunch or picnic. Also if you are like me who avoids cooking at any cost they are great lifesavers so it looks like you made effort and did not just get something from the shop. Thanks to IICE Vodka here we have a few refreshing recipes for the perfect brunch cocktails(recipe for one drink so decide quantity according to the amount of people)


Photograph by-Karolina GembaraStyled by-Aparna Kaistha
Photograph by-Karolina Gembara
Styled by-Aparna Kaistha

1. 45ml Vodka
2. 60ml Mango juice
3. 30ml Club Soda
4. 30ml Mango Ice-cream
Mix the Vodka, Mango juice and Club Soda in a Tall glass. Garnish with Mango Ice-cream.IICE Splash
1.30ml Green Apple Vodka
2.30ml Coconut Water
3.1 small kiwi or half large kiwi, peeled
4.60ml Apple juice
5.148ml Lemon Syrup
Pour the Green Apple vodka,Coconut water, Apple juice and lemon syrup into a cocktail maker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a high ball glass. Garnish with Kiwis.

Grey Goose IIFA inspired cocktails

Inspired from this plethora of emotions and glamour, Wink at Vivanta by Taj – President launches an exclusive collection of Grey Goose IIFA inspired Cocktails served at the IIFA Awards in Singapore starting 5th July. Refresh and indulge your senses into the fruity yet strong flavors of a variety of Grey Goose cocktails inspired by savoring the delights of the countries across the globe.  Divulge into a romantic mood of Paris with Grey Goose Amour, some Indian spices of Grey Goose Spice, inspired from Tokyo is the Grey Goose Lavender Bliss and Grey Goose Fiesta Española from the beautiful locales of Madrid. Fear not if for some reason you cannot visit Wink at Taj this July, you can try some of these recipes at home.



  • 60 ml Grey Goose citron
  • 10 ml Simple Syrup made with Star anise
  • 1 wedge lemon squeeze and drop
  • 3 chunks of Ginger
  • 90 ml Apple juice
  • 1 Star Anise for Garnish

Method: Muddle Ginger add the other ingredients and ice. Shake well and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass prepared with cardamom sugar rim.
Garnish: Star Anise Glass: Martini


  • 60 ml Grey Goose la Poire
  • 30 ml Pink Grape Fruit Juice
  • 60 ml Cranberry juice
  • 2 bar spoons Raspberry Jam
  • 2 Fresh Raspberries for Garnish

Method: Add ingredients shake well with ice and fine strain into a martini glass. Serve Garnished.
Garnish: 2 Raspberries in Cocktail pick Glass: Martini


  • 60 ml Grey Goose Vodka
  • 10 ml Monin Lavender syrup
  • 2 dash Angostura bitter
  • 2 bash orange bitters
  • 60 ml cranberry juice
  • 30 ml black grape juice

Method: Shake all the Ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve Garnished.
Garnish: Edible Flower Glass: Martini

Mango Mania

It’s that time of the year again, the time when the most amazing fruit in the world is available to us, I am talking about Mango season. So though I am a complete winter/spring baby. I mean I hate summers, the most exciting thing for me even while growing up was the availability of Mangoes in this season. They start somewhere around March and go on till July and then don’t come back for a whole year. Which was very tragic as a child, cause they are the yummiest fruit on earth. And the best thing about them is that Mangoes and ice-cream is an absolutely viable dessert you can serve at a party. Anyway, besides just having them as a fruit, you can have Mango milkshakes, Mango Cocktails even have proper sweet dishes made from this amazing fruit. So I got in touch with Kunal  Pawar, Bar Manager – Capiz Bar and Pool Bar & Grill, Grand Hyatt Goa and Chef Nicole Illa, Pastry Chef, Grand Hyatt Goa to share a few delis recipes for us to try at home. So go ahead do try these and tell me how your next soiree goes.

Mango Lassi

  • Fresh mango                 Half
  • Mango Yoghurt             1 Packet
  • Mango Puree                120 ml
  • Sugar syrup                  45 ml
  • Milk                              100 ml

Preparation Method:
Blend together all the ingredients along with 6 cubes of ice. Serve in highball glass, garnish with mango wedge.

Mango Ice tea

  • Mango Puree                60 ml
  • Mango Juice                 60 ml
  • Tea decoction               250 ml
  • Sugar Syrup                  60 ml

Preparation Method:
Fill Pilsner with ice, pour in sugar syrup, mix well mango puree and mango juice in cocktail shaker. Pour slowly in the glass so as it floats on sugar syrup. Slowly pour tea. Serve garnished with mint sprig.

Mango & Basil Caprioska

  • Fresh Mango                 Half
  • Mango puree                 60 ml
  • Smirnoff Vodka                        60 ml
  • Lime juice                     15 ml
  • Sugar Syrup                  20 ml
  • Fresh Basil                    3 leaves

Preparation Method :
Muddle mango cubes in a cocktail shaker. Tear and add basil leaves to the shaker. Add rest of the ingredients, 8 cubes of ice, shake well. Serve in an old fashioned glass, garnish with basil leaf.

Mango Pastel de Nata

  • Milk 4,5%                      400 ml
  • Mango puree                 225 gram
  • Flour Cake                    50 gram
  • Sugar                           250 gram
  • Egg Yolk                      100 gram
  • Vanilla essence              10ml
  • Salt                              15 gram
  • Fresh mango chunks     250 gram
  • Puff Pastry Dough

Preparation Method :
Line the tart shell with puff Pastry Dough and place into the chiller. Mix all ingredients together and strain. Fill the mixture into the prepared tart shells. Bake tart 230C in a convection Bakery oven until the top turns brown on some spots and the base is baked.

Mango Tart

  • Egg yolk                       80 gram
  • Castor sugar                 160 gram
  • Flour(maida)                  225 gram
  • Baking powder              8 gram
  • Salt cooking                 2 gram
  • Butter unsalted             160 gram
  • Mango fresh                 160 gram

Preparation Method :
Beat the yolks with the sugar until light. Add the soft butter into the egg yolk mixture. Last add the flour sift together with the baking powder. Place the dough onto cling film, wrap and place into the refrigerator for some time to harden the dough. Roll the dough quickly with little flour, cut to desired shape. Bake at 160 degree for 15 mins. Apply pastry cream on top of tart base and arrange fresh mango.

Ginger Mango Chocolate Cake

For Mango mousse:

  • Cream whipping 30 %                300 ml
  • Mango fresh                             225 gram
  • Sugar                                       175 gram
  • Gelatin leaves (8 sheets)            24 gram
  • Lemon juice                              8 ml
  • Egg yolk                                   60 gram

For Mango ginger jelly:      

  • Mango puree                              500 gram
  • Sugar                                       50 gram
  • Fresh                                        50 gram
  • Agar-agar                                  14 gram

For Chocolate sponge: 

  •  Egg whole                               240 gram
  • Sugar                                      150 gram
  • Flour(maida)                             90 gram
  • Vanilla essence                         5 ml
  • Salt cooking                             1 gram
  • Coca powder                            36 gram
  • Butter unsalted                          62 gram
  • Chocolate dark 53%                  25 gram

For Chocolate ganache:

  • Chocolate dark 53%                  250 gram
  • Cream whipping 30 %                250 ml

Preparation Method:
For Mango mousse: Cut mangoes into half, remove the skin and stone and make into a puree. Soak gelatin in cold water (add ice cubes). Bring puree and sugar to boil. Then remove from the heat and mix egg yolk and add the soaked gelatin, lemon juice and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream.

For Mango ginger jelly: Boil puree, sugar and fresh ginger. Add agar-agar in to mixture. Pour the mixture in the frame and let it set into freezer.

For Chocolate sponge: Sift flour and cocoa powder together. Whisk egg whole, sugar and salt up together. Add the vanilla essence. Fold the sift flour carefully into the egg mixture. Weigh 1000 gm for a normal sponge and 1200gm for a thick sponge onto a baking tray 40 x 60 cm lined with baking paper. Spread the mixture evenly onto the tray. Bake at 200 degree centigrade for 10-12 mins.

For Chocolate ganache: Boil the cream and add chocolate, leave mixture for 5 mins. And mix well.

For assembling cake: First, layer chocolate sponge in the frame, followed by chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge, mango ginger jelly, mango mousse, chocolate sponge then mango mousse. Then keep in the freezer overnight. Pour mango glaze on top the cake and garnish with some fresh mango and chocolate garnish.

Spring Flavours

My earliest memory of Spring is all the picnics and brunch’s I attended with my parents at their friends farmhouses. This of course gave way to my college friends and I planning impromptu trips near Delhi or at someones farm for our own version of ‘picnics’. Well if you call previous night’s left overs from the party we were at or our parents fridge picnic. And of course, there were all our versions of cocktails and alcohol to suffice for the lack of any other arrangement. Moving on from this, once my friends started getting hitched, started the concepts of reception brunch’s, anniversary brunch’s, engagement brunch’s, Birthday brunch’s etc etc. The highlight of these parties besides the beautiful spring weather was the amazing food, music and lovely cocktails. Keeping this trend alive FINLANDIA VODKA FROM THE HOUSE OF BROWN FORMAN brings to us an array of six exotic flavours from refreshing grapefruit  to juicy mangoes to sour lime to sweet cranberry to tangy tangerine and also wild berry.

Here are two cocktail recipes for you to try at that next amazing brunch you are planning in this delightful season.


4 cl Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka

3 cl Fresh Pomegranate Juice

1 cl Fresh Lime Juice

1 cl Honey

Glass: Martini, Method: Shake, Garnish: Pink Grapefruit Peel. Pour all ingredients into chilled shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.


4 cl Finlandia Cranberry

1 cl Simple Syrup

4 cl Grapefruit Juice

1 dash Pink Grapefruit Juice

Glass: On the Rocks, Method: Shake, Garnish: Pink Grapefruit Slice & Cherry. Pour all ingredients into chilled shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass