Now that you are an adult, do you pine for the candy brands of your school days but shun away from them thinking they are not age-appropriate anymore? Well, a popular restaurant in the heart of the city has decided to bring back the flavours just for people like you, through cocktails.
The Salt House – Bar, Kitchen, Club has curated a special summer cocktail menu which draws inspiration from the popular candies of the 1990s.
But how did they arrive at the idea of a 90s candy inspired cocktail menu?
"Calcutta loves and thrives on nostalgia. When we were discussing the idea of summer cocktails, we wanted to do something Calcutta associates summer with, and nostalgia was once again a common link,” said Prachi Saraogi, one of the co-owners of The Salt House.
“Personally, summer nostalgia takes us back to the summer holidays in the 90s, since both Saloni [Saloni Jhunjhunwalla, co-owner] and I grew up in that era,” said Saraogi. “Candies, popsicles and music were the summer jam; along with summer camps and movie marathons with cousins and friends.” Reiterating Kolkata’s love for cocktails, Jhunjhunwala said that Calcuttans are always attracted to food that have a story behind them.
So they first came up with a list of 10 popular candies which they pared down to five which had a distinct flavour profile, were easy to infuse in a spirit, and paired well with their food menu. Based on the popular candy brands – Boomer, Kopiko, Rola-Cola, Mango Bite and Polo – the cocktails will take you on trip through memory lane.
“Each cocktail uses infused liquor with a specific candy. We have kept the cocktails extremely fresh and easy to drink. They are not loaded with extra sugar so that the flavor of the candies can shine through,” explained Saraogi.
The five cocktails on the menu are Classic Colada (candy infused cachaca pitu, coke and lime), Caffeinated (Kopiko infused gin with Campari, caramel, Koinonia cold brew and vanilla ice cream), Aam Fusion (Mango Bite infused vodka, Nordic bitter tonic and mango), Bubblegum Mellow (Boomer infused vodka, orange liqueur, lime and marshmallow), and Polo Screwdriver (Polo infused vodka, orange liqueur and lime).
Talking of her personal favourite, Saraogi said, “I was a huge boomer fan. I used to sneak in tons of them in high school. Therefore I love the Bubblegum Mellow, which has Boomer infused with vodka, served with a lightly toasted marshmallow and a rim of citric sugar, similar to the coating on my favourite sour patch candies. It’s the perfect summer brunch drink.”
For Jhujhunwala, the cocktails offer a joyous ride into her childhood, “Whether it was popping Polo mints or sneaking in bubble-gum; the sweet and sour taste of the mango bite or the Kopiko coffee toffees which we were not allowed to touch as children.”
The cocktails pair well with The Salt House’s small plates such as Cheddar and Jalapeno Croquettes with queso, Cheesy Fries, Boneless Chicken Wings and Bhetki Fingers, to name a few.
So why not call up your friends (probably some you have not met for a long time) and plan a visit for the sake of good old times.
What and where: The 90's Candy inspired Summer Cocktail Menu will be available between noon and midnight and will run till summer lasts, according to the restaurant. The cocktails are priced at Rs 775.
The Salt House, 40 Shakespeare Sarani, Shakespeare Point (Loudon Street area), Kolkata – 700017; tel: + 91 9836732154