Sir Winston Churchill rightfully said, “The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen’s lives and minds, than all the doctors in the empire.” Gin’s vocabulary is deeply rooted in 18th century England. This leaves us both intrigued and intimidated, and eager to decode the “Gin Craze,” a task which took us to the country’s first gin bar, at Andaz Delhi - Juniper Bar.
Juniper has launched a brand new menu, which is a heady mix of refreshing and eclectic in-house infusions, taking inspiration from classic gin cocktails, and introducing new signature concoctions using fresh ingredients from around the country. The bar is known for its use of pure ingredients such as flowers, hand-picked herbs, fresh juices and carefully distilled liquors, which are thoughtfully and creatively crafted by the mixologists. The bar houses 39 varieties of home-infused gin, divided into four different taste notes such as citrus, floral and fruity, spices, and herbs.
Juniper offers an intimate experience with a communal bar and a friendly team of bartenders, who are led by Lead Mixologist, Prakash Chandra. He is a WSET Level 2, with a keen interest in the history, creation and tasting of gin. The bar team was happy to include us in the making of the cocktails, thus offering a unique, immersive experience. It is the ideal spot to socialise over a refreshing, delicious cocktail at any time of the day.
The new menu has classified cocktails by taste profile, such as sweet, savoury, sour, soothing, sassy, fruity, and bitter–offering something to please all palates. Some of the highlights included the Paradise Valley, which brings out the essence of Kashmir with Kawa (tea) infusion and Kerala Lady, which uses flavours like cardamom, pineapple and rose. But the one that gets all our votes and hearts is the Juneberry, which is a twist on the gin classic “Martinez” with an infusion of cherry blossom gin. Sweet vermouth gin and bitters have been given a new look with pinot noir syrup, local lychee honey and rose steer. The spicy floral flavour celebrates winter in all its spirit.