The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail!

I have spoken about my need for change before in this post.

I get bored easily, especially with food, which I would say is the driving factor that gets me into the kitchen experimenting. I crave for creating something new, something I have never done before which gives me that adrenaline flush. A new ingredient, a fusion dish, a new cuisine, it can be anything as long as it is new for me.

People often confuse this as a need to keep the blog going. But to be totally honest, I have always been like this in all aspects of my life (which is why I never lasted in the corporate world).

After a week and half of doing familiar stuff in the kitchen, I wanted to start experimenting again. And this time, it’s this pretty cocktail which I have named The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan.

The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail! -

Every time I spoke to my family and friends in India, I have been hearing just one thing – ‘It’s so damn hot here that we don’t feel like doing anything enjoyable’. The whole of India seems to be reeling under a heat wave at the moment. And this sparked off the idea of a drink with Rooh Afza.

Rooh Afza needs no introduction at all for those who hail from India or Pakistan. In fact, it has become quite famous in several Middle Eastern countries too.

For those who do not know this product, Rooh Afza is basically a concentrated squash (non alcoholic) that is prepared from a range of fruits (pineapple, apple, orange, cherry, blackberry and many others), herbs (chicory, blue star water lily, coriander, purslane etc..), vegetables like spinach and carrot, and also the essence of some flowers like rose, kewra, lemon etc…. Truth be told, this is a special formulation with a ton of ingredients in there.

Rooh Afza - product photography -

This product is manufactured by the Hamdard Laboratories which has extensive operations both in India and Pakistan. Quite a bit of history as it was formulated by Hakeem Hafiz Abdul Majeed in 1906 and has been in use since then. Rooh Afza is extremely popular among the South Asian Muslims especially during the months of Ramadan and also popular during the summer months. The formulation is believed to be based on the Unani system of healing and hence considered to be healthy and cooling for the body.

Given its heritage and its popularity among the Muslim community, Rooh Afza is hardly ever used in alcoholic drinks or cocktails except for whacky, adventurous souls like me. It is mostly used as a syrup to flavour ice creams, desserts, cold milk drinks. It has a thick consistency, a vibrant red colour and a strong aftertaste of rose essence with undertones of citrus. And this is exactly why the thought of a Cosmopolitan came to my mind.

The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail! -

The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail! -

In a classic Cosmo, cranberry juice is used which gets replaced with the Rooh Afza in my Indianized version. Since the syrup has a distinct rose flavour, I used both lime and orange juice for that desired citrus punch.

So here is a delightful, delicious and pretty version of the classic; The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan, for those hot summer days and balmy nights.

Note – Rooh Afza is commonly available at most Asian/Indian/Pakistani grocery stores in most of the countries so finding it should not be a difficult job.


Makes 1 serve

  1. 15ml Rooh Afza
  2. 20ml Triple Sec
  3. 15ml lemon juice
  4. 15ml orange juice
  5. 15ml sugar syrup
  6. 35ml vodka
  7. Ice cubes
  8. Orange wedge; for garnish
  9. Chilled cocktail glasses


  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add all the ingredients.
  2. Shake, shake, shake…..really shake
  3. Double strain (very important) into a chilled cocktail glass
  4. Rub the rim of the glass lightly with the orange wedge and garnish with the same.
  5. Enjoy…….responsibly.

Note – Making sugar syrup is really simple. Add 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water to a saucepan; heat till the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove and cool; stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for upto 3 weeks.

The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail! -



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23 thoughts on “The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail!

  1. […] The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan – a Rooh Afza Cocktail […]

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  4. chefceaser May 9, 2016 at 6:52 am Reply

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


  5. Kim Spiteri May 6, 2016 at 2:58 am Reply

    Oh this is fabulous!
    I’ve never heard of it and it sounds amazing. I’d so love to try some.
    I’ll have to get my hands on it!
    Thanks for linking up to Your Weekly Feed hun. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 6, 2016 at 10:49 am Reply

      Thanks Kim; its a very traditional syrup often used in summer drinks and desserts. I just got a little bold and added it to my vodka.


  6. The Purple Ladle May 6, 2016 at 12:30 am Reply

    Great photos Vanya! I think I need to get some Rooh Afza – it sounds wonderful and what a great thing to add to cocktails!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 6, 2016 at 10:48 am Reply

      Its a great syrup to have in the pantry; plenty of mocktails and cocktails. Great with desserts!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers May 2, 2016 at 6:40 am Reply

    So pretty! I’ve not heard of Rooh Afza before will have to track some down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya May 2, 2016 at 6:40 am Reply

      You should Vicki; I am sure you will easily find it. There’s so much to experiment with it….


  8. tinas411 April 29, 2016 at 11:51 pm Reply

    YUM! As a blogger born in India, raised in Vancouver I absolutely love the idea of this cosmopolitan and can’t wait to try it. Thanks so much for your beautiful photos and recipe!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Brooke McCall April 29, 2016 at 1:26 pm Reply

    I’ll be hunting this Roof Afza down… I love finding new mixers. Feels like Friday now were are talking cocktails….

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya April 30, 2016 at 4:34 am Reply

      Cheers Brooke; hope you find it soon. And if you try out something different, do let me know too.


  10. RecipeTin (@Recipe_Tin) April 29, 2016 at 12:45 am Reply

    Your cocktail looks great. It’s refreshing to see. It will definitely beat the heat!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Gloria April 28, 2016 at 11:31 am Reply

    Am impressed! Rooh afza in alcoholic drinks, sounds interesting!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • vanyadhanya April 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm Reply

      Cheers Gloria; it was an interesting experiement for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gloria April 28, 2016 at 1:06 pm

        and dear, hv tried that Cambodian curry with prawns and mutton too. huge hit!

        Liked by 1 person

      • vanyadhanya April 29, 2016 at 12:02 am

        awesome; great to hear that. I am thinking of trying it out with prawn next week, now you have inspired me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gloria April 29, 2016 at 6:35 am

        Thank you so much Vanya; we got to inspire each other.

        Liked by 1 person

      • vanyadhanya April 29, 2016 at 10:11 am


        Liked by 1 person

      • Gloria April 29, 2016 at 10:21 am

        🙂 🙂


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