My signature cocktail….The ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan was inspired by the sweet, fruity, punchy flavour of Rooh Afza.
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.
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.
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 this ‘Indian’ Cosmopolitan came to my mind.
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.
The Indian Cosmopolitan
- 15 ml Rooh Afza
- 20 ml Triple Sec
- 15 ml lemon juice
- 15 ml orange juice
- 15 ml sugar syrup
- 35 ml vodka
- Ice cubes
- Orange wedge; for garnish
- Chilled cocktail glasses
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and add all the ingredients.
- Shake, shake, shake…..really shake
- Double strain (very important) into a chilled cocktail glass
- Rub the rim of the glass lightly with the orange wedge and garnish with the same.
This one is fantastic, I just made it it’s so good in taste
Thanks so much; glad you enjoyed it
This is brilliant. I usually find Rooh Afza (RA) far too sweet and too “rose” flavored for me,. This would be perfect! Made falooda a while back and have a ton of RA leftover (as the only desi in the house, its a bit of an acquired taste for everyone else). Thanks so much!
True, it is a sweet syrup and this cocktail is on the slightly sweeter side. But the flavours can be adjusted which makes it a really refreshing drink too.
Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.
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
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.
The Purple Ladle
Great photos Vanya! I think I need to get some Rooh Afza – it sounds wonderful and what a great thing to add to cocktails!!
Its a great syrup to have in the pantry; plenty of mocktails and cocktails. Great with desserts!
Vicki @ Boiled Eggs & Soldiers
So pretty! I’ve not heard of Rooh Afza before will have to track some down.
You should Vicki; I am sure you will easily find it. There’s so much to experiment with it….
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!!
Great to hear that Tina; hope you enjoy it.
I’ll be hunting this Roof Afza down… I love finding new mixers. Feels like Friday now were are talking cocktails….
Cheers Brooke; hope you find it soon. And if you try out something different, do let me know too.
Your cocktail looks great. It’s refreshing to see. It will definitely beat the heat!
Am impressed! Rooh afza in alcoholic drinks, sounds interesting!! 🙂
Cheers Gloria; it was an interesting experiement for sure.
and dear, hv tried that Cambodian curry with prawns and mutton too. huge hit!
awesome; great to hear that. I am thinking of trying it out with prawn next week, now you have inspired me.
Thank you so much Vanya; we got to inspire each other.
A great selection of cocktails