Delhi High

Guest Post by : Nikhil Chawla

Punjabi by birth and nature, Nikhil is the founder of one of the biggest facebook blogs in Delhi NCR, Hmm. He has been a foodie since birth as food was a big part of his family's get-together. Though he has been both a non-vegetarian for some part of his life and vegetarian for the other, he believes that the former one explores fewer things in their eating habits because it's a mindset of not eating vegetarian food outside your home. By day, Nikhil is into corporate leasing with MNC and food blogging is what helps him keep sane.

The drinking culture in Delhi NCR is a bit biased towards the Gurgaon side with major breweries and pubs opening there to cater to the youth. With the recent boom in the number of companies in Gurgaon, there has been a huge migration of working class people which has caused for the major restaurants and food chains to shift towards the Haryana side of the NCR region. There are many liquor shops in Gurgaon which serves varied priced alcohol from Rs. 35/- a pint to a Rs. 4 lac a bottle. All these air-conditioned shops have a drinking place, some of which have a nicely done d├ęcor.

Toofani at Dhaba by Claridges
Toofani at Dhaba by Claridges

Gurgaon also has micro-breweries like Bangalore which is a small beer plant. It is used for making fresh beer without adding of any form of preservatives. They have different types of beer ranging from lager, wheat, heavy and stout. Vapour and Manhattan on Golf-Course Road are some of my favourite breweries. Vapour specializes in making cocktails from beer, the most famous one being the Boiler which has wheat beer with a shot of Jack Daniels. There is a fierce competition between the breweries and they host band events, have special nights and try to extend their Happy Hour timings to attract as many customers as possible. This has caused for the pricing to remain affordable in most of the places.

The concept of Bawa Peg at Soda Bottle Opener Wala, DLF CyberCity

In Delhi, the scene is a bit different with there being an age limit of 25 (though most of the people rarely follow it). The places serving alcohol including five star hotels have high pricing strategies which make it not very youngster-friendly. The major concern for these top places is that people don’t pass out or vomit and thus ensure that the security and decorum of the place is maintained by straining the prices. The places promoting tourism get some discount on the taxes as well.

Soi 7, DLF CyberCity, Gurgaon
Soi 7  -  The newest microbrewery which has opened in DLF CyberCity

Noida lacks any proper pub culture with there being no breweries. Most of the alcohol is served in fine dine restaurants and there are not many pubs worth mentioning either. So effectively, those in the mood for partying have to come all the way to Delhi / Gurgaon to have some fun.

As some restaurants have signature dishes, I have made a list of drinks which would be their signature cocktails. They are a must try  -

Watermelon Mojito @ Fork You – They have an amazing taste of a watermelon mixed with all the right ingredients packed with a large dose of vodka .

Watermelon Mojito at Fork You
Watermelon Mojito

Long Island Iced Tea @ Route 04 – A cocktail made of  vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec, this remains the most popular drink among the youngsters. Though it seems a very simple mix, the combination of the correct quantities of the 5 white spirits drink is extremely hard to make. Chi Kitchen and Bar also makes a strong LIIT in its 'Ultimate' version.

Tharras @ Dhaba by Claridges – Designed in desi alcohol quarters, the Dhaba staff has launched this brand new range, where flavours such as Kaala Khatta are mixed with alcohol to give a fascinating new taste. Another cocktail worth trying here is the Paan Mojito.

Gulaabo at Dhaba by Claridges
Gulaabo –The desi version of LIIT with a strong flavor of kaala khatta

Classic Mojito @ United Coffee House – Though named as a Coffee House, UCH is a fine dining restaurant like the ones in Khan Market, South Delhi. Though they are primarily known for their continental dishes, I found that they make the best Mojito in the town.

This Shit is Bananas @ Thirty Nine, Hauz Khas – This drink blew my mind the last time I went to this place. It tastes like sweet protein shake mixed with alcohol.

Addresses : 

Fork You
30, 1st Floor
Hauz Khas Village
New Delhi

Route 04
4, Khan Market
New Delhi

Dhaba By Claridges
1st Floor, Cyber Hub,
DLF Cyber City,

United Coffee House
E15, Connaught Place,
New Delhi

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