The Spirit of Christmas – Raveen Misra

It’s the holiday season and for most of us, that means food, drinks, laughter, and the company of those we love. This time of the year brings with it, a need to host intimate dinners, make great drinks, and essentially serve up a great time. 

In this series, we ask some of our friends in the beverage world to tell us what the holiday season means to them and help us dispel the myth that rum and wine are the drinks of choice this time of year. A great whisky cocktail can just as well define the holiday spirit as a punch or a bottle of red wine.

Raveen Misra is the first to tell us how. Read on and get into the holiday spirit!

“So what the holiday season mean to me? During different times in my life, the holidays stood for different things. I remember it being about receiving presents and going on vacations, it then became all about partying hard and spending time with strangers that eventually became friends, some even became family and a few stayed at arm’s length.

Nowadays the holiday season is a lot less volatile but no less exciting. I’ve just become a dad so suddenly traditions and family customs are important again. I am eager to start traditions of my own while still respecting the ones I’ve grown up with. Believe me, I was the last person on earth to see the importance in any of this, but yes, it happened, and to my surprise I am enjoying it totally.

Holiday season for me and my circle has always been about good company, good food and great tipples. We go out of our way to arrange barbecues, long brunches or not-so-secret suppers. Coming from a bar back ground, I am always the one in charge of dishing out “dutch courage” for the night.

For my cocktail this year, I will be using Whisk(e)y. Traditionally I would dust off the old bottle of cognac or brandy, whose only use is my wife’s Christmas pudding and the odd Brandy Crusta every now and then. This year, I’m going with Whisk(e)y because ever since I moved to India I have made a few friends who unfortunately believe that what they have in their drinks defines them as “MEN”!!! Hey…but who am I to judge, everyone is entitled to their definition of MANLINESS. That said, Whisk(e)y is great on its own and in cocktails. To me, it is the most diverse and versatile spirit and really fun to play around with. Depending on style, region and raw ingredients of the spirit, you can very easily choose what Whisk(e)y to use.

Monkey’s Sling Swing

45 mls Monkey Shoulder Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

30 mls Fresh Beetroot and Winter Carrot juice (Cold press)

10 mls Simple syrup

10 mls Fresh Lime juice

Top of Old Jamaican Ginger Beer

5 dash Angostura Bitters

In a shaker with ice, add the first 4 ingredients and shake well. Strain into a highball glass filled with cracked ice. Top the drink up with Old Jamaican Ginger Beer and Angostura bitters. You can garnish it with whatever you please, but I recommend grilled lemon slices and a dusting of cinnamon powder.

As we are having a barbecue this holiday session, meats and cold cuts, lots of cheese and grilled vegetables will on the menu. My friends in Delhi are mainly from many different parts of the world so we are all going to be contributing to how the food is going to turn out but as for the drinks on that night… it’s going to be the Monkey’s Sling Swing that will kick things off. I know a sling is not what you think of this time of year, but there is something I love about having really cold beverages in winter! It’s just like the ice-cream that doesn’t melt! So there you have it, be merry and drink responsibly!”

About Raveen Misra:

Entrepreneur, bartender, waiter, confidant, cook- Raveen Misra has certainly worn many different hats during his 20 years in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality industry. Spending his formative years in the kitchen, Raveen has managed to take the valuable lessons learnt on a chopping board and apply it to his craft. This Singaporean is currently based in India as he is what you would call a trailing spouse. To keep himself busy he currently sticks his nose into anything that makes him money legally! He enjoys coffee, cake and whisk(e)y!

This Christmas, remember to pull out that bottle of whisky and maybe ditch that bottle of rum!

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