A Strange Week with Stranger & Sons

Read our 5 minute recap of what went down at India Cocktail Week with Stranger & Sons Gin.

The second edition of India Cocktail Week took place last week, after much deliberation and planning. The decision to go ahead was based on being able to obtain legal authorization, brand buy-in, consumer trust, and overall industry support. None of these things come easy in a pandemic – but the team pulled it off and we have to applaud them for it.

Image: Stranger & Sons

The build up to the main event at the cocktail village saw a bunch of takeovers across bars in the sunny beach state of Goa through the week. Brand owners and bartenders brought their A-game and were seen slinging drinks on either side of the bar, braving a less than forgiving Goan summer – 37 degrees to be exact. 

We spent two back to back nights with our Founder Priyanka Blah pulling guest shifts with Stranger & Sons ambassadors Jeet and Param. 

Image: Stranger & Sons

Stranger & Sons at Pings 

Night one at Pings saw an effervescent lot knocking back specials including the popular Stranger & Sons Gimlet No. 9 (gin, curry leaf cordial) and Blah’s Kenzo in Marseille (gin, galangal & nori cordial, dry vermouth). Ping’s is best known for that classic laidback Goan vibe – only made sweeter by a great Vietnamese inspired menu and smashing cocktails. 

Stranger & Sons at Jamun

Night two saw an encore of the trio and their cocktails at Jamun – a sublime spot that is straight out of a tropical fairy tale. This beautifully restored old Portuguese hacienda is adorned with local crafts and unique finds that complement a very consciously contemporary Indian menu – both in terms of food and drink. Jamun boasts of a simple and honest, ingredient-first approach to their food and beverage offering and even has a thriving kitchen garden to support their goals. It’s hardly surprising then that this wonderfully charming spot was the Stranger & Sons team’s obvious choice for day 2 of the bar takeover. With a lush playlist, a list of standout cocktails, and a steady stream of good drinkers, the night was a pretty perfect precursor to the weekend at the cocktail village. 

Stranger & Sons at Villa No. 9

Imagine a cocktail village and you’re probably thinking kiosks, coupon counters, and less than inspiring music blaring on the speakers – the village at India Cocktail Week was definitely not that. The Stranger & Sons team like to do things differently and so they did – by kitting out Villa No. 9 at the W, away from the main area, with wonderfully strange things. Complete with a curious bar for cocktails, a Stranger & Sons Slushie station, easy seating casually sprawled across the lawn and a lovely live performance under a beautiful raintree – that’s how this team does cocktail week. The Stranger & Sons villa was the undisputable highlight of the weekend, drawing curious passers by like moths to a flame, luring them in to bask in sunset hues and breezy cocktails, and wrapping them in that wonderfully addictive metaphorical embrace.

Only in its second edition, India Cocktail Week is a meaningful and well intentioned event put together by the team at Passcode Hospitality. While this year had to be tremendously scaled down due to COVID restrictions compared to last year, the organisers have plans to pull off India Cocktail Week in Bangalore after Goa. Due to a surge in the number of COVID cases across the country, no official dates have been announced but if it does take place, we urge you to consider attending only if you have been vaccinated, or feel comfortable enough to be at a public gathering and are willing to take responsibility for it. While the team takes all safety measures seriously, the onus is on guests to be responsible and adhere to guidelines. The hospitality industry has been the hardest hit by COVID and it’s only with the support of brands and consumers that we can start to rehabilitate. India Cocktail Week is one small step towards that recovery and we are happy to see brands and patrons show their support. 

The Push & Pull. Image: Stranger & Sons

Here’s hoping we get up to a lot more strange things with Stranger & Sons and India Cocktail Week in the post pandemic world. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed are the author’s own and must not be taken out of context to implicate anyone or make them look bad, because that’s just rude.

Follow Stranger & Sons Gin and India Cocktail Week on Instagram to stay updated on their latest shenanigans.

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