It’s impossible not to feel a little tipsy while reading The Tulleeho! Book of Cocktails. Good tipsy, when you find yourself smiling inanely at the wall mural while thinking what you believe are your smartest, most insightful thoughts. There’s something about its relentless high spirits (pun intended? Not? I did say I was a bit tipsy), staccato fact-chucking (the Punch in a Planter’s is a corruption of the Hindi paanch! You can’t buy Jack Daniel’s where it’s actually produced! Whisky comes from Scotland, whiskey from everywhere else!) and, yes, the liberal use of exclamation marks (!!) that makes you want to throw aside the book, raid the bar and concoct cocktails.
Which, this book says convincingly enough, anyone can. Books on cocktail-making follow a standard format: The introduction will list barware, glassware, alcohol types and mixers, condiments and garnishes, distinguish between the shaken and the stirred (and also blended and built). The Tulleeho! does all that (and adds on a section with a party checklist, do’s and don’ts and a super-useful index). But it scores with the confident Indianisation of various spirits, liqueurs, beers and wines.
Many of its Tullee Tipples — the other category is Classics — use local produce, herbs and spices, including chaat masala (the Corrito, the “grown-up” version of that teenage staple, Masala Thums Up) and the jamun (the Jamuntini, which uses the black berries common in northern India). Besides separating the contents on the basis of alcohol types, it lists Holi, Diwali, Valentine’s Day (!!), Monsoon, Christmas and Dessert specials, sniffs appreciatively at beer and wine cocktails and arms you with knowledge to do your own thing with liquids.
What does I say but cheers?
The Tulleeho! Book of Cocktails
Published by Westland
Price: Rs. 395; Pages: 202