At first, Thirsty City 127’s modern art-deco, almost Gatsby-ish vibe tricks you into believing this is any other Lower Parel (Mumbai) bar. Soon, a conversation with any of their bartenders, makes you realise otherwise. “Our menu is unassuming and does not feature half the cocktails our bartenders can concoct for you,” says Akriti Agarwal, CEO of Thirsty City 127 and Thirsty Beers.
The latter are brewed in the in-house microbrewery, the equipment of which give you company on an evening here. I am seated at the bar, speaking to Agarwal, who passionately takes me through the pathbreaking and ingredient-driven techniques of crafting cocktails that she has inculcated into her brainchild bar. Some of them include spirits’ fermentation, clarification using milk to induce transparency, cyrofiltration and hydrosals.
Her passion is almost contagious; and it stems from her extensive travels around the world, where she visited indigenous bars to study the art of cocktail techniques and brought them back home to create Thirsty City 127.
I sip on alcohol-free fruit wines, in-house flavoured beers and even take a swig of Thirsty gin that’s not surprisingly — also distilled here using organic botanicals. Agarwal insists I try their seasonal dessert cocktail blush that blends berry gin with strawberry cheesecake.
My favourite bit is the rose petals-dusted glass that gives a floral whiff every time I take a sip, intermingling the olfactory sense with taste. However, Thirsty’s signature cocktail is rightly so — smokey affair — that’s prepared with smoked gin and chocolate liqueur topped with fresh dill and tonic.
I relish every sip of this drink that I highly recommend for the gin aficionado. Next, I am presented with a pineapple based cocktail that finds its origins in Mexico. Tepache, a fermented beverage made from the peel and the rind of pineapples, is rustled up with tequila to create this boldly flavoured cocktail.
While drinks are the magnum opus of Thirsty City 127, I am equally impressed with the small plates of bar food I nibble on. This includes Japanese rice cakes prepared with sriracha mayo and aubergine relish and lotus root kung pao (peanuts, hoisin and homemade sriracha).
A destination for nuanced craft cocktails, offering almost a textbook perspective of global spirits for the alcohol connoisseur
Upwards of ₹600 (for a cocktail)
Thirsty City 127, Todi Mills, Mathuradas Mill Compound, 127, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400013; thirstycity127.com