An introduction to Moti Mahal:
Not only do they brew their own beer (Grand Trunk Road India Blond Ale) which is absolutely delicious, they also distil their own gin! The beer is top-fermented like a real ale but is more like a white ale. It has an amazing (really!) tropical nose of mango and lychee and gets its flavour through the mix of hops: simcoe, citra and amarillo. Apparently, according to Barry McCaughley who is Moti Mahal’s drinks consultant, the art is in the timing of the addition of the hops. Their Grand Trunk Road gin is unusually made in a vacuum and distilled almost cold. It is a bespoke product made for the restaurant by Will Lowe at the Cambridge Distillery who made the ant gin for Noma…and a bottle will set you back around the £500 mark. They have bucked the trend for lots of botanicals in the gin as this has just three; juniper, mango and fresh coriander.
We drank it straight and it is really clean and without the heat that impurities in the alcohol can produce. Moti Mahal serves it with 1724 tonic from Peru for their £25 G&T. The cocktails we tried included the Nabbarry Punch, a Passion Fruit Martini and the Moti Royal champagne cocktail which were all suitable for the heat and spice of Indian food if a little sweet. There is also a decent list of wines chosen for their curry-friendly qualities.
45 Great Queen St, WC2B 5AA
http://motimahal-uk.com/0207 240 9329