The Emerald is an alcohol-free drink made using Khus Khus. Even though we are called The Cocktail Story, we take along our teetotaler friends along with us. We also continue to shine a light on indigenous Indian ingredients and how to incorporate them in drinks of all kinds. In a world full of grapefruits and fancy bitters, we often forget our own heritage and indigenous ingredients. We have a rich history in food and beverage, and it’s high time we are inspired by that and learn how to incorporate it in a modern way.
Khus Khus: What is it?
Khus Khus is also known as Vetiver, is a perennial grass whose roots are primarily used to make perfumes. The incredibly hardy grass is indigenous to India, and now found and used across South Asia. It is a distant cousin of the beloved lemon grass. It has a characteristic similar to lemongrass. It predominantly lends an earthy, herbal aroma with a unique flavour profile. It has an incredibly soothing perfuming quality, and is often used to make a whole host of perfumes and essential oils in the cosmetics and healing industry. It is a frequently found ingredient in the aromatherapy segment.
Khus Khus Benefits
Khus Khus has a wide-ranging repertoire of benefits. The most important one being its diuretic quality which has a cooling effect and is known to treat excessive thirst as well as redness of the eyes. Resultingly it helps prevent dehydration. Moreover, it is a great source of the much important antioxidants. It is also an incredible source of iron, manganese and Vitamin B6, helping improve blood circulation.
We often forget, natural resources for nutrient addition. Mother Nature has provided us with everything we need to deal with living in those areas. Found predominantly in the tropical climates, and more specifically the scorching hot summer plains of India, it’s a great way to keep the troubles caused by the excessive heat and sun, at bay.
Khus Khus: How to use?
Khus Sharbat is probably one of the most traditional welcome drinks in the vast plains of India, which are affected by intense heat waves. It helps guests coming in from the hot outdoors, to refresh and rehydrate themselves, allowing them to be more relaxed and have an enjoyable hospitality experience. Khus Sharbat is an easy drink made using Khus Syrup, lemon juice, water and chilled with ice. Khus syrup is a simple syrup made using khus khus extract/essential oils, sugar, citric acid and water. Khus Syrup has a uniquely green/earthy brown colour and is as much a treat to the eyes as it is to our senses of smell and taste.
As flagbearers of the future of Indian beverages, it is our responsibility to revisit these traditional welcome drinks and rework them into exciting contemporary drinks. Doing so will help us truly celebrate our heritage and build world-class drinks that are distinctively and unmistakenly Indian. Even a dash of khus syrup can elevate your average Gin & Tonic to a whole another level. The Emerald will help you to start appreciating khus khus as a contemporary ingredient, opening up a whole new world for you to experiment in.
Khus Khus Recipe: The Emerald
- 30 ml Khus syrup
- 30 ml Apple juice
- 15 ml Lemon juice
- 5 ml Blue Curacao Syrup (optional)
- Soda to top up
- Dehydrated Lemon Slice for Garnish
- Glassware- Champagne Flute
- In a shaker, pour khus syrup, apple juice, lemon juice, and the Blue Caracao
- Top the shaker up with ice and shake hard
- Strain into your glassware
- Top up with Soda
- Attach the dehydrated lemon slice to the glass with a small wooden pin and serve
HERE is a khus khus syrup available for easy delivery across the country.
HERE is a recipe for a kickass alcohol free Sangria.