The Sonnet is a gorgeous property very close to City Centre, Saltlake; it is a 4-star business hotel and houses all-day dining restaurant, lounge, and a well-stocked bar. I am regular in this part of the city but I was quite unaware about the bar and its offerings until I attended a cocktail tasting session at this place. The bar is called Unwine. And as the cleverly coined name indicates it is one laid back spot to unwind and relax. This cool bar with huge range of spirits, wines, etc serves innovative and artsy cocktails and mocktails that entices you and in turn helps you let it all go. The bar mostly has got in-house guests who are anyway super chilled out since they know they can keep on drinking since they are anyway staying at the same hotel and they are free to create fuss, we experienced one such esteemed guest during our visit who was creating quite a bit of nuisance. But anyway, we carried on with our tasting session which went very well and the mocktails and cocktails which were served looked amazing when they were queued up together.
Unwine, which is at the Ground floor of Sonnet (right opposite the Aura restaurant) looks a bit cramped up but it is actually L-shaped and as you move on you will discover the other end of the ‘L’ shaped area where you will find a large wall mounted television screening live sports, etc which you can enjoy while sitting at the comfy couches placed nearby. I preferred settling down in the couches rather than sitting on the high bar stools. The bar is very neatly decked up with strategically placed lights and well lit background shelves stacked with the likes of Glenmorangie, Talisker, Glenkinchie, Caol Ila, Black Label, Jack Daniels, etc. The overall interiors, lighting, chandeliers, single sofa seats with small table in front, optimally spaced seating, everything adds to the positive of this place.
Coming a bit to the service – the bartender, the in-charge, and other staffs everyone was very polite and courteous and helped us the way the situation demanded. The service was prompt and the drinks were prepared with lovely brisk pace and appreciable concentration. Though you can opt to display some bartending skills as well when you gave got guests invited and waiting in front of you for the final product that you are preparing.
Now coming to the items we tried that evening, here is the list and a brief description against each. So here we go –
a) Pinacolada – This was the best cocktail of the evening for sure, so I am giving the good news in the beginning itself! It was served in a whole pineapple topped with couple of little umbrellas to give that chilled out feel to it. It was surely high on innovation quotient and should be one of the signature drinks of Unwine. The cocktail had got 60 Ml of White Rum, correct proportion of coconut cream, 60 Ml of Pineapple juice and then all the ingredients were blended properly and served in a whole pineapple. It was garnished with a slice of pineapple. Please try this one out if you are here at Sonnet.
b) Cucumber Rocks – It is one lovely looking green colored mocktail served in Martini glass. It has got 60 Ml cucumber juice, lemon juice, correct amount of rock salt, sugar syrup and some crushed ice. All the ingredients were being mixed together and then they were poured over the crushed ice. It was garnished with ring of cucumber and a cherry. Nice refreshing drink.
c) Water melon Mojito – For all the water melon lovers this drink is surely for you provided you are all set to taste it with white rum. This red colored drink was again served in a martini glass and had 60 Ml White Rum, mint, sugar, lemon juice, mashed water melon juice and ice. Here, the mint was crushed first and added sugar with lemon juice, then the glass was filled up with ice and topped with water melon juice. It was then garnished with slice of water melon. I expected a bit more punch in this drink which can be looked upon.
d) Hot Beer – The name is quite catchy since you don’t have your beer when hot. Here also you need not taste hot beer literally. This was served in a beer mug, and we give a stir to the green chilli, sugar, lemon juice, chat masala, 330 Ml of beer and some ice to prepare the final drink which didn’t have any garnish. It was okay according to me.
e) Ginger Rock Salt Delight – This is a mocktail that was presented in a Colins glass garnished with a zest of lemon. All the ingredients (like lemon, ginger flakes, rock salt, chat masala, 90 Ml 7UP, 60 Ml Coke) were put into a glass filled with ice and then it was topped up with some Coke. It tasted pretty good and is worth recommending to others.
f) Vodka Rasila – As the name suggests it is a cocktail served in a old fashioned glass with an orthodox garnish of lemon and cherry. The drink tasted pretty interesting and relaxing and the credit goes to the right mix of Aam Panna, mango juice, Sugar syrup, lemon juice and 60 Ml Vodka.
g) Chili Guava – To start with, I really liked the late spicy sensation of the chili in that drink which was served with a garnish of lemon wedge and a slit of chili. The drink was prepared with the elements like – 90 Ml of Guava juice, 5 Ml of Lemon juice, Sugar Syrup, Rock Salt, Chaat masala and Tobasco.
h) Passionate Kiss – This is a beer based cocktail served in a martini glass with garnish of a full strawberry. It contains 60 Ml of Beer with 30 Ml of Tequilla. It also has four pieces of strawberry, lemonade and crushed ice. All these elements were blended nicely but I guess the proportions this time failed to impress me and I felt this drink was expected to deliver a bit more kick.
So, that last drink marked the end of our tasting session at the launch of their summer special cocktails and mocktails, attended along with other Panchphoron members. Overall I will give this place close to 70% positive feedback. To summarize, the drinks were nice and the innovation quotient was appreciated though a bit more intensity would have been highly appreciated in these drinks and I am not talking about kick of the spirit used, but the overall proportions. But hopefully Unwine will attract more eyeballs in the coming days in a positive way and it’ll help people unwind real fast.