That’s right, two recipes in one post! I’ve teamed up with the folks at Johnnie Walker Red Label to share some cocktail and appetizer pairings for the IPL season. For me, IPL is just an excuse to catch up with friends in the evening and entertaining at home is waaay easier than you can imagine. Also, to ogle at Virat Kohli, but that would warrant a whole separate post. But I will let you in on my little secret for entertaining at home – go with ingredients that are fresh, seasonal and bold flavours that pack a punch!
But I also like to make something hearty because everyone tends to be hungry when they get in from work – and the classic flavours of Tomato Bruschetta never disappoint. I’ve had so much fun jamming with the team at USL Diageo Reserve to figure which flavours pair well together, and like me, they believe that awesome cocktails are really easy to make at home.
We caught up at Kitty Su at The Lalit, Mumbai where Varun Sudhakar, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador for West made this Red Label Snapper- a take on Bloody Mary to pair up with the Bruschetta. He was so passionate about the nuances of flavours and watching him mix the cocktails was such a treat, as was the cocktail which I got to try right after snapping up some pictures. Tough job, right? (wink, wink). There will be another awesome cocktail and appetizer recipe coming up next week, I hope these easy recipes make summer entertaining a breeze for you! For some reason, I’m supporting KKR this season, you guys? Nope, don’t kill me for not supporting the Mumbai Indians this season!
- In a bowl combine the chopped and de-seeded tomatoes (very important to de-seed), red onion, minced garlic, basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar and oregano. Mix together thoroughly to combine and then season with plenty of salt and pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. This helps the flavours develop.
- Slice the baguette on the diagonal into 1-inch slices. Heat a grill pan or Indian ‘tawa’ and toast the bread on both sides until crisp. Handle it carefully, as you need to rub the smashed garlic on this warm, toasted bread (one side only) and then brush the same side with some extra virgin olive oil. Now place the tomato mixture on the bread and serve.
*This recipe doubles very easily.
- Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake together.
- Put a handful of ice cubes in a tall glass and pour the drink over the ice cubes.
- Place the celery stick in the glass and serve immediately.