Skip to main content

Chukku Kaapi: Mocktail Version

When I blogged about my foray into mixology fusion, in addition to the group that were quite thrilled about the idea of a boozy version of  the traditional South indian Chukku Kaapi, there were an equal number of people who requested  a mocktail version. The immediate blunt first thought that replied mentally was... but that is just chilled regular chukku kaapi...& nothing could have been further from reality..

A lot of fruits have flavors that cannot to 'unlocked' by  a water based solvent. They require a chemical such as ethanol to completely dissociate & be perceived by the tastebuds & the nose. Next time you hear someone extolling the virtues of the nose & bouquet of a great bottle of wine, you know why! Ditto with fruit & other flavored liqueurs, the alcohol helps unlock some flavors that are otherwise hidden simply because the H2O in our Saliva cannot dissolve them to release their aroma to be analyzed by the nose.

The reason that so many Creme liqueurs are in the market today  is not because of their myriad flavors. Its the textural experience of sipping them. Creme liqueurs are exactly that..Creamy, with the thick 'custardy' texture of melted high fat vanilla ice cream.

Coming back to Chukku Kaapi. The original beverage made by countless Indian moms, is designed to be much more lighter & diluted than a traditional tumbler of filter Kaapi mainly to aid digestion during the convalescent period following delivery. Certainly NOT what a creamy rich coffee mocktail should  feel like on the tongue, or taste.

All in all, I had a ball creating this drink.  Since someone had asked for a chocolate mocha angle, I went off searching for a chocolate based syrup.. Yes, I found it in the grocery in a 1 litre bottle.. since I had no clue if I would use that much, decided against buying it &  just ordered my self a small coffee with lotsa extra syrup..on the side! Just as well, that horrid thing was made using a sweetener!. Lesson # 1.. Never start off with sweeteners, refined sugar is artificial enough for our systems to handle!
So... brewed an espresso with an additional tablespoon of cocoa powder. The end result had just the right amount of chocolate nuances.

To make this mocktail, you need: (makes 1 serving, multiply according to how many you need)

30 ml espresso coffee (follow directions above for a choco-mocha)
30 ml Fresh ginger root extract
15 ml Ginger syrup (recipe follows)
1/4 cup light cream or half & half
 plus extra for frothing
1 mini martini glass (sugaring the rim optional)

To make Ginger extract, finely grate a 2 inch piece of ginger & squeeze out the juice. allow to stand for 5 minutes before decanting. Discard the white residue at the bottom.

To make the ginger syrup, combine 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger ( or 1 tbsp of powdered dry ginger in 1/4 cup of water. Boil till the syrup has thickened & strain into a fresh container. Chill until needed.

In a cup, combine the espresso coffee, ginger root extract and the ginger syrup. stir well. Add the cream as per your preference & chill till really cold. Heat the remaining cream for 30 s in the microwave & whip well using an aerolater (a fancy name for those battery operated milk whips that retail for $ 1.99 @ Ikea)
Decant into a Martini glass. Spoon froth over the coffee, garnish with a cocoa powder & a broken bit of dark chocolate.
Enjoy as an after dinner apertif in the company of friends.
Ginger syrup comes in handy for a LOT of other uses like a quick ginger flavored lemonade etc. To prepare this in bulk, you need:
1 cup grated Ginger
1 cup brown sugar (yields a richer flavor)
1 cup water.
Combine the sugar and water & heat till the sugar dissolves. Add the ginger & simmer for ~ 15 minutes on medium heat till the syrup thickens. Remove from heat, cool & strain into a glass container. Store in refrigerator & use as needed.


  1. Absolutely TAMBRAM!! I am going to try this soon. I need a bakra to try it out on.


  2. Go ahead & volunteer yourself!... the caffeine gave me such a buzz, i was wondering why I even bothered about the alcoholic version!!


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear feedback from you, your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

Popular posts from this blog

Sputtering back....

I seriously feel like this scene from the movie 3 idiots .. remember this one? The way I kept racking up drafts and eventually stopped doing that as well. Lulled into complacence by the quick high from Instagram posts. Recipe measurements hastily scribbled into a Moleskine notebook faithfully depending upon my moods. The truth is that I keep over thinking the backstories needed to make the post more interesting while in reality the truth is that ideas and inspirations just occur spontaneously (like little itches , sneezes or twitches) whenever the opportunity happens to strike. Some really cool ideas that scare the beejeezus out of me and yet prove to be utterly delightful and simple in the end. Others, that seem so trivial that I feel it wouldn't be worth crowing about -- even if there are enough other recipes in that genre that get so much publicity simply because the author happens to have the right marketing knack. So in the past 4 years that I've been

Product Review: Ninja Mega Kitchen system and a recipe for Masala Dosa

 One of the biggest reasons for attending conferences is the priceless experience of meeting fellow bloggers and get an invaluable exposure to all things  culinary. This includes vendors with new products to savor and get inspiration from. I had no complaints about whatever appliances I had for making traditional Dosa (Traditional South Indian rice & lentil crepes) batter, a sturdy tabletop stone grinder that you could add the Urad dal, turn the timer on , and 30  minutes later, come back to a container full of fluffy, batter with the consistency of whipped egg whites. The The cons of this is the cleaning up, of the various parts, the roller, the grinding bin, the multiple trays on which the rollers need to be placed while transferring the rice & lentil batter, the invariable drips of thick batter on the counter.... you get the point, It takes quite a bit of time. I was pleasantly surprised when the appliance company, Ninja asked me if I'd like to try any of their

Pickling & preserving the Buddha's Hand!

 Got your attention with that sacrilegious sounding title on this post, didn't I? Well, I'm as spiritual as the next person out there, and never in my life will I ever commit that variety of Blasphemy, so nothing to fret about. I still wonder why these curious looking citrus entities (other than the obvious visual reason) were called such. It turns out that these fruits are used as a religious offering to the Buddha. My neighboring Whole Foods Market (which is quite some distance away, in Princeton) had a stock of these weird looking citrus and I must have been the oddball customer who immediately went cuckoo on spotting them. Since I had never seen one before, I immediately went for the biggest fruit with the most tentacles (since they were sold as individual units rather than by weight) The first three 'tentacles' were peeled off for their zest, dried in the oven and went into making a citrus salt for my Food52 Secret Santa .     Making