Bars To Watch: Little Bit Sober ups the cocktail ante in the city of joy
Priya Pathiyan finds out what the fuss is about at this gorgeous bar that is breaking new ground in Kolkata.
Purportedly Kolkata’s ‘first artisanal cocktail bar’, Little Bit Sober at 60 Chowringhee, is certainly one that has caught the cocktail clan’s imagination since it opened in June this year. The glamorous speakeasy style interiors, all scarlet, green, and gold and set inside a nineteenth century mansion, entice the city’s chic set. Be it DJ Masuta spinning tunes or their Sip, Swirl & Swing Thursdays, with a diverse line-up of live music week after week, the 1,800-square-feet Little Bit Sober is now legendary for its sound. It’s this chilled-out vibe and stylish drinks that keep patrons pleased and pumped for more.
Raising the bar
The vision of owners Chirag Punwani and Rudradipta Mukherjee was to create a space where bartenders have the freedom to unleash their creativity. And fortunately for us, they’ve stayed true to this philosophy. The cocktail menu, which was curated by consulting mixologist Nitin Tewari at launch time, featured a dozen cocktails that were called the ‘poet edition’ because each inspired a poem and incorporated the Bengal-centric brilliance of Kasundi Tomato, Gondhoraj Grapefruit, Cardamom Sandesh, and Ghee Rice Old Fashioned. They’ve used all the modern techniques, from fat washing to hydrosol spritzes and yet remained true to the region in terms of ingredients and taste.
The menu has remained far from static and new and exciting drinks are regularly stirred up by the team headed by Head Bartender Shantanu Shaurya (top six finalist in Worldclass India 2023) and ‘bar magicians’ such as Mohammed Shabaz Alam, Gyan Ranjan, and Indronil Dalui.
Little Bit Greater, which, they say is ‘having a mini paparazzi moment’ right now, blends gin, tonic, lemongrass, and berry foam. Then there’s the lip-puckering Citrus Blue, combining the smoothness of tequila, the vibrant hues of blue curaçao, the sweetness of barley syrup, the herbal notes of Bianco Vermouth, all balanced with the zest of lime juice. One that we think will be a particular crowd fave this winter is the one that stars coffee swirled with nolen gur (the new jaggery that is a quintessential Kolkata winter staple).
They also do Sober Sodas, that you can pair with the spirit the bar team recommends, or just enjoy on the rocks. There’s ‘kheer and saffron’ that pairs well with vodka, ‘salted caramel’ that uplifts whiskey, ‘basil pineapple’ that gives tequila a tasty twist, the rather rum ‘blue mango’ that goes well with rum, and ‘orange coffee’ that they recommend with gin. Their spirits menu is pretty vast and varied too, with Indian labels finding representation as well.
Little Bit Sober
Address: 60, Chowringhee Road, Kolkata | Tel: 08240063379 | Instagram: @LittleBitSober.Kolkata