New menu: Rocky around the clock at O Pedro Mumbai
Priya Pathiyan discovers why the bar team at O Pedro is getting so cocky about their cocktails!
Third time lucky, they say. But O Pedro, the Goan getaway in the heart of Mumbai’s glitzy business district, has been lucky to have enjoyed a fan following since it was launched. Owned by Yash Bhanage, Sameer Seth and the late Chef Floyd Cardoz of Hunger Inc, the boys behind the critically acclaimed and hugely popular The Bombay Canteen, The Bombay Sweet Shop, and Veronica’s, O Pedro has carved a niche for itself in Mumbai’s vibrant bar scene, with a rash of regulars thronging the easy-going eatery and bar throughout the week.
And while these loyal O Pedrites may not have given it a nickname, the bar’s third cocktail menu does just that, calling it Happyland, a place where ‘mighty cocktails and misadventures follow’! Those who were around when O Pedro launched back in 2017, will remember the big and colourful plaster roosters that scooted around the city as part of the gift hamper to announce its opening. These roosters, emblematic of good luck in Goa, became like the bar’s mascot. It’s no coincidence that today, the new menu is presided over by a rambunctious rooster called Rocky!
The ‘Happy Go Rocky’ cocktail menu takes you through a typical day in his life in Happyland. For example, Diddly Doo apparently gets you into a boozy breakfast mood with freshly squeezed OJ, malt and beer syrup, Lucifer Gold whiskey and Amaro Abano. Lazy Daisy is all about lounging in the pool all day, going trés tropical with spiced pineapple rum, in-house coconut rum, Short Story white rum, and a dash of Fino Sherry. And then there’s the potent Nightwing, which fuses Lucifer Gold whiskey and Choya Umeshu (the sweet Japanese plum liqueur we love) with Amaro Montenegro and Angostura Bitters.
At a pre-launch tasting, Bhanage, who has been passionate about the beverage programme at each of Hunger Inc’s establishments, personally takes us on a tour of the new offerings. He emphasises that O Pedro’s drinks, though equally technique-intense as those at The Bombay Canteen, are to be taken in a lighter vein, to go with the chilled-out vibe. For the evening, he’s created cue cards for us to try at least three of the eight new drinks.
The Ready Steady, a smooth, milk-clarified fruity concoction that blends Short Story White Rum and Plantation Dark Rum, with green tea, and spices. The surprise element that we love in this one is the distinct malty taste and mouthfeel of chikoo (the brown fleshy fruit that’s also called sapodilla).
To introduce the savoury options, Bhanage brings us samples of the infused vodka they have used for The Last Cucumber (green pea and parsley) and the Ziggy Zag (Ishka Farm capers). The latter is a dry martini with the mouth pucker coming from the tart capers instead of traditional olives.
Which is why I gravitate towards the even more unique The Last Cucumber, which is like British teatime sandwiches in a glass — Short Story vodka infused with the afore-mentioned green pea and parsley, combined with a dill-infused wine, a lipsmackingly tart cucumber pickle brine, and a dash of honey-pepper syrup to balance out the flavours. I can’t get enough of this well-rounded concoction, which lingers on the tongue and tastes wonderful even after it gets watered down with the melting ice. This is one that we will definitely be going back for.
In comparison, the Negroniesque Blue Pea Night would be a less adventurous, but my delicious ‘safe’ choice on a night out with friends. Spirit forward and bittersweet, it mixes Stranger & Sons gin, mezcal, Martini Dry Vermouth, with blue pea bitters for that passionate purple shade.
All in all, this is a small but innovative menu that is worth a special visit to O Pedro.
Timing: Monday to Sunday, noon to one am | Address: Unit #2, Ground Floor, Jet Airways-Godrej BKC Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai | Call: +917506525554 | Prices: Starting at ₹ 675 (plus taxes).