Wow. Thums Up. It’s kind of a Bombay institution, isn’t it? It’s one of those glorious things that never fails to sweep us back in time and conjure up treasured childhood memories of the homeland. Distinctive, tangy, hyper-sweet, the taste reminds us of greedily quenching our thirst after a long afternoon’s cricket practice. Meandering home from school, rationing a prized bottle between best friends. Balmy evening strolls on Chowpatty Beach, rapidly-warming bottle in one hand, Pau Bhaji in the other. It’s not Thunder you can taste, it’s pure nostalgia.
So, there was never really any question that we have Thums Up at Dishoom. It’s part of our Bombay DNA. And we’ve been faithfully serving Thums Up to delighted Desis – and getting our non-Desi friends hooked on it – ever since we opened our doors.
It would be fair to say that another part of our DNA is being curious, or even a bit barmy; asking odd questions that nobody has ever thought to ask before, like “What would happen if an old Bombay Cafe took a trip down to Chowpatty Beach circa 1965 while on a mild acid trip?“, or “I wonder whether Masala Chai tastes good with Baileys?” (answer: of course it does!). And one day recently our Daru-wallah Carl pondered the question, “How can we make a really great vintage cocktail using….Thums Up?”
Sounds more than a bit silly, right? But we just knew that if we could make it work, it would be like that positively rousing moment in Lagaan where Bhuvan hits the winning six, and stops his village paying tax forever. So our daru-walla Carl (who is really very talented – think of him as Aamir Khan in this particular analogy) set to work. We dabbled, we dipped and we tasted and tested, and the answer to that particularly bonkers conundrum is our new Thums Up Flip.
Now Flips are about as classic as they come. The recipe was first written down by Jerry Thomas in 1862, and today the drink is redolent of glamorous 1920s cocktail parties; all smoking jackets, crystal glasses and elegant jewellery. And Flips are not an easy drink to perfect – coming from an era that sanctified purity and perfection in its cocktail-making. But done right, they’re gobsmackingly good.
For our Flip, we took inspiration from Thums Up (or more accurately, a home-made syrup made by carefully reducing the ‘raw’ liquid to intensify its Thums-uppiness!) and combined it with one of our ‘national’ spirits – Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky. We then added a touch of double cream, an egg and a dash of cinnamon bitters.
It may not sound the likeliest of combinations, but trust us – it’s damn good. The individually heavy flavours work together to create a drink that’s light, delicate and subtly balanced – not to mention absolutely delicious.
We’ll be serving this particular blend of awesomeness from Monday 21st May, when our revamped menu gets launched (more on this to follow…). Keep an eye out for passworded freebies and tasters on Facebook…
One thing we haven’t decided yet is the name – so Dishoom-wallas, we’d like your help! Is it a good old Thums Up Flip, or the racier-sounding Black ‘n’ Thunder [i.e. Johnnie Walker Black Label and the Thums Up slogan ‘Taste the Thunder’]? Or do you have a better suggestion? Let us know what you think by posting below!
PS. If whisky isn’t your thing – fear not – we’re also adding a very nostalgic Thums Up Float with vanilla ice cream to the menu next week…
The sun is momentarily out again. Calendars are fast filling up. There’s many a thing to do and many a friend to meet. And if we may kindly add to the excitement and the plan-making, here’s our list of what we’re looking forward to in September.
While we were at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, we caught Evening Conversations, an engaging show by Sudha Bhuchar. We caught up with her after the show to talk about her journey and her views on South Asian representation on screen, which you can read below. And for those who didn’t walk down the cobbled streets of the city or stumble into an impromptu performance this year, we highly recommend it for 2024.
Each year as August dawns, the streets and rooms and corners of Edinburgh fill with music, art, laughter and song. Wander into grand halls and pokey pubs, as the morning sun rises or in the dark of night, to see creations of every kind as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In honour of this wonderful celebration of the performing arts (and as a little treat), here’s a special edition Dishoom Loves, covering all the acts we’ve circled on our festival programme.
For anyone looking to learn or read more on Partition, this page holds a series of resources, for all ages, created by people knowledgeable and knowing about such matters. It is by no means definitive – we have simply found them to be useful, inspiring and accessible.