Drinks · Recipe

Mumbai Heat! Cocktail or Mocktail!

Being that I am Indian, I love everything and anything spicy.  Sometimes, I like spiciness in the most random things like desserts or cocktails.  There are times when I get bored with the typical vodka and club soda, that I need to “spice” it up a bit.  This is the perfect example-a spicy vodka cocktail I created yesterday and is my new obsession.  It’s so good that even my mom asked me to make her one today.  Win? Yep! I dubbed this cocktail Mumbai Heat since it uses Indian spices and it has a kick to it.

This drink is definitely an acquired taste just because of it’s savoriness and heat.  In India and Pakistan there’s a soda that you can buy, which is called “masala soda”; it’s exactly what the name says-it’s masala spiced soda.  What makes it taste good are all the spices in this savory yet refreshing drink.  This is the PERFECT thirst quencher during a really hot and humid day.  I felt like recreating that soda but with a kick by using thai peppers to infuse the vodka with.  Psychotic much? Eh, I’m okay to admit it :-p.

If anyone knows me, they know that I LOVE to infuse my own vodka.  Yeah, you can buy already infused vodkas but they’re not as strong, loaded with sugar and higher in calories, and sometimes are made with artificial flavors.  Infusing your own vodka is not hard whatsoever; plus you can get so creative with it!  When I say infused vodka, I mean my a quick infusion and not the actual way of storing it in a dark area for several days or weeks.  Obviously, the longer it sits, the better it tastes but I’m impatient and when my mind thinks of something, I must do it at that instant!  Plus, adding chili peppers into your vodka does not take long for it to infuse.  Trust me, on this. Don’t have thai peppers?  Use Serrano or Jalapeños. Don’t want it spicy but want the flavor of the peppers?  Remove the seeds and membrane before adding it to the vodka.  However, keeping the membrane and seeds intact gives the vodka that burn when you take a sip of it-I mean, if you’re into that kind of stuff. ha.

For the “infusion”, I only made enough for 1 drink but feel free to make a huge batch of it and storing it away, if you wish.  Want to make it non-alcoholic?  You can definitely infuse club soda or sparkling water with the chilis and omitting the vodka portion. Never tried it, but it’ll definitely work!


Thai pepper infused vodka + chaat masala + lemon juice + club soda = YUMMY!

Ingredients for the Mumbai Heat

  • 1.5 oz vodka. I used 3 Olives but you can use whatever you have.
  • 1 small green thai pepper, slitted (If you’re using serrano or jalapenos, only use half.  Remember to remove seeds and membrane to make it milder)
  • 1/4 tsp chaat masala *
  • Juice of half a lime or lemon. Meyer lemon would work nice in this too!
  • Club soda or sparkling water
  • Ice

*can be found at an Indo-Pak or international grocery store in the spice aisle.


  1. In a tall glass, add the vodka and pepper. Stir, cover and set aside for 30 minutes, at least. The longer it sits, the more it infuses.
  2. After 30 mins or so, add the chaat masala and lemon juice.  Mix well
  3. Add ice and top it with club soda or sparkling water. Stir once again to combine everything
  4. Top it off with a lemon slice and enjoy!
  5. You can also throw everything to a shaker and then pour it into a chilled glass.



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