Ready to sip on the nicotini?


Well-known member
The latest ingredient in bartenders' recipe pages might come out of your own pocket.

It's tobacco, the devil that's trending in the alcoholic beverage category. First made by a group of Floridian cocktail makers who created the tobacco-spiked beverages to defy a smoking ban, the fad has increasingly caught the fancy of the world. Here's the drink that's taking alcohol beyond the stereotype....

Style fix

Mixologist Shatbhi Basu says the nicotini is made using vodka infused with tobacco leaves. "It's just a stylish fix that adds a smoky flavour to the drink and has nothing to do with getting people to drink nicotine. You first had soaked cigars with special spirits like rum and whisky to enhance its flavour. Then came cigar blends, and post that they thought 'why not take tobacco leaves and flavour the spirit with it?' After molecular mixology, this is the new trend," she says, adding, "It's getting big abroad on account of its shock value. The drink is still to catch on here."

Not an unsafe brew!

Many might feel this is avoidable fare, a major reason being that the nicotine in tobacco is extremely toxic. One cigarette is said to have roughly 10 to 20 mg of nicotine, but a smoker gets only a fraction of that amount, say 3 mg of nicotine, with the other portion being burned away or not inhaled. In the liquid infusion process, wouldn't the yield of nicotine be higher? Basu refutes this. "The point is, you're infusing the same amount in a whole bottle, so the whole percentage is minuscule," she explains.

Adds Dr Sujeet K Rajan, consultant respiratory physician, "I would think if its nicotine its not really harmful as the ingredient is used as a treatment for cessation of tobacco addiction. There are nicotine inhalers and in India we have nicotine chewing gum and patches so having this drink with a very small percentage of nicotine won't matter. Of course, overdoing anything is not a good idea," he says.