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DIY Homemade Syrups For Flavourful Barf Ka Gola Cocktails

By: Kamalika Mukherjee

barf ka gola featured

Cherished by people of all ages to beat the scorching heat, the humble Barf Ka Gola has now found its place in cocktail culture.  and is reviving nostalgia for all. Traditionally,  barf ka gola or shaved ice is a simple concoction of crushed ice drenched in vibrant, flavoured syrups, that is often garnished with a sprinkle of tangy spices.  The end product is an icy slushie that is all shades of sweet and salty, and sometimes sour too.

These icy treats have been a quintessential part of the Indian summer experience for as long as we can remember and now, they have been given a fresh lease of life by creative mixologists at work. In this story, we share a handful of DIY recipes for homemade syrups that will help you recreate these Barf Ka Gola cocktails at evening soirees and parties. 

Ginger-Lemon Zest Syrup

One can never go wrong with the twang of ginger and lemon and this simple syrup. Although basic, it will help elevate the flavours in your gola cocktail by a notch. 

Ingredients:

  • 125 gms fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 200 gms sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 240 ml water

Method:

In a saucepan, combine the ginger, sugar, lemon zest, and water.

Bring the mixture to a boil and keep stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Simmer for about 15 minutes until the syrup thickens and then turn off the heat. 

Strain the syrup to remove the ginger and lemon zest.

Allow the syrup to cool before storing it in a clean, airtight container.

Use it whenever.

Spiced Tamarind Syrup

Tamarind is a typically Indian ingredient that finds its place in a lot of curries across the country but have you tried this in a cocktail? This sour-tasting tongue-smacking addition makes for a mean simple syrup. 

Ingredients:

  • 120 gms tamarind pulp (soaked in 2 cups water)
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 3 gms black salt
  • 1.5 gms ground black pepper
  • 1.5 gms ground cumin

Method:

Soak tamarind in water and extract the pulp by squeezing and straining it. 

In a saucepan, combine tamarind pulp, sugar, black salt, black pepper, and cumin.

Heat over low heat, and keep stirring the sugar until it dissolves completely. 

Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the syrup thickens and then turn the heat off. 

Let the syrup cool and store it in a clean, airtight container.

Mint and Cardamom-Infused Sugar Syrup

mint and cardamom syrup

This heavenly combo of mint and cardamom spells refreshing in every sip. This one would go incredibly well during summers, especially during afternoons.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml water
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 20 gms fresh mint leaves
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods, crushed

Method:

In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, mint leaves, and crushed cardamom pods.

Bring it to a boil and simmer over low heat for about 10-15 minutes until the syrup thickens. The flavours will have infused by then. 

Turn off the heat and strain the syrup to remove the mint leaves and cardamom pods.

Allow the syrup to cool down before storing it in a clean, airtight container.

Kala Khatta Syrup

Kala Khatta is a classic. The tang from the jamun fruit and the smack of black salt hits all the right spots, so here’s the recipe to make a rather boozy version of the same. 

Ingredients:

  • 150 gms jamun (Indian blackberry) pulp
  • 250 ml water
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 3 gms black salt
  • 3 gms cumin powder

Method:

In a blender, mix the jamun pulp and water till smooth.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any seeds or fibres.

In a saucepan, combine the strained juice and sugar. 

Heat it over low and keep stirring it until the sugar dissolves.

Add black salt and cumin powder, and continue to simmer for a few more minutes.

Take it off the heat and let the syrup cool before storing it in a clean, airtight container.

Aam Panna Syrup

Another summer classic, Aam Panna was the saviour of the parched Indian summers and it still is to date. When the mercury level rises, nothing cools the body like this refreshing raw mango drink. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 raw mangoes
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 5 gms roasted cumin powder
  • A pinch of black salt

Method:

Boil the raw mangoes until they are soft. Extract the pulp and discard the skin and seeds.

Blend the mango pulp with sugar to form a smooth mixture.

Add roasted cumin powder and black salt, and mix well.

Allow the syrup to cool, then transfer it to a clean, airtight container.

Rooh Afza and Rose Syrup Blend

rooh afza and rose syrup

Another Indian classic, Rooh Afza is probably a very desi thing that we’ve all grown up on. Nobody ever hated a gulab sherbat, so it's quite likely that this one would be just as nostalgic. The Indian rose is an exotic flavour that is cherished by many so here’s the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 120 ml Rooh Afza
  • 120 ml rose syrup
  • 1.5 gms cardamom powder
  • 240 ml water

Method:

In a bowl, mix Rooh Afza and the rose syrup.

Add cardamom powder and water, and stir until well combined.

Transfer the blend to a clean, airtight container.

Saffron and Rosewater Syrup

If you’re big on aroma, nothing spells finesse better than the fragrance of saffron and rosewater, something most of us are very familiar with. This simple syrup is sure to add to the sensory experience of the cocktail that will follow.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml water
  • 200 gms sugar
  • A pinch of saffron strands
  • 5 ml rosewater

Method: 

In a saucepan, combine the water and sugar.

Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves over low heat.

Add saffron strands and let them infuse their flavours in the syrup as it simmers for about 10-15 minutes until it thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir in rosewater.

Allow the syrup to cool and store it in a clean airtight container.

Pineapple and Jalapeno Syrup

pineapple jalapeno gola syrup

If you’re in the mood for something tropical, this Pineapple and Jalapeno simple syrup is the perfect way to kick up that barf ka gola. The sweetness from the pineapple is cut by the spiciness from the jalapeno, making this a simple syrup worth bottling up for profit.

Ingredients:

  • 250 ml pineapple juice (freshly squeezed or canned)
  • 200 gms sugar
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers, sliced (adjust to taste)
  • 120 ml water

Method:

In a saucepan, combine the pineapple juice, sugar, jalapeno slices, and water.

Keep stirring this mix over low heat. 

Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavour of the jalapenos to infuse into the syrup.

Turn off the heat and strain the syrup to remove the jalapeno slices.

Let the syrup cool and store it in a clean, airtight container.

We guarantee that you’d want to indulge in one too many! When spiked with spirits, do enjoy these golas in moderation!