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Pair Your Favourite Raja Ravi Varma Paintings With These Cocktails

raja ravi varma

Ever been to an art show and sipped on a glass of bubbly or a sparkling wine spritzer while appreciating high art? Trés fancy, isn’t it? Observing a piece of beautiful artwork etched with many themes and poignant motifs is a delight for the true connoisseur and paired with a glass of a decadent spirit, this experience is just taken up a notch. 

The Indian art space has witnessed numerous revolutionary masters who have had a tremendous bearing upon the way we recognise painting today. One such artist is undoubtedly Raja Ravi Varma whose blend of Indian themes with western artistic techniques put him on the map as an artist of exemplary calibre. The artist hailed from the enriching region of Travancore, or Kerala, and inevitably brought into his work many influences from Indian mythology.

Enjoying the great master’s paintings with a glass of premium liquor is a wonderful use of a holiday evening where you can take in his work in all its glory along with a light buzz that sparks your senses. And if the drink is a delicious cocktail, you can find in this blend a way to connect with the artist at a more sublime level that is a mix of varied traditions and techniques coming together to present a masterpiece.

Read on below for some concoctions that can be paired with select Ravi Varma paintings for a profoundly artsy experience:

Lady In The Moonlight – Moonlight Martini

Ravi Varma is known for introducing a realistic yet sultry and imaginative style into his paintings. This creation is one such depiction of a beautiful woman in a saree sitting by the river as the moonlight shines bright in the sky. Pair this calming drink with a martini made from vodka and elderflower to infuse the aroma of the fortified wine into a classic drink carrying citrus and floral hints.

Shakuntala – Saffron Paloma

The famed artist with a rich historical and artistic legacy is known for crafting goddesses and mythological characters befitting their backstories. Shakuntala is a personification of the innocence and purity of this enigmatic mythological woman known for her resilience and uninhibited love. Accompany a viewing of this delightful painting with an equally vibrant saffron paloma full of the hues and fragrance of the luxurious spice and a hint of premium Don Julio Blanco. Add a splash of rose water to make the mix more decadent.

saffron paloma

Hamsa Damayanti – Elderflower Gin And Tonic

Flowers, birds and other naturalistic elements figure prominently in Ravi Varma’s paintings. The illustration of Damayanti standing despondently by a beautiful and elegant white swan is a stunning creation that speaks to the artist’s understanding of her plight. Pair the Hamsa Damayanti with Gordon’s The Original London Dry Gin and elderflower to match the elegance of the cocktail with the beautiful woman in the artwork.

The Maharashtrian Lady – Moscow Mule

You can add a bit of a desi twist to a classic moscow mule made from Ketel One Premium Distilled Vodka and ginger beer by adding to it a splash of lime and mango juices and just a hint of chilli. This drink can be paired splendidly with Ravi Varma’s work that celebrates the quintessential woman of a colourful Indian region, wrapped in a brilliant, bright red saree.

Galaxy Of Musicians – Old Fashioned

Ravi Varma’s painting depicting a group of women singing together is in effect a description of the diverse cultures that intermingled in the Indian subcontinent during colonial and precolonial times. Bring this painting together with a classic Old Fashioned made from bourbon and bitters for a discussion on the political connotations of this masterpiece.

old fashioned cocktail

The Mysore Couple – Manhattan

This is a wonderfully romantic painting that highlights a royal couple from Mysore in all its glory. Appreciate this famous work by the artist with a glass of manhattan whose reddish notes nicely complement the themes of love and sensuality embedded in the painting. Make a manhattan with generous helpings of sweet vermouth for an adorably syrupy relish.