Taste of India serves cocktails with Indian twist

Taste of India bar

There are plenty of places in Charleston where you can get a drink. But a drink and tikka masala? For that combination, you’d have to travel 100 miles – or at least you did before Taste of India opened its new alcohol-licensed location on Sam Rittenberg Road.

“None of the Indian restaurants do this,” says Dan Rathore, restaurant manager and nephew of chef-owner Naresh Bhalla.

To lure patrons to Taste of India’s bar, the restaurant is offering happy hour pricing on Tuesdays through Fridays. From 5 p.m.-7 p.m., house liquors and wines; domestic beers and select appetizers are sold at half price. But even outside the promotional period, there’s plenty to intrigue cocktail fans who’ve maxed out on Campari and citrus bitters.

Among the Indian-inspired drinks on offer are a pair of spirited lassis; chai made with Deep Eddy sweet tea vodka and vodka-enhanced sharbart and nimbu pani, traditional lemon-based drinks celebrated as summer antidotes. For drinkers who don’t want to stray too far from their standard orders, Taste of India is also mixing mules with Indian spices (Something to contemplate while you’re snacking on chaat: Shouldn’t this cocktail be called a Mumbai mule?) and Pimm’s cups by the pitcher.

The bar is outfitted with a TV that Rathore says he keeps tuned to Indian cooking shows. There’s also bottled Indian beer available.

And if you do drop by, Rathore would be happy to show you around the new private party space. He says, “We can do baby showers, buffets” – perhaps accompanied by chai tea combined with tequila.