India enters the intoxication game

In crucial ways, India's emergence as a major power mirrors the earlier rise of Western nations: a surge in manufacturing, the development of nuclear arms, and the export of crappy movies to countries that bitch about cultural imperialism but when left to themselves only produce even crappier movies. Now proving India can be a cocktailing global power: Zenna Bar

Just opened in Soho, Zenna positions itself as "London's first Indian cocktail bar", serving up exotic mixed beverages in a plush, low-lit space with velvety alcove seating, scattered Oriental rugs, and a shimmering metallic bar, but not a shimmering Metallica bar, because even bartenders don't want to hear about that many problems. Spicy booze starts out relatively unintimidating with the Bee Sting Martini (honey vodka/liqueur, lemon, mild chillis & peach liqueur/puree), then gets more challenging with the apple/ orange/ strawberry/ almond syrup/ gin/ hot chilli Red Fort, before moving in for the kill with the "world's spiciest cocktail", the Golden Dragon: rum, orange Curacao, almond syrup, lime, orange, and a single drop of secret chilli sauce, served with a gin & soda "fire extinguisher" -- an alkie safety device often used on Bon (Scott) Fire Night. Less tongue-atomizing numbers leap from a whiskey sour made with Indian single-malt and cardamom, to the vodka & apricot brandy Chai Tea Martini, to a Punjabi-style Mango Lassi made with saffron gin, guaranteeing your girlfriend'll be left to satisfy herself with an electrical banana.

For non-liquid nourishment, there's a trio of canape menus featuring the likes of Murgh tikka corn-fed chicken, Jhinga hariyala marinated king prawns w/ mint & coriander, and Devon lamb seekh kebabs -- which, combined with all that alcohol, will ensure the only thing going nuclear is you.