HYDERABAD: Bottles were flipped in the air, spun around, beverages poured and served with flair and flamboyance amid cheers at Posh Nosh, Jubilee Hills on Tuesday. After a couple of other rounds including a quiz, two bartenders — Yogesh Kumar and Dhananjai Subramaniam — were named winners of the city round of Ultimate Bartender Championship (UBC) organised by Monkey Shoulder.
Yogesh, who works as a senior bartender, is all smiles, he says, “The competition was amazing and helpful too. It consisted of five rounds that had a quiz, a pouring round, a service and two other final rounds. This is my first such competition and I had so much fun participating in it. It has sure pushed me to work on my skills.”
Dhananjai came in all the way from Gujarat to participate in the championship. “The competition was filled with pressure and pleasure, covering all aspects of service. It was a good test of my skills where there was learning at its best. I’m in the city to visit my family and heard about this competition and decided to try it. I landed only yesterday,” he tells CE and adds that Hyderabad has been doing well in the beverage industry.
UBC, a global initiative by Monkey Shoulder, has been conducting the competition since throughout the country and the finalists from each city will battle it out in Goa soon. With the hashtag #SkillsPayBills, the competition has created quite the buzz. Gaurav Sareen, organiser and host of the event, says, “The basic idea of the competition is to connect bartenders from across cities and inspire them to test and enhance their skills. The energy in Hyderabad was infectious, with participants displaying healthy sportsmanship. The industry of bartenders has been evolving and things like these keep people motivated.”
The competition witnessed quite a few bartendresses. Vani Gouda is thankful for being able to make great contacts and interact with the best in the industry. “I was a corporate employee and I recently put my papers down to pursue my passion for bartending as a full-time career,” says Vani. She trained in European Bartending in Goa.
Gagana Manjunath, a bartender from Novotel is rooting for more women to choose bartending in the city. “I always had great interest in beverages and this has been my passion for a good time now. This competition came served as a good platform for more women to take this up as a career, encouraging women to the work on their skills to pay their own bills,” says Gagana. She is currently pursuing training at Novotel Artistry, Kondapur.