World Bartender day: Blending skills the right way  

CE speaks to city-based bartenders as the world celebrate World Bartender Day about what keeps their creativity burning bright. 

HYDERABAD: Bartending as a profession is known for its creativity and fast pace work environment. To perfect a drink, it takes a lot of practice and that makes this profession very artistic. They have to deal with different people who may or may not like what drink they are being served by the bartender, but still they keep up good spirits and give their best at work. While we celebrate World Bartender Day on February 24, we get in touch with a few professional bartenders who share their experience of being in this profession.

Arun Kumar, Beverage Head, The Prost Brewery, sharing his experience as being a bartender, he says, “For me bartending is all about expressing yourself in serving and we also have food in the bar. Bartenders are different because we work on something that is creative, they keep creating something new as per the availability and the season or maybe they simply serve what’s in the bottle. How they serve also matters here, we must be very correct about the measures and serve the drinks with a smile.

This would create communication and connect with the customer. For this we have to be attentive and maintain the skill and develop skills every year if possible. We have to be accurate. It is exciting and challenging. Many times it depends on how people react, because the same guest is different after two drinks. The job is very challenging in a day to day work mode, we spend a lot of time on our job and if it is busy we end up working more and if it is not busy we have other challenges. But we do work for long hours and sacrifice our personal and social life. By the time we sleep and wake up half of our day is gone and that is how a bartender’s life is.”

Sathish Kumar Pasupuleti, Beverage Manager, Taro, started very young. “I started at a very young age and it was all new and there were a lot of people who came by to the bar and in that way we were so connected to the job. The first thing is music and the second is socialising which boosts us at work. That is how it all started. Shatbhi Basu the first female bartender in India, I was trained under her. I waited for six months and got an approach of five-star hotels and it was a great exposure for me to learn. I have observed a lot and back then they were comfortable with everything. We have seen the change now, people prefer healthier things and healthier options with alcohol are the right choice now. We did all the R&D and that is how we changed a lot as well.

This is a challenging profession when it comes to competition. We have to struggle to be in a position and for me it has been 12 years. For me my guests should be happy as he is spending money. We don’t switch places soon but mingle with people and get to know people around.”

B Ganesh Rao, Bar Manager at Farzi talks about how he makes his skills known to people while he tries to experiment with different drinks. “I started this work 5 years ago. I wanted to learn about the bar and then started to realise how I can better my skills and do something new. I then started preparing recipes, later I also started to speak to people and know about them and also tell them stories about cocktails and their recipes. I feel that they are happy when I interact. When I look at the smile on their face I decided to do storytelling cocktails before the pandemic and then later I had to stop. Just recently I started the whole concept again with craft cocktails which are handmade cocktails.

This is different from classic cocktails. I am now researching on garnish on drinks, people first look at the drink and if it is attractive enough they will choose to have it and so I am working on this. Every festival we are given the challenge to make something different which is colourful and also stick to the tradition. We keep changing the menu regularly which is a challenge again.”

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The New Indian Express