Bartenders: Skills Beyond Drink Tastingby Opinion Express June 30, 2018 0 comments
Judging a number of different bartenders in a competition on skills that went beyond drink tasting gave impressive results, says Team Viva.
Not many people have an eye for the art and science that mixology is. The cocktails that you order at a bar aren’t just some bartenders pouring drinks for you; it is an experience that is curated especially to embellish the quaint culture of fine drinking. Gone are the days when bartending was just a side job, a backup before a person got the real job. There are specialised courses for people tending bars who provide premium experience to the consumers. What goes inside a glass is the cohesion between the spirits and the gradation of flavours that is determined by the science of the process.
Diageo Reserve World Class recognised these efforts as it organised the finale of its 10th edition of the highly esteemed bartending competition, World Class 2018, at JW Marriott, New Delhi. The occasion witnessed 12 hand-picked bartenders from four corners of the country who competed against each other with great enthusiasm. The theme of this year’s competition as ‘Resourceful Bartending’ which focussed on the reduction of costs in the various areas that a bartender is exposed to — from electricity, water bills to disposables such as straws and napkins. Shweta Jain, Vice President Luxury Commercial & Key Accounts, Diageo India, said, “With Resourceful Bartending as our core theme for World Class 2018, we want our participants to understand the importance of the three things most people don’t expect in cocktail culture — the environment, the service and most importantly the quality of the drinks.”
Judged by the globe-trotting mixologist, who is also the former World Class Canada Winner, Lauren Mote aced the imperative issues of the industry like sustainability and innovation. She tasted each contestant’s rendition of various signature cocktails like Johnnie Ginger, Bee’s Knees and Espresso Martini. But the judgment wasn’t restricted to the taste of the drinks, it was the overall experience — beginning from their strategies to cut time, how they communicated with them during the process as well as the garnish that adorned the glasses.
The first round of the national finals saw the 12 contestants present the symbolism of “Past and Future” through their cocktails within 10 minutes. In this round, contestants were filtered down to six. They were exposed to extreme pressure as they prepared six signature drinks in five minutes in this round. They were scored on the bartender’s technique, creativity and the ability to deal with pressured situations where Gaurav Dhyani from Perch Wine & Coffee Bar in Delhi emerged as the winner. He will represent India at World Class Global Finals which will be held in Berlin.
We loved the smart twists that the finalists gave to some of the drinks. A Johnnie Walker Red Label was mixed with lime juice and ginger ale where the garnish was ginger. Then there was Bee’s Knees where gin was flavoured by honey infused with orange marmalade and lime juice. But it was the Espresso Martini that took the cake, rather the bottle, where vodka was spiced with a shot of espresso and vanilla essence. Truly a refreshing combination and one that won a round of applause. The other finalists included Rohan Rege who represented Paasha at JW Marriott, Pune and Jitender Singh Rana, from Arth, Mumbai, who bagged the second and the third position respectively.
Courtesy: The Pioneer