The considerable gap between the terms ‘chef’ and ‘cook’ is grammatically disconcerting but socially acceptable. You would never have walked around and referred to Joel Roubouson as a ‘ cook, ‘ simply because the precision, skill and talent that brought him to the title of ‘ Chef of the Century ‘ gained him a certain rank and admiration. How, then, people have such difficulties in recognizing the common distinction between bartenders and mixologists? Accurate, there are many outstanding bartenders, those who will mix you a flawless drink every time and serve it with their own signature blossom, but to enter the arena of mixology, as in the elite culinary world, it requires so much more. Throughout India, you’re more likely to come across the word being misused simply because we’re still in the early stages of the campaign. It’s true that food culture in India has taken huge strides in recent years, whether it’s healthy eating or rediscovering classic flavours, that Indian customers have become more conscious of what they’re putting in their mouths, and that the alcohol industry has been on board for a journey.
Well! Having a natural flair for the road-less travelled, mastering their skills, and knowing what it takes to be at the top of their craft. We’re talking about the top Indian mixologist who keeps sculpting their way, who has redefined success in a new and refreshing manner.
1. Hemant Pathak
The man who gave Indian Mixology a place on the world map. His Mumbai Margarita was in the race for the Margarita of the Year Award. His mantle is beautifully decorated with prestigious awards like the World Class ‘ Classic Cocktail with a Twist ‘ (2011) and the Legacy Cocktail Competition India (2012) awards. From a new hospitality graduate in 2008 to a world-renowned Mixologist today, the success of Pathak in nine short years can only be characterized as awe-inspiring. Sprinkle that with his determination to constantly improve his art and passion for promoting his global learning in his home country, and you’d have to be made of stone to resist being enthralled.
2. Ami Behram Shroff
Flair bartending is a phenomenon, and Ami Behram Shroff wanted to give her a shot when she was just a teenager. She’s never gone back since then. As a consequence, today she is one of India’s few flair bartenders to be looked after for special occasions and events. That isn’t enough; she’s also an expert mixologist that makes her a true professional at the bar. Flair bartending is actually an art of captivating the audience with the tools available at the bar, which include shakers, bottles, glasses, ice and so on, and mixing fire, juggling and even magic. Realistically speaking, mixology is the research and practice of combining and inventing modern drinks and mock-tails. As per her Social media profile, she has been able to do the job at more than 20 destinations across India and beyond, at more than 1,000 events, from backyard pool parties to prestigious corporate functions and conventions.
3. Rohan Rege
The Pune Mixologist wins India’s biggest bartender competition in India. Mixologists from all over the world participate in the World Class Competition, and India is, of course, a proud participant of it. The 2017 Indian competition concluded with Rohan Rege from Paasha, JW Marriott Pune, as the winner.
4. Shatbhi Basu
Deemed to be one of the legends of bartending in India with over three decades of experience, Shatbhi Basu is seen as an inspiration and evidence that a great deal of hard work and determination can accomplished anything. Operating her own bartending institute in Mumbai called the Stir Academy of Bartending; Shatbhi has never stopped contributing to this sector. She hosted TV shows on mixology and wrote columns in mainstream newspapers. She runs a number of workshops across the country and is trying to keep this art alive among women. It also published the first comprehensive guide to alcoholic beverages and cocktails relevant to Indian conditions called ‘The Can’t Go Wrong Book of Cocktails’.
5. Vibhuti Angane
Bartending as a viable career has seen a boom in recent years and continues to expand. Professionals like Vibhuti Angane are the ones who keep this art alive and thriving.