During the last few months, F&B industry has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, there was a ‘highway ban’ order and now new voices have been erupting in various states to completely ban the liquor. But there is another side of the story. India is the 3rd largest consumer of Whiskey in the world after China and Russia. Surprised!!!!
Among the millennial, drinking in the bars is fast becoming part of the “social milieu”. They are not only trying various liquors, but also experimenting with cocktails. It has given rise to ‘craft cocktail bars’ in the country and the limelight to the profession of BarTender.
Last Thursday, North American Whiskey Cocktail Championship held its finale at ITC Welcome Hotel, Dwarka. This was the first edition of the competition and was conducted over two months. It saw participation from over 230 bartenders across the country. In the first round, participants were asked to submit an original cocktail recipe using Woodford Reserve, Gentleman Jack or Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel. 89 entries were shortlisted for the second round, which were then judged on the basis of creativity, balance, presentation and consumer acceptance to arrive at the 15 finalists. The final 15 showcased their skills and presented their recipes live in front of the judges.
The four member jury panel comprised of Vikram Achanta, Co-Founder and CEO of Tulleeho; Vaibhav Singh, Founder, Perch Wine & Coffee Bars; Jay Malik, Senior Brand Manager – MENA, Brown-Forman and Vineet Agrawal, Head of Marketing – India Area, Brown-Forman.
The winning recipe was “The Amazing Grace” of Vikram K.U from Blue Bar, Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. He used walnut and fig infused Woodford Reserve, spice syrup, homemade spice bitters and homemade lemon bitter. The aroma & flavors of this ‘spicy’ cocktail were true to the spirit of Indian food culture.
Whisky has been the “oldest base spirit” for cocktails and this championship will encourage mixologists to come up with more interesting recipes.