How many times have you stopped at a bar counter and looked at the bar tender? I have been always fascinated by their skills as and when they throw the mixing glass in the air and then catch them in style. Even in movies I love the way they flaunt these skills! It looks very fascinating and I was always curious to see how it actually works. And finally I got a chance to watch them closely and appreciate their talent!
Cointreau had organized La Maison Cointreau ~ India’s first and only women bartending competition at Leela, Gurgaon! Eight of the best bartenders in India were selected through rigorous process. The winner would represent India in the finals in Singapore. It was indeed a proud moment, as all of them were highly trained and experienced and were judged by none other than Shatbhi Basu, the first female mixologist of India.
This was not the first time I met with Shatbhi Basu. I had interacted with her at Harry’s khan market and was immensely impressed by her talent. She had made some excellent cocktails and all of them were outstanding, especially Espresso Martini, Hot Chocolate Cow.
I had the privilege of meeting her again at the American Embassy. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States had sponsored the Great American Whiskey Experience, an export promotion for local media and beverage industry executives in Delhi, with Ambassador Kathleen Stephens at her Residence. The event program, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, featured a presentation on the history and unique production process of American Whiskeys. It also included a tasting of American Whiskeys as well as a cocktail presentation.
The tasting featured samples of Jim Beam black label, Bulleit Rye, Makers Mark, Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniels Silver Select as well as a cocktail presentation conducted by author and Mumbai-based American Whiskey Ambassador Shatbhi Basu. She not only conducted the tasting but she also prepared Whisky sour with one of the American whisky.
Now coming back to the event, Shatbhi Basu being one of the judges had to select one out of eight contenders at the La Maison Cointreau. Shatbhi was thrilled and shared that it was indeed a proud moment for the mixologist, as it was the first exclusive event that had been organized for women bartenders.
Out of eight finalists, Ms Ami Behram Shroff was declared as winner. Delighted on her victory, Ms. Ami Behram Shroff said, “I am honored to be crowned as the first female mixologist champion of La Maison Cointreau India. I thank Remy Cointreau for giving me this wonderful opportunity to showcase my commitment to the profession and create some really unique cocktails. This initiative is a great platform to encourage bartenders and recognise their talent and I hope this encourages many more ladies to step up to the bar.”