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Can’t drink, can serve

Serving booze may become the cool new profession for young delhiites.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2009 19:42 IST

AlcoholDelhi can finally mix it right. Young people in the Capital are upbeat about an amendment to the Delhi Excise Bill that allows 21-year-olds to serve liquor, even though the legal drinking age remains at 25. Bartending, then may just become a cool new career opportunity for those fresh out of campus.

While college students look forward to working behind the bar to make some extra bucks, bartending schools are excited that their young clients will now have great chances of placement. Sandeep Verma, who runs tha Bar Devils Bartending School in Vasant Kunj , says, “I get a batch of 25 students every month, with an average age group of 21-25. It’s good that they may legally take up bartending as a chosen profession now.”

Susheel Bhardwaj, owner of Mix and Flair Bartending School in Dwarka says, “It’s a progressive step. Even the age to begin training would come down. Earlier we started at 21, now it will come down to 18-19 years." Yangdup Lama, director, Cocktails & Dreams at Dwarka adds, “80 percent of the students who have been coming to us showing an interest in learning bartending are below 21 years of age. This amendment is great for the bartending industry.” Restaurateur Sohrab Sitaram of Tabula Rasa says, “It’s a welcome step which was much required. Serving alcohol is no longer a taboo.” Shiv Karan Singh of Smoke House Grill says, “It's always a plus to have young, dynamic people behind the bar.”

Engineering student Prateek Sharma, 22, says, “I probably would not consider this as a full time profession, but I would love it as a way to earn extra cash after classes.” However, some are concerned. Abhishek Singh, 20, a student at Hindu College says, “Bartenders sometimes have to step in to situations like bar brawls. I think 21 is too young for this.”