When Natasha Sorensen tells you in a serious note that it’s her love for a guy that made her a mixologist, you know you’re up for some for rivetting chitchat with the good-looking Australian mixologist.
Sorensen, the brand ambassador for Grey Goose, who was recently in the Capital to train bartenders, says with a smile, “I was in love with a boy who worked in a cocktail bar. I thought why not study mixology and spend all the time with him working in the bar.”
Her love drove her to a hidden interest and Sorensen dedicated a lot of time and effort to discover a genuine passion for the industry.
“For me, it turned out to be a lot more than just dealing with liquor. I loved food, I loved the architecture of venues I worked at, but most importantly I loved hosting people, and their company. It continues to be something that I have a natural passion for,” says the 27-year-old mixologist.
Sorensen believes that bartenders often claim the title of a mixologist when it really isn’t earned.
“A mixologist is a trend-setter, an explorer of flavours and somebody who dedicates time behind the bar to finding these combinations,” she says. Sorensen says that mixology becomes boring when bartenders stop asking guests to try new things.
“A mixologist must have the confidence to create entertaining, fun and tasty drinks and present them to the customers. It’s reading, researching and resourcing that helps gather knowledge to do so,” she says.
A cocktail she insists you must try is the very old school, and romantic Vieux Carre (the name translates to the French Quarter of New Orleans), a 19th century classic cocktail, created in 1938 in New Orleans.
A combination of rye, Cognac, sweet vermouth, Drambuie, Peychauds and Angostura Bitters, it’s delightfully complex and keeps you guessing about its flavours.
Sorensen doesn’t seem convinced with the trend of molecular mixology that’s taken the city by storm.
“I believe it is rarely done correctly. Delhi needs to focus on its basics of bartending before exploring molecular mixology,” she says.
The mixologist also believes that with the table service trend of India, the guest often misses the key parts of molecular mixology.
“Guests who order a molecular drink do not get to see any of the molecular aspects from their seat in the restaurant. When presented, it looks like a regular cocktail, which kills the purpose of the art, which is to surprise and create emotions,” she says.
Stir the magic
1. Always use measuring equipment.
2. Work around the flavour profiles of a base ingredient. Find an influence to inspire you. For example, for a party explore Champagne cocktails, that represent celebrations.
3. Treat cocktails like an art they need to be visually appealing with an underlying meaning or influence that converts to an orgasmic taste.
Quick cocktail recipes
40 ml Grey Goose L'Orange
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 orange discs
10ml homemade orange zest syrup
Blaze all ingredients over a brandy balloon and strain into a second fresh brandy balloon. Garnish with a floating star anise.
Tea House Punch
60ml Grey Goose
15ml lemon juice
30ml peach tea soda
Build all ingredients in a tall collins glass and stir over ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig and two lemon wheels.
By Natasha Sorensen