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A heady concoction

Working with the Fluid Lounge Bar at the Mosaic Hotel, Noida, these days, Carter is popular as a cocktail encyclopedia, reports Ripu Daman Singh.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 02:28 IST

When the cocktails menu reads Sex on the Beach, Between the Sheets and Mexican Margarita — Jimmy Carter is the man to trust. Over the past four years, the 27-year-old cocktail specialist has tried every possible permutation with exotic drinks.

Working with the Fluid Lounge Bar at the Mosaic Hotel, Noida, these days, Carter is popular with guests as a walking, talking cocktail encyclopedia.

Carter’s knowledge of cocktails is phenomenal and it takes even connoisseurs by surprise. Did you know, for instance, that Eve’s Temptation, Mojito and Caprioska are exotics-sounding variations of a basic concoction (mint, lemon chunks, vodka/ bacardi, brown sugar)? Or that Mai Tai, Paradise and Pineapple Desire are nothing but a heady mix of Bacardi, Cointreau, brandy, pineapple and orange juice.

The fact that he is a teetotaller has never come in the way of rustling up heady cocktails. In fact, without actually tasting his own concoctions, Carter won the Rick’s Bartending Competition in 2005 hands-down.

Although he has a three-year diploma certificate from the Institute of Hotel Management, Bhopal, hands-on experience is the best way to hone bartending skills, says the Delhi Public School alumnus.

“Apart from being passionate about drinks, a good bartender should have enormous knowledge about the bar and the city. Good communication skills and confidence help you deal with well-travelled customers, who may ask for exotic concoctions.”

For his all-round skills, Carter takes home a handsome pay packet of Rs 45,000 every month. Unlike many bartenders, juggling beer bottles is not Carter’s forte. But ask him for a drink and he will put it together in seconds. And Martinis stir his creativity the most.

“It looks like a one-and-a-half minute stunt, but putting together a good Martini requires a lot of concentration. We have recently added Green apple, supari and chocolate martinis to the menu,” he says.

According to Carter, wine cocktails and infused drinks are the flavour of the festive season. “For infused drinks, pineapple, chillies, dry fruit, plums and a few other fruits are soaked in vodka and served with a bowl of fruit,” he explains.

He has played bartender at many a celebrity party and Manish Malhotra and Rohit Bal’s fashion do was one of the most enjoyable, he recalls. “The theme was Colour with Code and we served cocktails to match the guests’ outfits.”

This New Year’s Eve, Carter plans to serve fuming shooters to a guest list of 500 as they dance to DJ Sunny Sarid’s beats. Ask him the secret of being a good cocktail specialist and Carter says, “The key lies in mixology. One has to get the ingredients just right, like in a mathematical equation.”

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First Published: Dec 30, 2006 02:28 IST