Mixologist of the year
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Mixologist of the year

A one-on-one with Varun Sharma, Rick’s and Tojomon Joseph, Aura - The Vodka Bar, who are the nominees for the Maker’s Mark Mixologist of the Year.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2010 00:24 IST
Hindustan Times

Who’s the city’s top mixologist? As part of our quest, we’ll feature eight bartenders who are doing exciting things in Delhi’s bars. The Maker’s Mark Mixologist of the Year winner will be announced on the night of the HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010.

The winner will stand a chance to visit the Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky, USA for the ‘International Leave Your Mark Bartending Competition’ in November.

The nominees:
Sherin John, Smoke House Grill
Varun Sharma, Rick’s
Souvik Mukherjee, Set’z Restaurant & Bar
Konal Khatri, Rubicon Bar
Tojomon Joseph, Aura - The Vodka Bar
Sunny Chopra, G Bar, The Grand
Joao Paulo Rodrigues, The Blue Bar
Nitin Bhushan Prasad, Agni
Raj Kumar, Polo Lounge

Today, we feature one-on-ones with Varun Sharma and Tojomon Joseph.

Name: Varun Sharma, Senior Bartender, Rick’s

When did you decide to be a mixologist?
After doing Hotel Management, Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail influenced my decision.

Best cocktail you’ve ever made
Guava Berry Martini.

Worst cocktail you’ve made to date
I wouldn’t serve a drink which I can’t drink.

Whackiest cocktail you have made
A Bloody Mary with Hennessy XO.

Favourite bar in Delhi, other than your place of work
The Blue Bar at Taj Palace Hotel.

Best thing about being a mixologist
Meeting people from all over the world and sharing their experiences.

Worst thing about being a mixologist
Seeing people getting drunk while being sober myself!

One thing you’d like to change about your profession
More respect from the guests to the profession of bartending and more commitment from bartenders to the art of bartending.

The best compliment you’ve received
"This is the best Sex on the Beach I have ever had," from a lady.

The next big thing in Delhi
Herbal and natural ingredients in cocktails through infusions and homemade syrups.

Name: Tojomon Joseph, Bartender, Aura-The Vodka Bar

When did you realise that you wanted to be a mixologist?
As soon as I got a chance to train at a bar, which was The Whiskey Bar at The Grand, Vasant Kunj.

Best cocktail you’ve ever made
Red Fusion — a white rum-based cocktail with mint, pomegranate, lime juice and sugar syrup, mixed with crushed ice and topped with strawberry crush and a bit of Red Bull. It’s very refreshing.

Worst cocktail you’ve made to date
In the beginning, I was not sure about quantities, so a lot of classics would turn out bad.

The secret to making a great cocktail
The right balance [of measures], dedication and practice.

What are the qualities of a great bartender?
You have to be patient and humble, and need to listen to your customers.

Best thing about being a mixologist
The chance to mingle with lots of new people everyday and to make new cocktails according to their taste.

Worst thing about being a mixologist
The timings. We have to spend our evenings and weekends at the bar.

Future plans
To mould myself in better ways in this profession. I’d like to become a good bar manager after 2-3 years.

First Published: Oct 01, 2010 17:51 IST