Pictures by Rashbehari Das
Drinks with style, shaken with verve and served with panache. That was the winning recipe at the cocktail-making championship in Venom, where bartenders from across the city showed off the shaking-and-stirring skills in a bid to be crowned cocktail king.
The contestants had to make a Caprioska, a Margarita and a Martini with the stress being on presentation, performance and taste. Fourteen bartenders presented these cocktails in the classic style as well as with variations, playing around with different fruits, liqueurs and flavours. Smoky martinis, banana martinis, melon martinis, burnt orange caprioskas, spicy ginger margaritas, mango margaritas and many more innovations were born. The winners of the event churned up some exciting fruit-based cocktails along with a perfectly shaken or stirred classic martini.
The judges for the event included model-turned-painter Pinky, food writer Ian Zachariah and model and fitness expert Neeraj, who spent the evening tasting the various concoctions. “The most important thing about cocktails is that they should be interactive and the bartender should engage with the clients to make the process of making the drink as enjoyable as the drink itself,” stressed Pinky. “Anyone can whip up a fairly competent drink out of a book; it is the presentation that makes a good bartender,” she added.
Thien Loo Lee was unanimously judged the margarita king with his fresh kiwi frozen margarita whereas Pranabesh Mondal’s Strawberry Caprioska was the favourite in that section. Rocky Kanoj and Hussain emerged as bartenders of choice with the perfect classic martini — dry and served with an olive.
Though this one didn’t win, it was high on the style quotient:
Sweet Wine Martini
Chantilli Chenin Blanc
Freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Sugar syrup to cut the acidic taste of the wine
4 cubes of ice
An orchid as garnish
Shake all the ingredients together and serve in a martini glass, topped with the flower.