Photographs Subhendu Chaki
The first impression that you get on looking at Julian Gomes, the bar manager at Pradip Rozarios KKs Fusion, Calcutta is that hes under age and wouldnt be served at a bar. At moments he looks like a kid juggling bottles with a manic grin, though at 27 with five years of experience behind him, he has made quite a mark in the business.
His father had also been in the hospitality business and was one of the veterans at the Oberoi Grand. And it was there that Gomes began his career as a steward in the banquet division. But his heart had always pulled him towards bartending. His tryst with destiny finally took place on New Years Eve, 2001 when Intoxication, part of the Flair bartending group, impressed by his juggling performances during the party, offered him a job.
But the work did not prove to be economically viable. It was also emotionally a difficult period as his career moves were in direct opposition to his fathers more conventional ambitions for him. But Gomes was determined to follow his dreams. Eager to widen his experience, he soon moved on to Zaranj as an assistant bartender. But he wasnt entirely happy because he found Zaranj a bit too conservative — there wasnt any demand for his juggling talents. The strait-laced service devoid of any challenges tired him soon and he moved on to the B.E.D. and then Gossip. Though it was new at the time, Gomes worked hard to help make Gossip one of the citys popular haunts.
A taste for the unknown soon took him to the Golden Tulip resort in Muscat where he worked for seven months. But he moved back to Calcutta in January 2008.
When he was with Gossip, one of his recipes became a national topper at a Red Bull bartending competition. Adding to his kudos was another recipe that won the title of Calcuttas most wanted Cocktail in the Bacardi Martini Grand Prix. Apart from inventing new recipes, Gomes takes a pleasure in adding flair to special parties by displaying his fire juggling skills.
He loves experimenting with recipes, and layered drinks are a special favourite of his because getting the flavour right is not so easy with these concoctions. He always insists that people must drink responsibly, but hes ever willing to part with some of his favourite recipes.
Litchi knee drop
Glass: Tall glass
INGREDIENTS 30ml Vodka 30ml Bacardi 30ml Litchi crush 90ml Litchi juice Ice cubes 10ml Blue Curaçao 5ml Grenadine syrup 20ml Soda
Method Take all the ingredients except Blue Curaçao and Grenadine syrup. Put them into a shaker and shake well with ice. Then pour it into a tall glass. Now take the Blue Curaçao and pour neat into the glass at the bottom. Take the Grenadine syrup and mix it up with soda and pour it on top.
Glass: Collins glass
INGREDIENTS 30ml Vodka 30ml Bacardi 30ml Gin 30ml Tequila 30ml Cointreau 150ml Sprite 10ml Blue Curaçao 10ml Strawberry syrup 10ml Lime juice 5ml Pineapple juice Ice cubes
Method Take the four white spirits and Cointreau and pour into a Collins glass. Add the ice cubes. Then add the lime juice and pineapple juice into it. Fill the glass with Sprite. Take the strawberry syrup, pour it to the bottom. Now take the Blue Curaçao and mix it up with the soda and top the glass up.
Glass: Margarita glass
INGREDIENTS 30ml Grand Marnier 30ml Litchi crush 15ml Strawberry syrup 75ml Litchi juice
Method Mix the Grand Marnier with litchi juice and pour it into the margarita glass, add some crushed ice to it. Now mix the litchi crush and the strawberry syrup together and pour it into the bottom of the glass.