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Flavour talk

Ever wondered what a black currant shot might taste like? Head to Nocturne, one of the newest party destinations in the city and ask for Bappaditya Mandal. A bartender with almost eight years of experience, Mandal, 28, believes in customising cocktails to the tastes of his guests. After graduating with a degree in commerce, Mandal decided to make a career in the hospitality industry and enrolled himself for a three-year degree programme in hotel management at Siliguri’s Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.

He began by bartending at The Atria Hotel in Bangalore where he was sent for industrial training by the institute. “I always wanted to do something creative and I felt the kitchen didn’t offer much scope for trainees. So, I’d head to the bar during breaks and experiment with different flavours in drinks,” says Mandal. He completed his training, shifted base to Calcutta and joined the popular lounge, Shisha in 2003. He became senior captain at the bar in 2009.

In December 2010, Mandal joined Nocturne as senior captain cum main bartender. “I learnt the tricks of the trade from the bar captain at The Atria Hotel who taught me that a good bartender has a great rapport with his guests,” says Mandal. And that’s not all. For the bartender, it’s very important to follow up with the guests once they have sipped their cocktail.

Here are three drinks that Mandal swears by.

Black Currant Shot

Glass Shot glass

Ingredients 40ml vodka 10ml black currant syrup 5ml lemon juice Ice cubes

Method Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Strain the mix and pour into a shot glass.

Cilantro Martini

Glass Martini

Ingredients 45ml vodka 30ml Cointreau 8-10 coriander leaves 1tsp chopped ginger

Method Muddle the coriander leaves and chopped ginger in a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, Cointreau and few cubes of ice and shake well. Double strain the mix into a chilled glass. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Green Apple Caipiroska

Glass Old-fashioned

Ingredientsk 60ml vodka 2tsp brown sugar 8-10 mint leaves 4 lemon chunks Lime juice Sugar syrup 2 slices of green apple (one chopped and one for garnish)

Method Muddle the mint leaves, lime chunks and the chopped green apple in a glass. Add lime juice and sugar syrup along with crushed ice and vodka. Garnish with a slice of green apple.

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