| NEAT FEAT: Bartenders have some fun after the session organised by the Bar Masters Academy. Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray
Tipple and tales made for a high-spirited class at Burdwan and Coochbehar, the banquet hall at The Oberoi Grand, on Monday. Pernod Ricard India’s Bar Masters Academy conducted a two-day session by industry professionals with cocktail demonstrations, soft-skills training and more. “While they may be technically sound, many bartenders lack the confidence to interact with customers and play a more proactive role,” said Eric Fossard, lead faculty of the Bar Masters Academy.
Day One saw detailed classes on white and dark spirits, their countries of origin and production and even a few demonstrations with tidbits on international trends and trivia. Did you know that Canada is allowed to put 10 per cent of any ingredient in its whisky and still legally call it whisky? Or that most of the single malt whiskies became popular only about 20 years ago, with the only exceptions being The Glenlivet and Glenfiddich? No? Well neither did the trainees.
The cocktail recipes saw a return to classics with a twist. “Internationally, the trend is to go back to old-fashioned cocktails of the 1800s or the early 1900s and rediscover them with a modern touch,” said Fossard. The Jameson Apricot Sour (see box) turned out to be the perfect example.
Jameson Apricot Sour
35ml Jameson (Irish whiskey)
25ml apple juice
5ml or 1 bar spoon of apricot jam
15ml apricot brandy
5ml almond syrup
10ml lemon juice
Stir the apricot jam into the whisky to make sure it blends well with the cocktail. Add other ingredients to the shaker with lots of ice. Shake well. Double strain and pour into the whiskey glass with crushed ice. Garnish with lemon rind.