The Telegraph
| Sunday, June 30, 2013 |

Graphiti

Here 'n' There

Published on 30 June 2013

  • Sushant Kumar

Magic mix

Sushant Kumar, head bartender, Maaya, Swissôtel, Calcutta

He's all of 24 and is already the head bartender at one of Calcutta's most fancy bars — Maaya at Swissôtel. Apart from creating innovative mixes, Sushant Kumar loves interacting with guests and that makes him very popular with them. "I was always an extrovert. I try to gauge the preferences of my guests while chatting with them,"he says. Kumar observes that tipplers in Calcutta are slowly steering away from whisky to liqueurs like Baileys Irish Cream and Pernod.

Born in Bihar, Kumar completed a three-year course in Hotel Management from the Nalanda Institute of Advanced Studies in Calcutta in 2010. The degree, along with a six-month holistic training programme at the Taj Hari Mahal, Jodhpur, helped him bag his first job as a bartender at Four Seasons, a restaurant at Sahara Aamby Valley, 24km from Lonavala.

His second job at Swissôtel in Calcutta helped him hone his skills and he has moved up the ranks quickly. In the last two-and-a-half-months, he has gone from playing bar attendant to being promoted to bartender and has recently taken over as head bartender.

Apart from bartending, Kumar is involved with designing menus and handling promotions at the bar. He also tries his hand at flair bartending on occasion. "I'm working hard so that I can also display my skills at our properties in Singapore and Switzerland,"says Kumar.

His favourite cocktail ingredient? "Blackcurrant syrup as it lends a distinct colour and aroma to my drinks,"he says. Sizzling Lychee — a mix of vodka, blue Curacao, lychee juice and lime juice — also figures high as his favourite cocktail.

Here are recipes of three of his most popular cocktails:

  • French Martini

French Martini

Glass: Martini

Ingredients:

• 60ml vodka
60ml pineapple juice
• 10ml lime juice
15ml black currant syrup

For garnishing:

• a slice of lemon
• a pineapple leaf

Method:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients in it. Shake it well and serve the concoction in a pre–chilled glass.

  • Splash Sunset

Splash Sunset

Glass: Burgundy

Ingredients:

• 60ml Scotch
• 1½ tsp brown sugar
• 45ml orange juice
• 10ml lemon juice
• 10ml sugar syrup
• crushed ice
• a dash of soda

For garnishing

• 6-7 basil leaves
• 6-7 orange slices
• a few red cherries

Method

Muddle all the ingredients in the glass. Add Scotch to it and top it up with crushed ice and soda.

  • Swiss Tea

Swiss Tea

Glass: Pilsner

Ingredients

• 60ml vodka
• 15ml tea syrup
• 10ml sugar syrup
• 15ml tea liquor
• 5ml ginger syrup
• 10ml lemon juice
• A dash of ginger ale
• crushed ice

For garnishing

• mint leaves
• a lemon slice
• a few red cherries

Method

Mix all the ingredients in a pre-chilled glass and add crushed ice to it. Top it up with some ginger ale.