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Shaken and stirred in high spirits


Whether you remain jingled or half-seas over, your liquid courage will be tested at the upcoming Delhi Cocktail Week. Cocktails from 30 of the best bars in the city will be shaken and stirred in this biggest one-of-a-kind cocktail event. After its first edition in Delhi in 2015, it took its high to Mumbai and Bengaluru. Now, upon its return to the national capital, it’s offering a lot more over clinking glasses and conversations.

You would expect someone from the beverage industry to come up with something like this, but when we learnt it was the creation of an investment banker with an MBA and CFA Charter, it took us by surprise. “I had no understanding of alcohol. The idea struck when I was travelling and saw there was an immense potential in the industry. I realised that in Western culture there are so many events around liquor, them but in India, we’re fixated on food,” says Archit Singhal, the founder.

The idea was to create an opportunity for people to enjoy cocktails at lower prices. However, Singhal admits to have battled it out to get restaurants to agree to give him discounted prices.

You have Ek Bar bringing you Kala Amritsari (vodka, homemade plum syrup, lime and egg white) and Degree Kaafi (gold rum, bitters, coffee syrup and tonic), Olive Bistro’s Marycula (vodka, chilli, tomato juice, tamarind, cumin and peppers), Q’la’s The Golden Monk (apple juice, bitter almond oil, Washington apple and honey), Arriba’s Pineapple Ginger Jalapeno Margarita (pineapple, ginger, jalapeno, orange liqueur and lime), Cocktails and Dreams, Speakeasy’s Eggnog (creamy cocktail made with milk, cream, sugar, whipped eggs with bourbon and rum), PCO’s Whiskey Sour (whiskey, lemon juice and sugar), and more.

The restaurants were short-listed after a survey was conducted with cocktail experts giving their suggestions on the quality of drinks they served, ambience, music, service and consistency.

Delhi Cocktail week will also see activities such as cocktail master classes, guest bartending, pub crawls, cocktail parties, special theme nights and wine tastings. Through it all, Singhal wants mixologists to get more credit. He’s come across extremely talented bartenders who are lost in the sea of others like them, and sometimes, even their employers don’t know their talent. Through this event, Singhal wants to promote latent talents so that the industry learns from them and makes them their benchmark. He doesn’t consider himself even an amateur bartender, but affirms that he’s somebody any bartender can call when they need help.

Put off with ostentatious cocktail presentations, he believes the focus should be on the drink itself. That Indian bars don’t stand anywhere in world’s top 100 bars paints a sorry picture. Delhi Cocktail Week is a small step towards a bigger effort for him.

Source: New Indian Express

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