Mumbai food: Young bartender woos the city with his innovative cocktails
Want to meet someone who's making it big in India's mixology's scene? Say hello to Akhilesh Sheoran, who is one of the finalists in the all-India finals of the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition.
Tonight, he will take over the bar at Bandra restaurant Arth, where he will present guests with The Eternal Spirit, the drink that got him into the finals, as well as other fun cocktails.
The 22-year-old hails from Bhiwani in Haryana, but has huge aspirations. If he wins the title at the competition, which will be held this weekend at a Worli five-star, he will get a chance to take his creation to the world finals in May next year.
"I'm doing guest takeovers at bars in Mumbai prior to this to understand what kind of drinks Mumbaikars prefer," he says.
Before he wows the city with his drinks, we got him to answer a few quick questions about everything related to what else, alcohol.
On Tonight, 10 pm onwards At Arth, Plot No 604, Pinnacle House, PD Hinduja Junction, 15th Road, Bandra West. Log on to goo.gl/Ygd1Qb
Locally sourced ingredients are definitely trending right now, not just in the food world, but also in mixology. For instance, at Perch in New Delhi, where I work, we make in-house infusions using coffee beans that come from plantations in south India.
A trend that needs to die
If they haven't already done so, bars now need to stop serving drinks that make use of dry ice. Bartenders use liquid nitrogen, which can be harmful, to make cocktails look more dramatic. They forget that the health of the guests comes first. My two bits: If you have no knowledge or little knowledge about something, it has no place behind the bar.
Cocktails on the menu
I'll be making The Eternal Spirit, which is my take on the daiquiri. Maid in Cuba, the cocktail that won mixologist Tom Walker the top honours at the global level of the competition back in 2014. A blend of rum, lime juice, mint and cucumber, it also has a dash of Absinthe. Another drink, the Venceremos, is also a competition winner, but from last year.
I love using ingredients that are refreshing, such as mint, fruits, and cucumber. Moreover, when using fruits, I like ensuring that there's minimum wastage. For instance, if I'm using an orange in cocktails, everything from the peel to the pulp goes into them.