Fareeda Kanga discovers the symbiotic relation between whiskey and music

Updated: Jan 28, 2018, 10:22 IST | Team Sunday Midday | Mumbai

Can music and alcohol be paired like wine and food? Fareeda Kanga meets the experts and discovers a symbiotic relation between the two

Saba Vakani and Rohit Jogadia

'John Mayer and whiskey are a good fit'
Saba Vakani and Rohit Jogadia, bloggers and co-founders at Tuckers
These Mira Road bloggers uncover Mumbai's drinking addas and eating joints through their aptly named blog, Tuckers, and yet find time for music. "At home, when we are partying or just chilling, we always settle down to the acoustic vibes of Prateek Kuhad, if we are in that Bollywood/indie feel, or maybe opt for Amos Lee, Noel Gallagher or the blues-rock live in LA Concert by John Mayer — that has always been our ultimate favourite," says Jogadia.

Finding that almost every song by these artistes is soft, playful and mellow and has a story attached to it, the couple often relate to the lyrics. "Their lyrics match our mood perfectly when we are sitting in a balcony watching the sundowner and slowly sipping our drinks," says Jogadia. Vakani prefers to gulp whiskey on the rocks, while Jogadia enjoys his vodka. However, if they are hanging out with friends at a pub playing EDM and commercial music, they would opt for Bira.

Kaveer Shahaini

'Gwen Stefani spins to Aperol Spritz'
Kaveer Shahaini, entrepreneur and co-founder, The Groove Temple Entertainment (artist management and entertainment company)
Kaveer Shahani takes his booze and music combos a little too seriously! His plush Bandra pad overlooking Carter Road is a perennial favourite for sundowners and he says, "I look for a connect with the song, the moment and the beverages. I would start with a track rich in vocals, like Rachel Collins' Blanket Of Clouds and pair it with tender coconut water, which is enriched with nutrients and is a low-calorie drink that hydrates you to counter the dehydrating effect of the alcohol that would follow."

This would be followed with an Aperol Spritz, a classic Italian aperitif — one of his favourites that he finds refreshing. That is served with some traditional Italian cicchetti — small dishes that usually include tiny sandwiches, plates of olives, etc, paired with Gwen Stefani's aptly titled track, You're My Favourite, followed by the hilarious lyrics of Mister Chicken by Deluxe. "Next, I would serve a glass of my favourite sparkling wine, the Collavini Il Grigio Spumante (imported by The Wine Park) with the lightly flavoured aromatic Afghani chicken tikka from Khane Khaas, to accompany Variety Lab's track — I Can't Help Thinking About you'. The smoothness of the Collavini would flow into Prem Joshua's Tangerine Thumri and uplifting vocal house," he concludes.

Aj Snetler And Ashvini Chimbaikar

'Beer for metal, cocktails for pop'
Aj Snetler And Ashvini Chimbaikar, bartenders, House Of Nomad, Taj Lands End
South Africa's tattooed bartender, who is a visiting mixologist at The Taj Lands End, believes the tradition of music and drink are culturally linked with different countries opting to pair certain types of music and spirits. A heavy metal freak and lover of old school bands like AC/DC and Twisted Sister, he reaffirms the link between beer and metal. "It has to go together. The strength of the stout is directly proportionate to the hard-hitting notes of these tracks." When he's working behind the bar, he sees a strong cocktail culture for lighter pop and hip-hop music.

His innovative cocktails for this crowd include La Familia, which combines Tequila with roast pepper and pineapple juice, lime and sugar, while The Orient mixes Kettle One, Lapsang Tea Bianco, lychee and orange juice. Meanwhile, the hotel's resident female bartender, Ashvini Chimbaikar, is a closet Enrique fan with a penchant for dark rum. "Somehow, the mellow notes of the spirit go seamlessly with his voice," she says.At work, she finds that gin and vodka go well with youngsters and new disco and hip-hop tunes are often paired with these spirits. Her signature drink that most guests enjoy is called The Final Say, a melange of Bacardi Gold Rum Martell, guava juice and peach liqueur.

Ranjit Barot and Ashutosh Phatak

'Pair a pinot noir with Puccini'
Ranjit Barot and Ashutosh Phatak, musicians and co-founders, The Quarter
I'm a whiskey man," booms Barot, as he strides into Mumbai's newest cultural hub, The Quarter at Opera House. Single malts and Miles Davis or Coltrane are this musician's preferred poison, although he slyly admits enjoying beer chasers when in a party mode and when the music playing is more of the "popular" kind. "The environment and the music go hand-in-hand when I select my alcohol," he says. At home, a pinot noir with Puccini or a good cognac with a Chopin piano concerto, always work well.

Meanwhile, Ashu Phatak loves his rock, be it The Rolling Stones or The Doors, paired with a classic bourbon. "I enjoy whiskey-based cocktails like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan with jazz music." He's partial to gin paired with Gypsy Jazz and a new favourite called, Drink From The East, which uses gin, spiced orange juice and Roohahfza. French composer Eric Sattie is another favourite with a glass of good wine. "The right alcohol just lends that much more to the music I listen to, enhancing the sensorial experience," says Phatak.

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