"Mumbai based Mixologists, Ami Shroff and Feruzan Bilimoria share their hopes for the future and two of their favourite recipes "
Photo used for representational purposes only.
100 years ago, women across the United States got the constitutional right to vote. Each year, Women's Equality Day marks that watershed moment in history. Having a voice has bolstered generations of women and empowered them to achieve many remarkable feats that have fuelled the progress of humanity.
India being a fairly young democracy has always given its women a right to vote. But like much else in life, our struggles have always been beyond what our constitution allows us. What the law gives us has been routinely taken away by society and those who surround us. When all the patriarchy wants is to put you into a box, living our true lives-unhindered, unapologetic, and unashamed is our greatest response. Our life becomes our protest.
On Women's Equality Day, we speak to trailblazing mixologists, Ami Shroff and Feruzan Bilimoria. Ami, India's first female flair bartender, and a TedX speaker, has swept several awards and is on the heels of launching her premix brand, Mixed. Talking about gender inequality, she said, "Patriarchy has been the backbone of culturally accepted sexist traits and practices which is the leading cause of gender inequality in industries. The biggest example being, the unpaid profession of a house-maker to be assigned almost always to the female gender. Probably the only unpaid profession globally." Feruzan is the brand ambassador of Indian Gin, Stranger and Sons. She considers herself lucky to be with a team where her skills and knowledge are valued and encouraged to grow.
The Mumbai based mixologists have carved a niche for themselves in a space dominated by men for decades. "The ratio of men:women is still far away from being equal. And until sexism and gender violence do not reduce at a national level we will not see much of a difference in Indian hospitality as well. The bar and hospitality industry needs to work harder towards making itself more inclusive not only for women but also intersex and trans people too", said Ami. To which Feruzan added, "My objective with the team is to extend the platform I have received in my career, to celebrate the successful women of our industry, improve the growing talents and recruit more women in the industry and make this industry a more serious career option."
We hope to see many more female mixologists taking over the bar in the near future. Here are two of their favourite concoctions for you to try!
Tepache by Ami
Mexican fermented probiotic beverage
Mexican fermented beverage called tepache made with pineapple and cinnamon. iStock Photo
1 cup of jaggery
4-5 slices of ginger
1 pinch of turmeric
1 stick of cinnamon
1 litre water
- Take an air -tight container or jar and add all the ingredients including the skin and core of the pineapple.
- Let the above sit in the container for approximately 2 days to ferment.
- After 2 days strain and refrigerate.
- Add ice cubes and water as per taste.
- Add a shot of Gin/White Rum/ Beer/Vodka to make it a cocktail.
Pickler’s Prescription by Feruzan
Stranger & sons (Gin) - 60ml
Pickled apricot brine**-10 to 12ml
- Build up all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill it up with ice to the top.
- Stir briskly for a few seconds and strain into a chilled coupe glass.
- Garnish with a pickled apricot.
If you need a taller drink, build up all ingredients in a highball glass and stir with ice. Top up with soda and garnish with a pickled apricot.
**To make the pickled apricot
Dried apricots with seeds (jardalu) – 170gms
white wine vinegar – 250gms
sugar – 160gms
honey – 35gm
sea salt – 10gms
cinnamon/cassia sticks broken – 5gms
star anise – 5gms
bay leaf – 1 no.
black peppercorns – 4gms
mace (javitri) – 5gms
coriander seeds – 2gms
dried red chilli – 1 no
- Mix all the ingredients except for apricots and stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer for 5 minutes and skim the surface for any scum.
- Add the apricots and simmer for five minutes.
- Switch off the heat and transfer to a glass or ceramic jar and store in the fridge for two days to rest before using for cocktails.
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