Bartending is a performance — one acquires the skills over the years and then perfects it to pass it on to mentees, or maybe not. But whatever be the case, it goes without saying that it requires a lot of hard work. Over the years, we have seen a rise in bartending as a career option and a lot has to do with the exposure it has managed to get. For any profession to thrive, a suitable platform to exhibit skills is imperative and that’s what the Ultimate Bartender Championship aims to do. Held in major cities across India – Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Gurgaon, and Chandigarh, this year’s competition organised by Monkey Shoulder witnessed the participation of 550 contestants and Vedant Mehra emerged as the winner after a series of difficult rounds.
“I am over the moon to win this biggest competition possible! For me, it is a very big achievement to be the best amongst the best of India! The ultimate bartender championship is an amazing initiative by Monkey Shoulder for exposing us to international standards of bartending and taking us to global platforms such as the Athens Bar Show”, said Mehra.
Commenting on this championship, James Pennefather, MD William Grant & Sons India, said, “We are committed to empowering our friends in the bartender community to deliver memorable consumer experiences. A high energy industry event, it promises to lift all bartending parameters that make it an epic competition. We are delighted to see the tremendous success of the India season 2018. This competition truly resonates Monkey shoulder values of versatility and free spiritedness which has made it a preferred drink with bartenders around the world.”
Last year’s winner, Paramveer Singh Saharain also confirmed how his life changed after the win, making him more confident. It allowed him to travel quite a lot, something he feels is a must for all budding bartenders. The 25-year-old who ranks Mumbai and Delhi as the best cities in India for a fine bartending experience said the scene in India is growing.
While stressing on importance of the the performative aspect of bartending, Saharain also said that reading up on it also very important. “Everyday one should read at least for 30-35 minutes about bartending,” he says. Along with this, he also advises that they should travel a lot. “Going to a new place gives one the opportunity to find new ingredients and interact with other bartenders,” he said.
“Bartenders should not be shy. Interacting with guests is very important. This will enable them to understand what the guests want,” he said.