The Reservoire Is Bringing Craft Cocktails, Art, & Storytelling To Indiranagar

Images of The Reservoire Indiranagar's interior and of a cocktail from the bar.
From textile prints to sculptural installations, the visually stunning pub is matched by its exceptional offering of experimental cocktails. The Reservoire

Back in 2021 when I had initially moved to Bangalore, I caught up with my colleagues, who’d later go on to become close friends at The Reservoire in Koramangala for brunch. The beautifully decorated pub, with its delectable dishes and well-crafted cocktails, was quickly gaining in popularity when the world was opened up after the pandemic. Everyone was clamouring to have ‘real-life’ interactions again and The Reservoire in Koramangala was a favourite for many Bangaloreans.

While life has changed and I moved away from Bangalore, I was excited for my friends who still live in the city, when I heard The Reservoire was opening up in Indiranagar. In a city where traffic is insurmountable, the seemingly insignifacant difference of 6-7 kilometeres actually does mean a lot. The Reservoire in Indiranagar is spread over three floors and 6500 square feet, can seat 300 people, and is decked out in gorgeous multi-material artwork. From textile prints to sculptural installations, the visually stunning pub is matched by its exceptional offering of experimental cocktails. 

We had a converstaion with Prathik Shetty, one of the three founders of The Reservoire, to learn about the founding philosophy of the pub, how expanding to Indiranagar was always part of their vision what it takes to create an extensive bar with almost 180 craft cocktails on offer, and much more.

Please tell us about the extensive cocktail menu at The Reservoire and how it has been developed over the years since 2017.  

Our journey with The Reservoire's cocktail menu began in 2017 with a focus on standardising classic cocktails. We started by perfecting the world's 50 best-selling cocktails, which laid our foundation. From there, we moved into creating more experiential cocktails. This process was intensive - sometimes it would take us a full week to perfect a single cocktail. We delved into advanced techniques like purification and clarification to elevate our offerings.

A crucial part of our process has been educating our bartenders. We've invested significant time in training them to maintain consistency across all our cocktails. This was essential because we knew introducing these complex drinks wouldn't be easy. To help our customers navigate our extensive menu, we've developed detailed taste notes for each cocktail. This approach allows people to understand what they're drinking and appreciate the nuances of each creation.

Our menu has evolved significantly since 2017, growing in both size and complexity. We're constantly innovating and always aim to bring new and exciting cocktail experiences to our patrons.

Did you work with a cocktail consultancy service or develop all the cocktails in-house? Please tell us more about the actual creation of the extensive cocktail menu.

We developed our extensive cocktail menu through a combination of in-house creativity and external expertise. Signature cocktail 20-25 rest was in-house for Indiranagar wanted to get in a slightly different process. We collaborated with Cocktail Kompany, a cocktail consultancy service, to further enhance our offerings. The creation process involved a lot of experimentation. We didn't just stick to traditional recipes; instead, we pushed boundaries and tried new combinations.

Each cocktail on our menu is the result of careful thought, multiple taste tests, and refinements. This collaborative approach allowed us to blend our unique vision with industry expertise, resulting in a diverse and innovative cocktail menu that we're proud to serve at The Reservoire.

The Reservoire just opened up in Indiranagar after your successful presence in Koramangala. What prompted this extension and what makes this latest space different from the first one? 

Expanding to Indiranagar has always been part of The Reservoire's original vision. From our start in Koramangala in 2017, we aimed to establish ourselves in this vibrant neighbourhood. Indiranagar's cosmopolitan and experimental crowd, known for their openness to new experiences and keen interest in understanding what they're consuming, aligns perfectly with our cocktail-focused concept. The area's young, start-up-driven demographic complements our innovative approach, making Indiranagar an ideal target audience for us.

Our new Indiranagar space differs from the Koramangala location in several ways:

  • Design: It features a more aesthetic atmosphere, with a stronger focus on art. We've collaborated with artists to create a unique ambience that resonates well with our concept.

  • Menu: We've introduced a different cocktail menu here. It's more experimental, showcasing new concepts we've been developing. Over time, we plan to align the Koramangala menu with these new offerings. This expansion allows us to push our creative boundaries further and offer an even more immersive cocktail experience.

  • Food: We have incorporated local cuisine into our menu, offering dishes that reflect the flavours and culture of the area.

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How do you curate such a diverse range of cocktails to ensure each one stands out?

We start by researching global trends and local flavours, then extensively experimenting with ingredients and techniques. Each cocktail features a unique element, ensuring it stands out. We balance flavours across the menu and incorporate seasonal ingredients to keep things fresh.

Your menu includes both classic and contemporary cocktails. How do you balance innovation with the timeless appeal of classic cocktails?We balance innovation with classic appeal by using traditional recipes as a foundation and creatively experimenting with new flavours and techniques, ensuring a diverse and exciting menu. This approach allows us to honour timeless favourites while introducing fresh, unique options for our guests.

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Many of your cocktails have unique and imaginative names like 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Thanos'. Can you share the creative process behind the conceptualisation of these drinks? Who did you work with to develop the extensive menu? 

Our 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Thanos' cocktails aim to capture the essence of these characters or films in drink form. We develop these concepts in-house, matching drink characteristics with personality traits or movie themes. This approach makes our menu more engaging and helps customers connect with the drinks. It's our way of blending pop culture with mixology; creating a unique and memorable experience for our patrons. We developed our extensive cocktail menu through a combination of in-house creativity and external expertise.

With such a wide variety of ingredients and flavour profiles, how do you ensure consistency and quality?

Our bartenders are thoroughly trained in each recipe and technique, and we conduct regular taste tests to ensure standards are met. By focusing on precision in preparation and maintaining strict quality controls, we're able to deliver consistently excellent cocktails, regardless of their complexity or unique flavour profiles.

Cocktail culture is evolving rapidly. How does The Reservoire stay ahead of trends and keep the menu innovative?

We stay at the forefront of evolving cocktail culture through a multifaceted approach. We constantly research global mixology trends and encourage creativity among our bartenders. Our menu undergoes regular updates to incorporate seasonal ingredients and new techniques. We also collaborate with industry experts and attend mixology events to stay informed.

What are some of your personal favourite cocktails from the menu and why?

One of my favourite cocktails on our menu is the '3 Amigos'. It's a tequila-based drink made with pickles and sumac salt, offering a unique, balanced flavour that's slightly spicy rather than sweet. I love it because it showcases our innovative approach; creating a sophisticated taste that's unexpected yet harmonious. It's a perfect example of how we aim to challenge and delight our customers' palates at The Reservoire.

Images of The Reservoire Indiranagar's interior and of a cocktail from the bar.
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The storytelling in cocktail descriptions is quite vivid and engaging. How important is storytelling to the Reservoire Bangalore experience?

At The Reservoire, storytelling is a crucial part of our cocktail experience. We believe that each drink has a unique tale to tell, and sharing these stories enhances our customers' enjoyment. Our vivid cocktail descriptions do more than just list ingredients; they set the scene, evoke emotions, and create anticipation. This narrative approach helps customers connect with their drinks on a deeper level, turning a simple order into an engaging experience. It also reflects our passion for mixology and our desire to create memorable moments. By weaving stories into our menu, we invite our patrons to be part of a larger narrative, making their visit to The Reservoire not just about drinking cocktails, but about embarking on a flavourful journey.

With the recent focus on sustainability in the hospitality industry, how does The Reservoire Bangalore incorporate sustainable practices in its operations and cocktail creations?

Since 2017, we have implemented various sustainable practices. Our straws are made from edible rice. We dehydrate unused fruit peels as garnish. Additionally, leftover fresh ingredients are repurposed into syrups.

Can you share any upcoming projects or new additions to the menu that your patrons can look forward to? 

We're opening a smaller outlet in Bandra, Mumbai. Additionally, we typically introduce seven new seasonal cocktails, and we're excited to soon offer a special monsoon-themed selection. Our cocktail menu features unique ingredients like pandan leaves; evoking the flavours of biriyani. We highlight global trends while celebrating local ingredients such as jamun, bird's eye chillies, fresh jasmine syrup, and jackfruit.

You can follow The Reservoire here.