Bartenders are more than just professionals in the hospitality industry. Stood behind bars as confidants, they have become iconic figures in drinking culture. Even in cinema, whether it was Marion Ravenwood from Indiana Jones, Lloyd from The Shining, or Irvin from Fight Club, bartenders have always been portrayed as riveting sophisticated characters who add flair to the narrative, not unlike real life.
While bartending usually denotes the familiarity and comfort of knowing a customer’s favourite drink, mixology deals with the art of inventing new concoctions through experimentation as well as trial and error. Mixologists are the connoisseurs of cocktails; using science and skill to create robust blends of flavours using fresh ingredients; simultaneously representing the authenticity of the old favourites in unique ways.
Bartending and mixology being a man-dominated craft is a myth that needs to be dissolved. So here’s a list of Homegrown women mixologists making a name for themselves.
I. Ami Shroff
Ami Behram Shroff is the most popular mixologist in the country. She started her career in 2003 at the age of 18 and was one of the first women flair bartenders. Ami is also a performance artist and fire juggler featured this year in Midnight Asia: Mumbai on Netflix. She is currently a freelancer and a visiting mixologist at Chime Bar, at the Sheraton Hyderabad.
II. Sonali Mullick
Sonali Mullick is the Head of Operations and a mixologist at Bayroute and Hitchki in Mumbai. Born and raised in Kolkata, Sonali started her career with a five-star hotel in Mumbai as Assistant Restaurant Manager where she met veteran Shatbhi Basu and got interested in mixology. She has worked in properties like Le Meridien, the Taj Group, and Oberoi and prides herself on creating eccentric cocktails like ‘Babaganoush Margarita’, ‘Hummus in My Drink’, and ‘Dragonfruit Mojito’.
III. Arati Mestry
Bengaluru-based mixologist Arati Mestry works at Seven Rivers Brewing Co. at the Taj MG Road. Arati got her first job in the pre-opening team a thet Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, Goa and then moved to Elephant & Co. Pune, which was a turning point. Arati was also the runner-up in the American Whiskey Legacy 2020 and winner of the Jameson Barrelmen’s Face-Off 2018 (1st Edition). Her favourite cocktail is a negroni - equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari(bitter).
IV. Casilda Misquitta
Casilda Misquitta is the head bartender at Taftoon Bar & Kitchen, Mumbai. She started as a banker and moved to events and advertising but her love for the party scene and alcohol led her into the world of mixology. Her favourite liquor to experiment with is Whiskey and her creation, ‘The Saffron Sunset’, is her take on the classic Old Fashioned, which she made with bourbon whiskey and an in-house cherry liqueur for a competition. Casilda is fascinated by mixing different flavours and spirits together to create cocktails and has been absolutely acing it for the last 3 years.
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