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A conversation with the Bar Executive.

11/10/2019

Sir, please tell us what inspired you to enter the world of Mixology?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- I started my career in 2012. And I’m gonna be honest with you that when I joined for the first time I was doing bartending because I had to do my job anyway..! But as passed few years I realised how fascinating this job is to do and to live. I realised its not only a job but its a lifestyle. I feel blessed to be a Mixologist in this Era. This is the “Golden Era” of Mixology. Competition is pretty high no doubt. Each and every mixologist/bartender is trying to create something new something and unique. Whether we talk about molecular, cocktail-clarification, cocktail-fermentation, aquafaba, tincture, presentation, texture, colour etc.. I mean all the way we are trying to take out the best out of best! I truly believe that experiment and imagination is the essence of being a good mixologist. And “yes” I am in love with these two “THINGS”

Tell us about your day and nightlife at Byg Brewski?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- Whether its day or night Byg Brewski is always charged up with great guests, outstanding beers and lovely ambience. More than 1500 pax to entertain at once Byg Brewski is an award-winning microbrewery pub and here nights are always like a 31st Dec. and most of the time lunch operation gives us good practice to use our skills.

Do you get day and night flexibility at the bar?

Vicky Pratap Singh:-“Yes” because bar operation is all about “Team Work”. And I consider myself a good team player. Shift rotation is a healthy practice in the bar and all bars should practice it and you have to work in a shift which is in best business for team and bar.

A bartender’s kit is very important for him. Please tell us, how you curate your kit?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- No doubt it is very important. A bartender without a kit is like a warrior without a sword! I curate my “kit” with a sharp eye of all the bartender’s essentials as well as what’s trending all over the world. For example, Many bars and bartenders opt copperware because it’s been in trend.

How do you manage to say no to a person asking for a drink who according to you is already drunk enough?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- I think it depends on the guest whether he/she is regular/known or any new patron which we are dealing here. Let’s assume I don’t know the patron. Then I would try to be polite and avoid value judgements. I will politely inform the patron I can not serve any more alcohol because your body motor response is being slightly disoriented. And I will apologize with proper attitude ask if I can help with anything else..?

What roles does juggling play for a bartender?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- For me, juggling is an extra attribute for any bartender. It attracts a crowd and it plays important role in clubs and party places where alcohol is served by bartenders. But it is okay if someone doesn’t possess this extra attribute because there are still many secrets to pull the guest and crowd towards Bar.!

Please tell us an interesting and funny story about your experience as a bartender?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- There are few funny incidents that have happened to me and I can not control to giggle whenever I recall them. Without taking the name of the bar and the guest I am sharing this super funny incident. There was a guy who was from Ohio in U.S. He used to come at least four days a week including weekends. He was a beer lover. Always beer and nothing else. I hardly served any other spirit or liquor to him ever. 

One day in the evening around 5 p.m he came as usual and sits near the bar counter. I greeted, talked and served his regular beer. That was a busy weekend I was busy dispensing drinks and greeting guests and I alone served him around 4-5 pint. It was almost 10 p.m and the guy was still drinking his beer and talking to other guests. I just checked his tab and by the time 10:30 p.m he already had 12 pints of beer with 4 shots of Jagermeister and 2 shots of J.D. No doubt he was drunk like high!

I went and started talking to him. He was just laughing and talking to me. He told me loudly with a shaky voice “Hi how are you doing?” I replied “I am good, what about you” he laughed again and said, ” I am so Drunk…”. I replied, ” yes you are..!” Then he suddenly stood up and looked around and tried his best to not fall on the floor.

He asked for his check and I did his billing. After billing he asked for another beer. I said “bro you already had enough for the day,” he said ” yes I am…(pause) okay don’t give me a beer but you have to take me home” I smiled and said, “I don’t know your home”? he said “let’s go I’ll show you” let’s go together. I said I can’t go but I can call a cab for you. He refused and insisted me again to take him home. He tried to come inside the bar and told me that we will go together, you are a great guy this and that..!

I talked, my manager talked and literally he took 1 hour to go from outside the bar after billing..! He was dancing, looking very happy and wanted to take a walk with me..! it seemed to me. Altogether it pretty funny incident turned out from nowhere!

India still has a bad stereotype for bartending. What is your take on it? 

Vicky Pratap Singh:- I don’t think so..! This is 2019 and in 2011 Diageo World Class Global Final winner was from India. “MR. HEMANT PATHAK”. From that Year till 2019 I think the stereotype tag should not be here anymore. So many bartenders from different regions of India showed their skills and talent. India is having one of Asia’s best bar and great cocktails to entertain our guest. I admit that India does not have huge cocktail culture or population and its only restricted to a few metropolitan cities. But it is growing and it is growing stupendously. We are not bad stereotype bartenders anymore. We are the coming future.

How do you plan the flavours and themes of Cocktails?

Vicky Pratap Singh:- Menu engineering which includes cocktail’s theme, flavours, glassware etc. I do it with the help of the overall theme of the restaurant, cuisine, what the owner wants? What managers want me to do? Which sort of guest we will have in majority etc. I consider all these aspects and then I design and create on my own at the end with my original and unique recipe.

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