Competition organised by Monkey Shoulder saw finale participants being tested on techniques, insights, speed and skills behind bar.
Monkey Shoulder announced the India winner of the Ultimate Bartender Championship 2018 on June 28. The championship crown went to Bengaluru boy Vedant Mehra along with a fully curated and customised 500 CC Bike.
The 2018 season of Ultimate Bartender Championship’s India leg concluded with the India Grand Finale being hosted by the Monkey Shoulder Global Brand Ambassador, Joe Petch over a session on bartending skills of ingredient mastery, combining and blending, pouring with accuracy, nosing and stock taking.
The India Grand Finale participants were tested on their unique techniques, insights, speed and skills behind the bar. The winner gets a spot to go to the most sought after and top notch Global industry event, The Athens Bar Show.
In conversation with this correspondent, Vedant Mehra, who won the grand finale talks about picking up bartending as a profession, winning the UBC
How does it feel like after winning?
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 by 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.
This is the first time I've won a national competition. I'm glad it was the Monkey Shoulder Ultimate bartender competition as it is the only competition which tests us on all our skills as a Bartender.
How are you going to prepare for the Athens Bar Show?
I'm really excited for the Athens bar show, that’s where I get to go as the India winner of the Ultimate Bartender Championship by Monkey Shoulder this year and looking forward to meeting all the best Bartenders around the world.
How would you define bartending?
Bartending is love to me. I guess it's the profession associated with creating and providing an experience to guests. As well as serving them their choice of drinks. Bartending is also the subtle art of converting guests into temporary friends.
How was the competition? Who was your biggest competitor? Why?
The competition was like no other. One of the best competitions out there, It was unique and well rounded. My biggest competiton ---every bartender out there since this competition is based on skills we use on a daily basis, every bartender is direct competiton.
What is your favourite drink, why?
My favourite drink is the Monkey Sour. The whisky sour is a great way to drink whisky through all times of the day and night. The combination of sugar, sour, egg white and Monkey Shoulder whisky is perfect. The addition of a few dashes of bitters really elevates the cocktail.
How important do you think a bartender's job is? Why?
A bartender is the only mediator and direct connection between producers, distributers and customers. I think his/her real importance is displayed on how each bartender can take the same raw ingredients and create something completely different and delight a customer.
Why did you decide to become a bartender?
Its clichéd, but I didn't decide to become one. Bartending choose me.
I was an event organiser and one night my bartenders didn't show up so I had to step behind the bar and handle the event. Since that night I knew this was my calling.
What do you plan to do in the future?
Get better at what I do and inspire others to do the same. Want to highlight India on the global map of cocktails, bars and Bartenders
Tips for youngsters who want to be a bartender.
Focus on developing your skills and knowledge base. Our industry is growing at a great pace and in order to grow at the same speed we should focus on the basics and move ahead.Skills pay bills, couldn't have said it better.