HighlightsPhoto Credit: Facebook/True North
They have a natural flair for the road-less travelled, a mastery over their skills and know what it takes to be at the top of their craft. We’re talking about India’s women bar-tenders who continue to carve their way into what used to be a male-dominated industry, and we certainly aren’t complaining. Here is a list of some of the top women mixologists in India who have redefined success in a new and refreshing way.
1. Ami Behram Shroff
Flair bartending is a thing and Ami Behram Shroff decided to give it a shot when she was a teenager. Since then, she has never looked back. The result is that today she is one of India’s few women flair bartenders who is sought after for special events and gigs. If that’s not enough, she is also an accomplished mixologist which makes her a complete professional at the bar. Flair bartending is basically an art of entertaining the audience with tools available at the bar including shakers, bottles, glasses, ice et al and mix fire, juggling and even magic to it. Technically speaking, mixology is the study and art of mixing and inventing newer and mocktails. According to her Facebook profile, she has managed to perform at over 20 destinations across India and beyond the borders, at over a 1000 events, from backyard pool parties to elite corporate functions and conferences. Apart from this, she loves mountains and places away from the city filled with nature. Trekking, climbing, camping and backpacking are her way of living.
2. Shatbhi Basu
Considered to be one of the pioneers of bartending in India with an experience of over three decades, Shatbhi Basu is regarded as an inspiration and a proof that one can achieve a lot with immense hard work and resilience. Running her own bartending academy in Mumbai called Stir Academy of Bartending; Shatbhi has never stopped contributing to this industry. She has hosted television shows on mixology and authored columns in mainstream dailies. She conducts various workshops across the country and tries to keep this art alive among women. She also authored the first comprehensive guide to alcoholic beverages and cocktails relevant to Indian conditions called ‘The Can’t Go Wrong Book of Cocktails’.
3. Vibhuti Angane
Bartending as a career option has seen a boom in the past few years and continues to grow. It is professionals like Vibhuti Angane who keep the learning of this craft alive and kicking. Vibhuti has been in the hospitality industry for a long time and is now taking the legacy forward by teaching at ICE College of Hotel Management in Mumbai. Vibhuti has had her own experiences of sleepless nights, standing behind the counter for hours to be able to connect to her audience’s individual tastes. In one of her interviews, she said she believed in nothing but brilliance, which is a level beyond satisfaction. The sense of awe and delight that professionals like her produce through their skills and craft qualifies as brilliance.
4. Dhanashree Kirdat Punekar
Graduated from Mumbai’s SNDT Women’s University, Dhanashree Kirdat Punekar was primed to work as a chef. However, she developed an interest in and started creating new mocktails and cocktails, eventually got into mixology and never looked back. She switched many jobs to become what she popularly calls as a ‘liquid chef’. Despite coming from a conservative family, Dhanashree’s family has always been supportive of her dreams and proud of her achievements. Nowadays she works as an Operations Manager in Stir Academy of Bartending.
5. Priyanka Kandalkar Devsaria
Working in Flairology Bar School in Mumbai, Priyanka Kandalkar Devsaria has had her own share of experiences in this industry. While she studied at the University of Mumbai, Priyanka found alco-beverages one of the most strenuous courses. Considering her interest in bartending, she joined a bar training academy to hone her skills. After working with several top-notch hotels, she is now a freelancer and a mixology trainer at the same time.
All these women with years of experience and excellence have not only given us examples of breaking the stereotypes, but also given us a proof of hard work and perseverance opening doors for many other women to step in this industry.