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Celebrity bartenders showcase skills in Nepal
KATHMANDU, April 28: To introduce variety of cocktails in summer and create awareness about the versatility of drinking, Khukri XXX Rum is hosting a rum festival for the first time in Kathmandu, according to Shuvash Lamichhane, general manager of Nepal Distilleries Pvt Ltd. The festival started on April 24 and is slated to continue till the end of September with various activities in pipeline, said the official.
On the second day of the festival on April 25, crowd lovers enjoyed exotic summer rum cocktails made with Khukri XXX Rum at the jam-packed Trisara pub in Durbar Marg, which was served by Din Hassan from Singapore. Hassan is the head barman at the award-winning CELAVI Restaurant and Sky Bar at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
Talking with Republica, Hassan said that Nepali bartenders were enthusiastic and were willing to learn new skills, which is a key quality for a bartender. Being humble and maintaining discipline are the qualities for an emerging bartender, he said. He further said that he came to an underdeveloped country like Nepal to share knowledge about bartending and about mixology. He is planning to go to other developing countries as well to share his experience, and is planning to come back to Nepal again in June.
Meanwhile, Ami Shroff from Mumbai amused the audience with her master skills of bartending at Opium, Durbar Marg, the same night. When the half-hour performance ended, audiences were applauding enthusiastically. Shroff is a master mixologist at London Taxi, a pub in Mumbai. She has won various awards, including the Times Food and Nightlife Award for Mixologist of the year in 2018 for her flair of bartending and mixology.
Talking to Republica, she said her skill at bartending was a result of intense practice and continuous hard work. She added that like other fields, you need to have knowledge of your work. Without knowing about the ingredients, drinks and other stuff, proper and tasty cocktails couldn’t be possibly made, according to her. She also said playing juggling with the drinks was only possible with tireless practice.
Both Shroff and Hasan are bartenders and mixologists of international repute. It was the first ever bartending training organized under the Khukri XXX Rum Festival. The four-day-long training session saw bartenders from renowned restaurants, hotels and pubs of Nepal taking classes about mixology, juggling skills, bar decoration skills, cocktail dressing, and presentation skills at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza in the capital.
Shailesh Shahi, 30, a bartending instructor from Pokhara, came to participate in the master class when he saw a Facebook post about it. According to Shahi, he felt privileged and lucky to attend the master class from two international celebrities. He learned advanced skills of bartending. “I learnt so many things form these two legends of bartending. So I really want to thank Khukri XXX Rum for organizing this event,” he said.“Being a Nepali bartender, I yearn to introduce domestic cocktails to international market.”