The first cocktail that blew my mind and introduced me to the world of discerning flavours was The Old Fashioned. I was in a secret underground bar in a fish market in Hong Kong completely spellbound by this drink so I asked the bartender to show me how he made it.
All he did was muddle together a sugar cube, a teaspoon of water and three drops of bitters in a beaker. He poured this mix over a block of crystal clear ice, added in bourbon, sprayed the juice of an orange peel on the glass and served it to me at the bar. I was mesmerised by the performance and the end result!
I started spending increasing amounts of time (and money) exploring the mixology scene of Hong Kong and even planning trips to other countries just to visit specific bars.
Now I’ve moved back home to Mumbai where the mixology scene is still nascent. So I started experimenting at home - initially to just satiate my need to drink better and eventually, as I grew more confident, to host family and friends.
I’ve started playing around with more complex techniques and unconventional ingredients - sometimes it's a hit, sometimes not so much - but the process is everything. Also, how many hobbies out there actually have the ability to make other people happy?