Testing the skills of bartenders

Under pressure

Testing the skills of bartenders

It was an evening of free-flowing drinks at the recently held Hard Rock Café BaRocker competition. Celebrating the art of bartending, there was one bartender each from all the Hard Rock Café branches — New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai and Pune — competing for the best.

To get the audience warmed up, there was a performance by popular cover band ‘The
Other People’, who played an eclectic set for an hour.

Following this was the competition, as part of which the five participants had to go through four intensive rounds. The first was a written examination that was done to test their knowledge. They had to remember the recipes of over 25 cocktails and answer questions like how many ice cubes were needed for each. In the accuracy round, they were tested on how to pour. No measuring scales were given and they were tested on how accurately they poured 30 ml and 60 ml portions of alcohol.

The third round was the speed round, where each bartender had to make four drinks in two minutes — a blender, shaker, build-up and draught. The final round was the test of showmanship, one of the main qualities a bartender has to have. Here, they had to prepare three drinks in four minutes with work flair while juggling bottles and entertaining the audience.

After the long evening of showcasing their skills, Amey Kamtekar from Mumbai emerged the Indian finalist. He will represent the country in the Eurasia finals to be held in Mumbai in October and the winner of this round will compete in the global finale in January 2014.

“It feels really good to win this competition because it was quite a close call. The competition was tough and all the participants were good. I think I won because of the unique style I work in. The judges seemed impressed by that,” confesses Amey. “For every bartender of Hard Rock Café, it’s a dream to go see the Orlando branch and I can’t wait to see it. I’m looking forward to competing with international bartenders. Let’s see what happens,” he adds.

Rohan Carvahlo, one of the judges, said that it was technically well-formatted.
“We tested them in all aspects of bartending with the right judging criteria. The bartenders stuck to standard recipes, which is very tough to follow. The format also made them perform under pressure and time constraints, which is what the
reality is when a bar is busy,” he explains.

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