Things people ask bartenders…
(…and how they would love to respond)


‘Can you make me a whisky sour with everything but whisky?’

What I’d love to say: ‘Are you sure you want a glass of lemon juice and sugar syrup?’

Nitin Tewari, mixologist, Grey Goose


‘I want a nice cocktail, but I’m not sure what alcohol to drink.’

What I’d love to say: ‘You’re quite the indecisive man who lacks a decent level of inspiration.’

Jagmohan Rana, LikeThatOnly, Bangalore


‘Can you juggle?’

What I’d love to say: ‘If I could, I’d be in a circus.’

Dhanendra, Olive Beach, Bangalore


‘Can you top up my drink for free?’

What I’d love to say: ‘No.’

Abhishek Prabhu, Monkey Bar, Bangalore


‘Can you give me a drink that’s calorie-free?’

What I’d love to say: ‘Sure. Here is a glass of water.’

Sukumar Bale, The White Owl, Mumbai


‘Give me some sex on the beach.’

What I’d love to say: ‘That’s what she said.’

Manohar, Trilogy, Mumbai


Interviewed by Beverly Pereira

Dimitri_2Biggest blunder: Offering a shot of foiegras-infused vodka to a 15-year-old vegetarian.

Favourite thing about working behind a bar: Adventurous, respectful guests.

Least favourite thing about working behind a bar: People with no manners.

Your favourite bartending fantasy: To go back to the late 1800s, an era in which bartenders were leaders in the community and their bars were places where social, political and other issues were discussed.

Most unusual drink request: There was this gentleman who wanted to know if I could make a cocktail with snake blood.

Your ‘go-to’ cocktail: It always changes, but I am a huge fan of the boulevardier with Delamain XO Cognac.

Favourite bars: Montgomery Place and Zetter Townhouse, in London, Bar High 5, in Tokyo and Noir, in Las Vegas.

One thing you wish more people understood about bartenders: That bartenders are like hairdressers, you have to develop a relationship with them.

The worst thing you’ve seen someone do in a bar: One new year’s eve, in 1998, at the Atlantic Bar & Grill, in London, there was this girl who was so drunk that… on second thoughts, this might not be appropriate to print.

One person you’d pick as your bartender wingman/woman for a night: I would like to have Coluche (Michel Gérard Joseph Colucci, a French comedian from the 1970s) by my side.

The funniest bar joke you’ve heard: A man spends all night drinking in a pub. When it’s time to go, he stands up and falls flat on his face, so he decides to crawl outside in the hope that fresh air will sober him up. Once outside, he stands up and falls over, so he has to crawl the half mile to his house. When he gets home he manages to prop himself upright so he can unlock the front door. Then, he falls on his face again and crawls up the stairs. When he reaches his bed, he tries to stand one last time, but collapses and falls fast asleep. The next morning he’s woken by his wife. She is livid. “You’ve been out on the booze again, haven’t you?”
“What makes you say that?” asks the man. “Don’t bother to lie about it,” his wife says.
“The pub rang, you left your wheelchair behind again!”

 Interviewed by Karina Aggarwal