Last week, Grey Goose had us doing somersaults in our seats. While everyone’s at least vaguely familiar with the job of a bartender, the premium vodka company has what we’d like to call a very aptly named ‘Beyond the Bar’ program. So not only does Grey Goose create silky smooth vodka but also brings down one international bartender each year to up the expertise of local bartenders. One Ondjrej Pospichal was this year’s Beyond the Bar expert of choice by the French brand. And having learnt of his ‘Signature 7’ cocktails, we headed over to find out just how much of an expert.
I’ve heard people here are very passionate and this is what drives them forward – on Indian bartenders
A Czech born, internationally renowned bartender who currently heads one of London’s most prominent bars – MASH, Pospichal was flown in especially to train Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai’s top bartenders. Luxurylaunches caught up with him during the Delhi leg of the program. Here’s an excerpt from our chat. “I’m coming from Czech Republic. I’ve lived in three countries; last one is U.K. and London itself, for last six years. That really helped me to grow and see lots of interesting and sane-minded people from our industry. And due to a program like Beyond the Bar with Grey Goose, you can share the knowledge with less experienced bartenders so they can get inspired.”
It’s really important to know the brand itself first and then you can move forward – on Grey Goose
“I’m really good and comfortable in Delhi.” Fans of JW Marriott in New Delhi’s Aerocity, where he’d been staying, we didn’t find that hard to believe. “I’m looking forward to seeing Mumbai culture”, he continued. “I believe bartenders there are skilled as well and there are some good bars; I’m looking forward to seeing them.” As it became clear he intends to host sessions for the local bar industry that focus on various skill sets, moving on from bartenders, to consumers, he said, “As a consumer, find out what are the good qualities of Grey Goose. Then, make a martini out of it. Discover the taste as it opens up. Start by appreciating. Vodka has very delicate flavors as a spirit. Don’t overcomplicate by putting too many ingredients.”
If the market is very young, it has a high potential to grow – on Indian consumers
“You need to understand which brand you like, why you like the silkiness of Grey Goose, why you like the story behind the iconic bottle. You just need to understand why you’re having it,” he continued. “My seminar was about punches. I made a signature punch with Grey Goose over here; very light again, so you don’t spoil the spirit, you support the spirit.” That brought us to ‘Signature 7’, the cocktails he created with Grey Goose for the local palette, inspired by Indian spices. “I made a sweet cocktail, a savory cocktail, a welcome punch!
For the L’Aperitif, I took inspiration out of the Vesper martini, really ‘male’, I would say, a cocktail. With Green Chatreuse, Lillet Blanc, all French ingredients, that’s why L’Aperitif. Then there’s Lord of Dogtown, which is regularly served in our bar. And it contains ingredients, which are suitable for the diabetic.”
You are at a party everyday, so when I have a day off, I read a book – on himself
With that, we set out to try almost all of those seven cocktails. The first, a New Dilli that gets its name from many Delhiwallahs’ favorite Sunday haunt, Dilli Haat was a sweet and savory dill-celery-apple-lemon concoction. Right from the aniseed salt on not whole but only half the rim, it was balanced and India-inspired yet bereft on any overpowering aspects. Our favorite, however, turned out to be L’Aperitif. Perfect as a pre-meal drink, its masculine nature that combines vodka and gin, won us over. If it were left to the looks though, Lord of Dogtown would win hands down. “Time must fly if you do this day in day out”, we asked to which he replied, “week, month, year, yes” Before we end, though it’s only fair to leave you with this most delicious, easy-to-mix recipe from the signature 7. Okay so there’s no saying which one was most delicious. The last part’s true though, the following list of ingredients sure is easy-to-mix.
50ml Grey Goose Vodka
35ml Home made sage & white wine syrup
30ml Pineapple Juice
25ml Fresh Lemon juice
Top up Sparkling wine / Soda / Tonic water
Method Straight/ Big blocks of ice
Glass Tea cup / wine glass