Starting your day with “cocktails” can be one of the best ways to kick-start your mornings. And it even gets better if you are fortunate enough to sip-on the finest cocktails churned by the best bartenders of Bangalore. Could sound like a craving? Well, all this made possible by Belvedere in the “Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018”.
Being a bartender myself, it was quite a privilege to be on the jury panel for “ Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018”. This turned out to be my passage to relish on some brilliant cocktails churned by some of the best bartenders of Bangalore. And to make it even better, the passage ran 2 whole days long. Two enchanting days where you enjoyed the privilege of starting and ending your day with cocktails. And not just from any bartender but the finest in the business.
“Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018” was quite a contrast from the regular bartending competition. This time it was not about getting the bartender to one single venue, but actually meeting the lion in his own den. Yes! The jury actually travelled to different bars to analyze the bartender on his capability of churning cocktails at his place of work.
The entire team of “Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018” along with the jury panel had to travel from one venue to the next. Quite be a herculean task, keeping in mind the traffic to beat just to be there within the allotted time frame. But the thrill of doing something distinct and exciting was what Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 is all about.
Belvedere vodka identified as a super premium luxury vodka originating from Poland. A vodka crafted from locally sourced natural rye. An all natural vodka with no artificial flavour or added sugar. A priced feature which makes it stand out from the masses.
A vodka which draws its name from the polish presidential place “Belweder” located in “Warsaw”. The illustration of the which can be seen on every Belvedere bottle. A brand that takes great pride in donation part of its profit to global funds to help fight AIDS in Africa.
Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 Bangalore
As mentioned the “Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018” ran for a duration of 2 days. The rules and regulations were passed much in advance to all the hotels and bars participating in the competition. And like Belvedere vodka the participants were barred from using sugar in their cocktails. it was all about using simple, natural and fresh ingredients.
The bars were picked as per the convenience and availability and also keeping the logistics in mind. Adjusting to the traffic played a very important role here. And at the end, it all turned out to be a very well planned competition. The travel turned out to be equally enjoyable as did judging the competition, which normally is.
Day1 (Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge)
2. Ritz Carlton
3. JW Marriott
4. Shangri La
5. Taj Vivanta
The start was much more interesting than imagined. The bartenders at Oberoi looked as fresh as a daisy. Credibly the Oberoi effect of standard rubbing on the bartenders as well. The cocktails turned out really impeccable setting the benchmark for the entire competition.
A well-churned cocktail which showcased a lot of thought put in the glass. And so was an equally enthusiastic hotel crew to cheer the bartenders. A great audience for an early morning bartending competition. A perfect start to Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018.
Was a bit behind schedule here. But never the less carried the same enthusiasm from the previous venue. And glad to see the bartenders exhibited the same amount of frenzy in them. Could call it the Belvedere effect. it surely was making an impact.
The bartenders put on an excellent show to surprise us with some great tasting cocktails. A thrill watching Pradyumna bartending, an alumnus of Bar square. Was great to see him compete with some of the best bartenders of Bangalore.
Somehow managed to make it on time at the Marriott. Just like the Indian railways, making up for the lost time by increasing the speed but still managing to stay on track ☺. The bartenders looked eager for some action. The wait didn’t seem to hamper their spirits. The competition seemed to be picking up the pace.
The bartender of JW Marriott, made the cocktails do most of the talking. The cocktail churned by them was of high standard and amazing balance and flavour. Keeping in mind no sugar added. And amongst them also found a great storyteller in a bartender.
The rain played its role wonderfully well here. The venue had to be moved downstairs as the open air bar was not accessible to host the competition. But that was not all. Some of the participants could not make it due to the heavy rains. But the show must go on.
Was surprisingly pleased to see “Varun” in action here. Also happens to be an alumnus of Bar Square. A last-minute entry into the competition. But for the last minute entry, the guy churned some great cocktails. Well, that’s what bartending is all about. When you churn cocktails day in and day out. You are always ready for action. And he displayed an impeccable job.
The last venue of the day. Being quite late in the evening the fatigue was building. But then the Belvedere kept the spirit going ☺. After a great day of tasting, Taj didn’t disappoint as well when it came to cocktails.
Finally, the day came to an end at 2130 hours. A day well spent with some amazing cocktail and great bartending. But then this was just the first day. Day 2 was a long way to go. Anticipating for Day 2 to bring on some more great cocktails and pleasant surprises.
Day 2 (Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge)
1. Leela Palace
2. Kaze Bar&Kitchen
4. Old Fashioned
5. Bier Library
6. Bootlegger Indiranagar
The day had to resume at 1000 hours in the morning. But here is where the traffic got the better of me. They somehow managed to beat me, and this not being the first time the did it ☺. Being the person I am, I took it very sportingly.
And after an hour and a half of drive to cover 11 kilometres, was a relief to see I was’int the only one beaten. Don’t know the other defeated contestant but it didn’t matter. The show had not yet started and that’s what mattered. Bangalore traffic winning hands down.
Like mentioned the competition didn’t take off on time. But this didn’t hammer the spirit of the bartender. They showed the same level of enthusiasm if not more, as the participants from the previous day. For a bartender to start your day so early in the morning can be bizarre. Especially when it comes to competition bartending.
But it was quite pleasing to see the bartenders really fresh and ready for the competition. The bartenders of Leela Palace stood to the test well. Not only did they arrive on time, but also crafted some really great cocktails. Turned out a pleasant way to start the morning. The cocktails did the job well in waking you up 🙂 .
The first stand-alone property of the list of bars for the day. Located on the 21st floor with a brilliant view of the city. The bartender of Kaze looked all set to churn some great cocktails. Time was not a factor anymore it was way ahead of us. All that matters now were the cocktails.
The bartenders at Kaze did very well to keep up with the rest of the bartenders. They not only did deliver some great tasting cocktails even the presentation here was brilliant. Not taking anything away from the cocktails taste. Loved the way they went about with their cocktails. Both in flavour and presentation.
Located in the centre of the city at UB city mall. A well-renowned bar of the city which needs no introduction. This happens to be the only bar in UB city to be listed for the “Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018”.
The bartenders were amongst the top when it came to churning cocktails. They exhibited some great dazzling cocktails using very basic ingredients. Yes, the cocktails were of top standards.
The Old Fashioned Bar
A newly opened bar at Koramangala. A place dedicated to serving some great classic and custom cocktails. Was pleased to see Balakrishnan Subramanyan. The man responsible for running the show. And should definitely compliment him on putting on a great show
The cocktails were no exception. And for a newly opened cocktail bar, the bartenders of “the old-fashioned bar” displayed some great skills and technics in cocktails.
The Bier Library
Located in Koramangala. The brewery which has not yet opened its door for the general public. But the wait won’t be too long. Its looks all already to be serving by end of October.
The bartenders did some great job in crafting some equally great cocktails. Being the penultimate on the list of bars for the competition it was already taking a toll. But the cocktails did bring life back in us. And the staff was the show stealer for the energy and support they showcased. The cocktails? Wonderfull.
Located in IndraNagar. The place is no stranger to me. And after an exhausting day of cocktails, bootlegger seemed a perfect place to rejuvenate yourself. After more than 10 hours of judging, bootlegger seemed the perfect place to wind-up the Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 Bangalore.
And the bartenders didn’t disappoint. Vedant, someone who has the potential to surprise you with his cocktail, started off with a brilliantly crafted cocktail. And the rest followed him closely. A day filled with cocktails finally came to a close
Judging the Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 Bangalore rounds was an absolute thrill. Was pleased to see the quality of bartending now setting new standards. The level of cocktails have surpassed the previous and are definitely on an uphill climb.
Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 was all about using basic and simple ingredients. Thus setting the boundary to your imagination for the choice of ingredients to use. But the bartenders fitted in perfectly well with the rules and still managed to churn some sublime cocktails.
The entire 2 days was nothing less of an adventure. Meeting the lion in its den, wasn’t a bad idea after all. The Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018, which started at ” The Oberoi” and ended approximately 48 hours later at “Bootlegger” was an absolute thrill of a competition. Although the travel was tough, the spirits kept us going :).
A big thumbs up for the Belvedere Relearn Natural Challenge 2018 team for getting everything spot on. Specially Pranay C Nath from Moet Hennessy India who made sure I was in high spirits for the entire 2 days.