Every mixologist has been or is a bartender, but not every bartender is a mixologist. Ujjwal Krishna Joshi is a mixologist with 15 years of heady experience. His mantra for a perfect high is not in the cocktail but in the conversation. “I love interacting with people and connect easily,” he says.
With his skills, Ujjwal leave his customers both shaken and stirred. Aside of his skills in mixology, he is also a business advisor, consultant and trained chef in Thai, Continental, Indian, Mediterranean cuisines, also specialising in Tapas. He is also a teacher, the board advisor for Social by Exotica and operations consultant for Botanist Nepal and Free Drink.
His wild ride with the spirits began in the United States where he had gone to pursue a bachelor’s degree in finance. As a student, he started to work as a dishwasher in an Indian restaurant. He progressed from dishwashing to kitchen help to food help, and along the way, “I started to develop an interest in serving drinks and making cocktails, and it changed my life forever,” he shares. So keen was his interest that he decided to change his major from finance to hospitality.
He then went to London to study hospitality and here, he realised his experience behind the bar was not enough. He understood that bartenders are the ones who attend the bar and serve the drinks but mixologists are like pharmacists for the drinks. As a mixologist, you create your drinks without modifying traditional drinks. “People should not manipulate the names of classical or traditional drinks and foods or just call them something else,” he says. His favourite personal creation created over time is “Soggy Dollar.” This drink was re-shared, posted, and appreciated by many international drink vloggers.
After coming back to Nepal, he decided to work as a freelancer. “I started training different company employees for three months. This way, I am able to impact the whole industry of drinks in the country in a small way,” he says.
He talks about some of the challenges he faced after coming to Nepal, one of them being people’s lack of knowledge and confusion regarding the profession of mixology. “People are unwilling to work from the bottom and prefer to start at the top. There is a lack of ownership among the people here,” he shares. He also sheds light on how, due to a lack of technology and equipment, we are not fully able to experience gastronomy.
He feels there are many opportunities in Nepal, but it needs a commitment to train and loads of hard work. He conducts events in Karma on mixology. In the near future, he wants to influence aspects of wine and cocktails consumption in Nepal.
Classic Nepali Food & Alcohol Pairing:
• Daiquiri goes perfectly well with Choila balancing the burnt and spicy flavour with its sourness.
• Beer is great with momos but must be served with the correct pouring skills.
• Margaritas and fried rice go well as the saltiness of the soy sauce is balanced with the sourness of the drink.
• Shiraz wine pairs well with buff sukuti
A cocktail called “WOW IT”
• Midori: 30 ml
• White Rum: 30 ml
• Triple Sec: 30 ml
• Angostura bitters: 2-3 dash
• Method: Stir
• Glass type: Rocks