Mixologist Shatbhi Basu On The Menu At Harry’s Bar + Café
Taking cue from a time when martinis and daiquiris came only in stemmed glasses, and, Gimlets and gin and tonic in highball glasses, today, mixologists are challenging people’s impressions of cocktails by serving concoctions that bring to the table a different and quirky take on the tipples.
In glasses long and short, and using ingredients savoury and sweet, they curate cocktails that reflect current global trends. Give a mixologist a bar full of spirits and some fresh seasonal ingredients, and the magical amalgamation they will give you is definitely worth a sip, or four or five!
Just outside Dublin Square in Phoenix Marketcity stands an outlet of the iconic bar chain — Harry’s Bar & Café. The food menu at Harry’s is crafted to perfection with palate pleasers and mixologist Shatbhi Basu has created a gamut of mixes for those who are adventurous and also those who swear by the classics.
On a day out to Phoenix Marketcity, my meeting with Basu, master mixologist and beverage consultant, Harry’s Bar+ Café, turned into my own happy hour as I uncovered the journey some of the heady concoctions had made, from ideas in a mixologist’s mind to the pages of a menu.
“The outlet, theme, things around you and your imagination all play a role in what goes into a drink! For Harry’s, it began with the legacy of the flavours of Singapore, with a touch of India, and then it turned global. You then twist and play with the flavours as your clientele evolves.”
“People like a drink that is balanced, looks and smells good, and sings in the mouth. This needs to be true of the classic, with or without a twist, and with the newer contemporary flavours too.”
“Today every part of our lives is a fusion of what we are exposed to. We are borrowing from kitchens just as they are from us. Implementing good technique, with an understanding of flavour, and balancing it with a healthy respect for all the elements allows our fusion to be quite sublime.”
“Our cocktails are really popular because they are made correctly, presented well, taste good and most importantly, offer a variety of flavours and styles while always being consistent. Consistency is what most people look for. The most popular drinks have got to be our signature curations including The Singapore Sling, Harry’s Old Fashioned, Dirty Harry, Lemongrass & Ginger Caipirojka, Blood on the Rooftop and Twisted Whiskey Swizzle.”
“A refreshing experience, just like Phoenix Marketcity, is our signature Pineapple and Bell Pepper Margarita. It has a little bit of everything! It’s a fresh new flavour, sweet without cloying, zingy with lime, just that right touch of fragrant spice with a trio of red, yellow and green peppers…and tequila to touch the exotic in you.”
“Seasonal offerings add excitement and change to a menu. It could be about the availability of fresh local produce, a festival or even the weather. Each opportunity provides us with a reason to be creative.”