“It’s okay to drop the bottle but it’s important to pick it up and continue. And, if there is a mess, it’s important to clean it up. But it’s all okay.” Meet Ami Shroff, the Head mixologist at London Taxi Gastro Pub in Mumbai.
Ami, a graduate in philosophy and political science never imagined she would take on a career as a flair bartender and juggler. She started freelancing back in 2003 and then collaborated with London Taxi Gastro Pub since they set up. She describes the journey so far as, “awesome, with lots of creativity, travel, learning and beautiful interactions” She attributes her work to have moulded her personality and developed her self-confidence.
Today, we talk about breaking stereotypes, about breaking barriers – and Ami has done all that and more. But it is not easy, she admits, “Every job comes with challenges, technical challenges can all be dealt with, but sexist atmosphere can be the most annoying. There is sexism all around us, in our homes too. Each such moment has a different approach.
The way I deal with it is to just know how I want my bar and ask for it, be in control of my counter and not give a shit. And, of course, give high-fives to those who have an awesome vibe. “
Curious to know how one keeps calm given the high energies, happy chaos and sometimes highly demanding clientele –Ami’s advice is simple – to think on your feet and improvise. She elaborates, “There can be different difficulties that can come into the bar. But if you have a well organised bar, with a good team to work with, they can be overcome. Sometime basic ingredients or glassware required may get over, or there could be trouble with the billing system or a guest may be disappointed with their order etc. But in a situation like this, the bartender must use their presence of mind and creativity to handle the situation the best way possible. When a glass ware is over, find a good substitute and present it creatively. When the bar gets busy and things may get disorganized, take five minutes close the bar, reorganize all ingredients and areas to function all smooth again. But it’s best to pre-set it well according to the crowd expected.”
With scores of women seeking unique careers and wanting to go down the less trodden path, Ami from experience says,“Just go for it. See what opportunities can come up before you and jump into something.” and to all the fabulous women reading this interview, she adds with a wink “A drink on me at London Taxi for being so awesome!”
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