The cocktail scene in India is fast moving towards local inspirations, seasonal ingredients and indigenous spirits. The way forward will be to celebrate the local through international cocktail flair.
The didn’t choose this profession rather the profession chose her. “Many things in life that happen are unexpected. I began my career when I was studying Pedagogy Rehabilitation, and was working as a waitress to save money for my education. My first shift was behind the bar and I fell in love with it. I knew this was my passion,” recounts Agnieszka Rozenska, Head
Bartender at The Hong Kong Club, Andaz, Delhi.
Since she comes from a family where food and beverage culture was always very important as her father owned a restaurant, so profession of bartending gelled with her naturally. She did not have any formal education in mixology, but firmly believes experience is more important than having a degree.
“I have got the 1st level certificate ABA in the beginning of my work, which was 15 years ago. After that I have gained experience while working with the best European bartenders across the best restaurants and bars in the world,” she avers.
Way of life
For her, bartending is not just a career, it is a way of life. From exploring local ingredients to training the new team members and then customising cocktails as per guest preferences – these are her inherent skills. She
said that even if she decides to move out of the bar, she will continue to stay connected with the fraternity, work on consultation projects, trainings and more to ensure her passion stays alive and the legacy continues long after she is gone.
When asked to share her ultimate professional goal, she is quick to share that she wants to have her own brand to foster her passion and vision. “I hope to open a cocktail bar and have its branches in Delhi, Mumbai and Amsterdam,” she states enthusiastically.
Agnieszka has a unique take on what cocktails mean to her. “I believe we are surrounded by equal parts of dark and light energy in our life and to live our life happily, we have to find the balance between them. Same works with cocktails and the most important is balance. If you will find the balance in your life and cocktail, both will be delicious,” she explains philosophically.
She says classic cocktails are the foundation of all newage cocktails. “If you don’t know what is the history of those classic cocktails then you are not a good bartender. I have respect for cocktail mixology heritage and classic cocktails are closer to my heart. I could spend hours twisting them and playing around with different ingredients, and drink them,” Agnieszka avers.