Harinath Shankar, a famous mixologist & Director – Bar Masons, makes a pitch for flavoured vodkas. He feels that it would do the Indian market a great deal of good since it would make the white spirit segment more interesting in the country.
At Bar Masons, it is not just the millennials who prefer vodka; the alcoholic beverage’s consumption at the outlet is spread across a wide spectrum of consumers who fall in the age group of 21-60 years. More importantly, vodka consumption as a whole is between 18 to 20 percent at the bar, of which 6 to 8 percent of it is from cocktails, says Harinath Shankar, the well-known mixologist & Director of Chennai-based Bar Masons.
As for brand preferences, he says most vodka drinkers at Bar Masons prefer the premium segment Grey Goose and Grey Goose VX, while the most fast moving in terms of quantity is Absolut and Eristoff.
Sharing his insights on whether global decline in super premium vodka sales is also reflected in India, he says: “This is certainly true from the guests’ perspective. If he/she wants to move up the ladder to the premium segment there is not much availability, hence the decline. Most of them try different white spirits, be it tequila or gin where the scalability is answered.” He hastens to point out that Grey Goose and Absolut Elyx have been showing brisk sales in the Indian market.
As for vodka-based cocktails, they are much in demand at Bar Masons. Most of the time, the go to cocktails are Moscow Mule and Bloody Mary. The preferred brands would be Grey Goose, Absolut, Ketel One & Stoli. Answering a pointed question on how craft vodka has become the in thing, Harinath says his bar would love to stock them, but they have not hit the Tamil Nadu market yet.