Ami Shroff is Head Mixologist for London Taxi gastro pub. Throughout her career, she has been a bartender, a mixologist, performing artist and a juggler – all rolled into one. She studied Philosophy and Political Science, but chose a totally different profession. Ami Shroff became a bartender during college and is popular as India’s first female bartender. She learnt this art on the job while working with very skilled bartenders and a little bit from the internet. And as London Taxi turns one, it says – making drinking guilt-free has been a fun ride with Ami Shroff mixing her favourite hangover-free cocktails at the bar. And we ask Ami Shroff:
Because I enjoyed it, I was good at it. Because I was good at it, I enjoyed it. That’s why.
What cocktails mean to you?
A balanced mix, re-creation of your alcohol, a treat for the taste buds. Can be art. I started making cocktails a few weeks or days after I entered the bar. I learnt it on the job, under guidance of awesome bartenders.
How did you enter into flair bartending?
Before flair bartending, I used to do events, at one such event I met a bartender – Ankit Nigandhi. He introduced to another flair bartender in Goa – Shawn Dsouza, who taught me a lot of the basics, after which met other flair bartenders, watched videos online and practiced. Flair was the reason I entered bartending. I learnt almost everything on the job and from the internet. It was training from various places.
Do you have set rules for stirring, shaking and mixing up?
I keep experimenting. I have very few rules. But basics of the bar, hygiene and guest preferences are the only rules I play with.
Why do you play with fire?
Because it’s the most beautiful element. Fire has a very strong energy and it brings out a different side in me. And this passes to the audience. And because I can.
And you are also equally comfortable with contact balls. How do you manage this?
Contact juggling I learnt about 7-8 years ago after I started bartending. Had tried other styles of juggling too, and contact juggling stuck with me and I then soon included it into my performance.
Any tips on stocking up one’s personal bar?
Few spirits of your choice (one light and one dark spirit of choice at least). A liqueur or two- a bitter a sweet, any one vermouth (rosso being my favorite) few herbs, Citrus fruits and mixers like soda/tonic/juice. And lots of ice.
What is the most desired cocktail, according to you?
Mojito is the most popular cocktail of India (in its tropical parts). But desired is different from popular. Gin cocktails are getting popular lately, also bitter cocktails but there is no one desired cocktail I can think of. I always desired for fresh ingredients being used and my cocktails be not too sweet. That’s about it. We have that at London Taxi.
Your suggestions for making parties unforgettable?
Spending it with people we love and care about along with some delicious food and drinks, nice music, good weather hopefully.
How did the master mixologist land at the London Taxi to make delicious cocktails?
London Taxi and I found each other. Just as romantic as that may sound, sometimes things come in your way which work very perfectly for a person in that moment and that connection grows to develop its own story. London Taxi just turned one and we have an action packed bar coming with all new twists and surprises coming soon. See you there.