Conversations By IWBS – Yangdup Lama

This week around we sit down with one of the most recognised awarded, experienced and skilful set of hands behind the wood, the one who is behind some of the best bars in India and can be credited with launching the careers of some of the most lauded mixologists today – Yangdup LAMA!

He certainly needs no introduction but we still found a few questions to fire his way. 
What inspired you to become a mixologist?I am a mixologist by accident. Never ever thought I would be one. 25 years ago as a hotel management graduate I joined Hyatt Regency Hotel as an F&B employee and was assigned to work at the Polo Lounge Bar and that was it. Rest is history.


What is the one major change you have seen in the Indian beverage industry in the last few years?

The Indian beverage industry has come of age and is moving ahead at a very fast pace. Quite in sync with the rest of the world in terms of innovation and ideas. One of the key things is the change in the minds of the younger professionals and also with the consumer – it has become more experimental in every sense of it. 

What is the most unique cocktail you have ever tasted?

I have tasted a cocktail made with Lizzat Papad for an upcoming Indian restaurant in Houston, Texas. It sounds funny but it was quite a hit with everyone who tasted it.

What is the ideology behind your recipes?

Simplicity and getting the basics right. If you have them right you can explore everything else in the cocktail world.

What is the success mantra for a perfect bar?

There isn’t one single mantra. The bar is a social place for a customer and every single element of it is a product that leads to an experience. The only way to get it right is to be involved passionately in every bit of this product. It’s important that you yourself take pride in the product and the same will resonate with the patrons. 

What’s your favourite tipple at the end of a busy day?

I am a whiskey on the rocks person and my favourite is a bourbon.

What is your advice to young professional seeking a career in this field?

It is a promising profession to be in. Take it up by doing one thing at a time and enjoy the journey as it unfolds new things every time. Lastly, let everyday be a new day of learning and exploring.

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