Conversations with IWBS – Varun Sharma

Varun Sharma, Beverage Manager, Comorin Gurugram

Varun Sharma is the Beverage Manager at Comorin. He is responsible for
overseeing Comorin‘s unique beverage program that includes craft
cocktails, house made liquors and infusions, as well as a distinctive range
of coffee, tea, and soft beverages. Varun has over 12 years of experience in
the beverage industry, with highlights including his role as Head Bartender
and Mixologist at Ricks, the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi; as Bar Manager
overseeing Delhi and Mumbai locations of Soda Bottle Openerwala; and as
Bar Manager at Chidiya Ghar Bar, Roseate House Hotel, Delhi. He has won
numerous awards including regional wins at the Diageo World Class (in
both 2014 and 2013, where he was also named among the top 6 bartenders
in the India both years) and at the National Award for Best Mixologist at the
Corralejo Teqnic Mixology Challenge, 2014.

You’ve made sous-vide a sexy thing to adopt at your bar. What’s the inspiration behind that?

Sous Vide method means under- vacuum, a method which was being used in the kitchen for preserving food. Few years back I observed more and more chefs were using this technique which made me curious to experiment with it for my cocktails. So, when I was working on the Comorin menu two years back I was excited to create cocktails using this technique.
Taking inspiration from it we have cocktail mixers as well such as infused gin,
vodka, whisky and other liqueurs at Comorin.

You make your own syrups, vermouths, and bitters. How do you suggest more bars indulge in this practice?

Vermouths by Comorin

The practice of making your own mixers and syrups is not a very difficult but just an art where you need learn the ratios between a spirit, a sweetener, spices, fruits and herbs and understand your ingredients and there combinations. Everyone with the knowledge and passion can create it.

Your mixology style is unique. How would you describe it?

Comorin is amongst India’s top 50 bars.

Mixology is an art of preparing drinks and creating a wholesome experience. My mantra is simple as I believe I should have fun with my ingredients and combinations. Each drink that I serve to my guests should let them have an outstanding experience.

Given a chance to start a bar of your own, what theme would you adopt?

Not looking at it for now for sure but if ever then it will be an Old Classic Bar with modern techniques & equipments and wide usage of global and traditional ingredients.

What’s that one cocktail that you’d make for your favourite comic character?

Gin and tonic for Genie from Aladdin

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

Nothing can beat traditional Bourbon with Cola

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

Honestly, Bartending is a fun field and it’s essential for you to be passionate and enthusiastic about it. As, this profession is all about ensuring your guests had an out of the world experience because anyone can learn the recipes and proportions and create drink but what makes you stand out from the lot is how you made the whole experience enjoyable for your diners.

I would say be passionate, focused and enthusiastic about your field because it reflect in your work.

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