Ami Shroff picked it up as a hobby, and now she is at the top of flair bartending scene in India. Not only is she among the foremost female flair bartenders, but last year she was invited to represent India at Pink your Drink, an annual all-women bartending contest held in Sweden. Ami from London Taxi, Mumbai spoke to HFT about making it on her own in flair bartending.
What began as a means to earn pocket-money in college, grew into a full fledged career. She did not take any formal training. Ami says, “There are courses available in many cities of India. So, if anyone wants to pursue it as a career, should research about these institutes, what they include in the course, which normally run from one to six months. But it is equally important to learn from different bartenders.”
It is important to take hands on practise to become perfect. Ami says, “Someone who wants to pursue this as a career should read and research about the different drinks from specific pages and articles that come out regularly. But it is important to practise what you research. There should be a proper mix of theory and practise.”
When it comes to flair bartending, there is a greater degree of performance involved beyond regular bartending. Ami says, “Theory takes a backseat in flair bartending. You have to watch videos of other performers, and practise it.”
Flair bartending is still not considered a serious career option in India still. And it definitely was not even 15 years back, when she joined it. But it was this element of novelty, that made it interesting to Ami.
She says, “There are notions in our society about what is a good career and a bad career, which is completely a wrong way to look at it. Anyways, I consider that generalisations and majority opinions are wrong most of the time. Our society is so warped by superficial discriminations like caste, community and gender. There are not only illogical, but ridiculous. So, even if you ignore professional challenges, life itself is difficult and challenging in such an environment.”
Ami feels that when you are surrounded by such parochial attitudes, it is easier to find happiness in your work. She says, “It is easier to find happiness when you are in control of your space. As long as you are good at your job, few things matter. It is when I am off my work space, that I face challenges. You have to find the right confidence and comfort at work, and that is the key to happiness.”
Ami Shroff has used this mantra to success and emerge at the top of her field.