Raise a toast to bartender Hariharan R’s winning cocktail
“Lime juice, the right amount of cucumber syrup, a small chunk of ginger for balance and a dash of white rum.” From the sweetness of the cucumber syrup, to the pungency of ginger and the kick of rum, this drink, named the F5, is an ideal summer refresher. We meet its maker — Hariharan R, bartender at the Raintree Hotel on Anna Salai, who just placed 3rd in the Bacardi Cocktail legacy competition held in Bangalore, with this cocktail.
This time, the Bacardi Cocktail Legacy was conducted by forming a Cocktail Club to which participants could register and submit their recipes, which were then scrutinised by the judges. “I’m feeling good and also blessed to have such a good exposure. There was lot to learn from other participants as well,” says Hariharan, adding that the winner, Manmohan Singh was interactive and highly energetic, with a special focus on flavour and mixes. “He even won the Bacardi award for being the most interactive bartender," he says.
Hariharan started his career in the kitchen with Club Mahindra, before moving to the Raintree hotel. Due to an accident, he found it difficult to work in a professional kitchen, and hence moved into bartending. He loves making cocktails with rum and considers it the best alcohol for the perfect cocktail.
F5, refers to the F5 key on a computer keyboard, which stands for ‘Refresh’. Given how popular the classic Mojito is, Hariharan wanted to try creating a drink similar to the Mojito. “Something that could be a refreshing treat in this busy world.” He adds, “A good drink depends on the bartender. He must put his mind and soul to it.”
Although he loves all cocktails with rum, when pressed he admits his favourite drink is a Daiquiri.