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Budweiser Holi Splash!

Sunday, March 08, 2015Me! In words

The festival of colours was quite colourful for me in a way I did not really expect. I was invited by Budweiser judge a competition they were running - outlets serving Budweiser were invited to come up with beer creations that were in the spirit of Holi. No other alcohol could be used and this proved to be quite a challenge for the bartenders! But no challenge is too small or insurmountable for guys manning the bar. I visited 4 outlets and tasted a total of 20 beer creations. The competition was being held simultaneously across India in various cities and it was a pleasure to be a part of something on this scale. Here is a look at some of what I tasted. 

Gunjan at the 25th Hour in Koramangala has an immense amount of flair and created concoctions that would do seriously well in the competition. What stood out for me among all his creations was the beer and kokum mix - who in the world would have thought those two flavours would come together in an interesting way. His manner of presentation too was quite impressive

Gunjan with his creations. Ginger was the predominant flavor of one beer creation and chilli of another. Like I told him, this last one packed quite a punch, and went down well for me, who loves a spicy drink, but the chilli powder rim was a bit over the top.

Next stop was at Mother Clucker's in Indiranagar - Not as much thought put into the drinks as I would have thought the creators of Plan B and Plan Loaded would have done. Three drinks, three flavours with three beers - Ginger ale, watermelon (for the lack of which grenadine was used) and Blue curacao. Ginger and beer was a mix that I saw at all 4 outlets and it worked well no matter how it was presented. I quite liked the grenadine version here. Blue curacao, in my opinion really needs to be used judiciously, else you end up with a fizzy version of cough syrup. It has a weird way of overpowering a drink. 

Put together, the beer creations at Mother Clucker's did bring about a reference to the theme of Holi. 

Our next stop was at the Svenska in Electronic City. Now Bala and his assistant put together a massive beer tasting collection of 8 drinks. A lot of thought had gone into each of the beer creations and it was one stop I thoroughly enjoyed. The one you see above is  Beer with the classic touch of Indian spices - the roasted cumin powder and the sliced chilli that was used to stir the two together brought together magic at the end. 

Inspired by the classic egg nog, Bala used egg whites as a base for a few of his creations. This one in the making had a berry base that was cleverly blended into the egg white and the mix topped with beer. Not once did the taste of egg come through. The rim was colourfully done up with cake sprinkles. Of course, this is a drink that cannot be nursed for too long. 

Another egg white creation was finished off with shaved rich chocolate and coffee powder. Sweet, bitter, creamy and fizzy - now there is a combinations of flavour and texture in a drink you will not really think about. 

With all the creations at the Svenska

Our last stop was at Level 5 in Jayanagar and I placed myself in Daniel's hands. His work behind the counter was meticulous and well thought out. His rather shy approach to the whole affair made it all the more adorable. Each of his three drinks were really good, but the one that stood out for me was where he used a thin drizzle of blue curacao to line the beer glass - just enough for the flavours to blend well!

Daniel's creation at Level 5

This was quite an interesting way to ring in Holi. I thoroughly enjoyed the #BudHoliSplash and really hope to see a few of these  #Budtails make it to regular menus.

Disclaimer: I was a judge for this competition and duly compensated for my time. The views expressed are my own and unbiased.

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