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June 21, 2024

“People will buy and store several bottles of whisky, fearing another lockdown,” says Zorawar Kalra

Pooja Patel

Zorawar Kalra, Founder & Managing Director, Massive Restaurants Pvt. Ltd. is one of the most popular names in the F&B industry. Known for experimenting with molecular gastronomy and Mumbai’s spices and flavours, Kalra’s company has several restaurants and bars such as Masala Library, Made In Punjab, Farzi Café, Pa Pa Ya, Bo-Tai, TYGR, YOUnion and Hotel ShangHigh.
On the occasion of World Whisky Day (May 16), Kalra talks about whisky consumption in India, the country’s young drinkers and his favourite whisky cocktail.
Read: All you want to know about India’s obsession with whiskies
Could you share a recipe of your favourite whisky cocktail?
Boulevardier is an interesting and simple recipe that I would like to share.
40 ml Bourbon whisky
20ml Sweet Vermouth 
20ml Campari
Orange peel
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice
Garnish with an orange peel
India is one of the largest whisky consuming nations in the world. What kind of growth do you foresee in this sector?
For many Indians drinking at home is a taboo. Their only solace was to go out to bars and restaurants to have a drink. If the restaurant and bar industry is affected, whisky sales will also be affected because consumption avenues will reduce. Some of the problems will be mitigated by people buying large quantities and storing them in the house for fear of another lockdown. We will see either a minor growth or de-growth in the consumption of whisky in India, at least over the next six to eight months.
Source: Unsplash
Read: Why India is warming up to peated whiskies
How do you think the alcohol industry will change post the lockdown?
As you can see from the lines outside the alcohol shops across Karnataka and Delhi, people will always consume alcohol. People won’t be going out on Saturday nights to bars, nightclubs won’t be full and as a result, consumption will come down. But I think the alcohol industry is very resilient. There’s a transient phase and I assume, it will end by December 2020 or January 2021. This entire lull period will end and things will hopefully revert to normal by April 2021.
What kind of drinks does the younger generation prefer? 
Millennials enjoy cocktails and shots. Chupitos (which means shot in Spanish) style of bars is doing well across the world. We also have a Chupitos-style bar called YOUnion in Mumbai, which is a mega-hit and we have 250 kinds of shots. Vodka is also popular with the millennials and more recently, tequila. People have found that tequila has the lowest number of calories per 30ml, so it’s become a fad. It’s also keto-friendly as it has no carbohydrates. Jagerbombs is another fad.
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Boulevardier Cocktail
Read: For whisky evangelist Jim Murray, whisky tasting is a serious business






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