Mixologist Hemant Mundkur Tells Us About His Favourite Drinks and Bites From Bars Around Town

Hemant posted on 16 December

Bangalore has an insane drinking culture, and although we end earlier than most cities, it means we start that much more early! Who doesn’t love a post-work drink? As an ex-bartender and current brand ambassador for United Spirits-Diageo, finding the perfect drink is quintessential to having the perfect night out — the flavours of the drink need to compliment, rather than mask, the taste of the alcohol. I also find it important that when selecting food, the flavour profile works with the drink, not against it. Got a strong-tasting drink? You’ll probably want something mild to go with that so as to not overwhelm your palette! I’m giving you my top spots in the city, from neighbourhood bars to rooftop lounges, so you know all the best dine-and-drink combinations Bangalore has to offer.

Watsons

This laid-back, classic Bangalore neighbourhood pub offers a charm that can’t be replicated. I frequent the bar at least twice a week, and my favourite drink here is a simple rum and coke. I usually pair it with a Chana Sundal, a classic Indian bar snack, tempered with onions and a hint of spice.

Pubs

Kodava Samaj Building, 1st Floor, 7, 1st Main, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru

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Hype at Shangri-La

If you’re looking for a fun night out, my choice is Hype at Shangri-La, which sports a great collection of spirits and some highly talented and friendly bartenders. This rooftop bar has great weekend sundowners, so it’s a great spot to relax over a class cocktail. Favourite drink? The speciality Bangalore Bramble {what an apt name} cocktail. It’s best paired with flavourful chicken skewers.

Lounges

Shangri-La Hotel, Level 19, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru

Bootlegger

Located in the heart of Bangalore, this is my go-to spot for brilliant cocktails and a perfectly cooked dish to match. My favourite cocktail here is the Boulevardier, a drink based on the classic Negroni, but with Lagavulin substituting the gin, and a chocolate bitter to compliment the peat-y taste of the scotch. This drink calls for something not spicy, so as to not overwhelm the flavours of the alcohol.  A pepperoni pizza — a classic bite for a not-so-classic drink. Fun fact: Bootlegger has the largest collection of bitters in India — 86 kinds to be precise!

Pubs

36, Vittal Mallya Road, Lavelle Road, Bengaluru

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The Humming Tree

This performance venue draws in a diverse crowd, which is why it’s one of my favourite locations. From comedy to live music acts, it’s the perfect place to head to after a long day at the office. I swear by their passion fruit twist on the classic Tom Collins to switch things up a little. This one isn’t on the menu but you can make a request to the bar team. To pair with it, meat works best. I’d suggest the Bacon Sandwich, complete with onions and tomatoes, as well as their Bacon Whiskey Chocolate Tart!

Casual Dining

949, 3rd Floor, 12th Main, Off 100 Feet Road, Indiranagar, Bengaluru

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