Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Mixology as a career option

Mixology in simple words is the art of preparing mixed drinks. The drinks prepared as a result of employing this technique might be alcoholic as well as non alcoholic.

Finely mixed drinks always leave an impression. While even the best variant of your favorite drink might end as a short-term memory, the mystery behind the unusual punch that took you by surprise in the late night party will linger on your taste buds till the morning after. Be it martini, tequila or whiskey, a different mixture of the components each time is what adds the variety to your life.

Mixology is also a good career prospect as they are and will always be fewer in number than bartenders. Social Elite Staffing describes the ratio of bartenders to guests as 1:100 for parties and 1:75 for weddings. Imagine, if in a party with a crowd of more than thousand guests, there is only one mixologist, how much special and demanded he’s gonna be.

What makes mixologists needed

Most people who have tried to unwrap the basics behind making a cocktail would know that the basic components of a cocktail are the base, the modifying agent and flavors and colors. But what after that? Do you all know the various categories of mixes and cocktails, what is the basic differentiating factor between a Daiquiri and Jack Rose?

In today’s party-crazy world, having a good knowledge of mixology can help you a great deal as the person who can take control of the party can take control of a lot of things, and drinks are the trump card.

Mixologists, with more extensive and in-depth training than bartenders, know the most unique things about drink recipes, sour drinks, non alcoholic drinks and a lot more, and can use this knowledge to the best of their advantage.

The art of mixing drinks

The art of mixing is one art anyone and everyone who has a taste for fine drinking would love to possess. As suggested in David A. Embury’s classic cocktail book The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, some of the basics that need to be ensured for a quality cocktail are that the quality of liquor should be absolutely top-class, not containing heavy agents. It should also have a good appearance and aroma.
Mixologists would know how to use substituting agents and how small additions can modify the taste and the overall effect of the drink. Icing is another important aspect that will be covered in all mixology courses around the world, because, as you know, people have different preferences for temperatures.

Schools and courses
Some of the popular schools and universities that are imparting education and professional courses on mixology are The Columbia School of Mixology, University of Mixology (California), Mixology Group (UK), Professional Bartending Schools of America (all over America) and Universalclass.com (Online class). Myles Cunliffe, the director of Mixology Group says "Once you've completed our course, we believe that we've provided you the knowledge and confidence to go out and get a higher profile job. Meaning you can enjoy work more, get better pay and have more time off."

Myles Cunliffe, Director, Mixology Group, teaching a few tricks of the trade to prospective mixologists.  

While studying mixology from these universities, you would learn it from expert, experienced mixologists and bartending experts who have traveled all around the world; with hands on practical teaching, allowing you to make the mistakes. You can also try online classes, which are imparted through videos or video conferencing.

While each school or university has a different course curriculum, the major aspects that will be covered in most mixology-based bartending course would include drink recipes, garnishes, basics of and around the bar, pricing, serving techniques, substitutes, inventory management and of course, the liquor laws.

Whichever school you learn from, make sure your mind is always open to new ideas, from within and from others. Wisdom is one of the key drivers of smartness, and one who is wise can lead the way.

A good knowledge of the various mixtures can help you impress friends, win over dates, win competitions and land a job, or if lucky, a business opportunity. The scope of learning and winning in the field of mixology is infinite, it’s just up to you how you tap your potential.

So why not give this option a try?

Thursday, 13 March 2014

An Untold Story of Success

Woman, a word that whenever appears carries with itself a sea of stories. A story of struggle, a story of discrimination, a story of freedom and many such untold, unheard stories. Well, I have a different story to tell today. The story of Women, Sports and Discrimination. Do you even know that when the Olympics games began in 1896, not even a single woman athlete was allowed to compete? And the most shocking part of that Olympics was that, even if a woman was found watching it, she was punished severely.

But to find the gender discrimination in sports, we don’t have to go so far since we have plenty of examples right at our homes. The very sight of a barby doll fills our live barbies with delight. But have you ever thought why we gift a baby girl with a doll and a baby boy with a toy car or maybe a toy gun? Isn’t it a sort of discrimination?? Just give it a thought!

However, later the Olympics authority gave two explanations for excluding women from Olympics;
  • Women are not too healthy to compete
  • Not all the women prefer playing everywhere, and if women seek to participate in Olympics, a women’s sport has to be practiced widely in not less than 25 nations
But very soon the women cleared both these blocks and proved their physical fitness first to prove their eligibility. In 1900, Olympics allowed not more than 22 women to participate in Olympics but this was a partial success. Why partial, because they could only compete in two games viz. golf and tennis.
A long way to go!
Every year since then, we can notice some changes in the criteria of Olympics as far as a woman’s participation is concerned. And the struggle continues till today. After declining many formal petitions it is only in 2009 that the authority gave its approval to women ski jumping. Ski jumping “seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view..” said Gian Franco Kesper, the then-Ski Federation president (2005).

The number of sports event for women keep on changing every year but with terms and conditions applied. The women’s boxing event got accepted by the IOC only in 2012. But with the condition that the women competitors should wear skirts while playing since it would help the authority distinguishing them from the male competitors since every fighter has to wear a headgear during the competition. Whereas, some nations found it more elegant.

However, the London Olympics (2012) marked a remarkable increase in the women’s participation. There were around 45% women participants it. And almost 59 women participant won medals including 29 gold ones. The figures suggest a positive and celebratory future for women in Olympics or any of the sport event.
On their way to success!
 But despite of these promising figures there are a few Muslim nations that still discourage their women athletes to prove their competency publicly.

Recently, the whole world celebrated International woman’s day on 8th March and on 9th March, we witnessed Nagoya International Women's Marathon that actually symbolizes women’s empowerment and their competency in sport’s events.

The 20 or 30 minutes, that you enjoy watching a women’s tennis, boxing or racing event, has behind it decades of struggle. The 20 or 30 minutes in which women try to give their best, prove their ability has many decades of hard work, determination and of course many untold stories of struggle. 
Success! Success! Success!

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Traveler or A Tourist?

Come on! I am going there as a traveler, not as a tourist,” stated are the words of a friend of mine who left the country for Italy last Friday. When his mom asked him to come back early that’s what he replied with. Don’t know about his mother but I found this statement very catchy and interesting. Thus, have made the statement food for my blog today.
A Traveler or A Tourist?
Tourist” or “Traveler”, generally we use the two terms interchangeably but actually there lies a huge difference between both of these. Take two different roads, one which is full of adventure despite of its unforgiving and inhospitable atmosphere while other is a smooth and most walked on since it is guided by the experience of others. The one who would choose the former road would be a traveler while the one who chooses the later would be a tourist.

Let us try to distinguish between the two on different parameters:

Planning - A tourist always has measured steps towards some set routes. He carries with himself a self-charted-out map. Whereas a traveler cares less for the routes and remains agile enough to change the route even at the eleventh hour. A tourist has planned routes while the traveler wait for the routes to plan for him.
A tourist always follows his schedule religiously even up to the limit that at some point of time he becomes slave of his schedule. He knows exactly where he would be after a week. Whereas, there is no such compulsion with a traveler. In fact, you would find him clueless about his next move.

Comfort- A tourist would care much for his comfort and to attain it, he would not even think once in spending a lot on quality hotels or resorts and also on hiring comfy cabs. Whereas, a traveler would find his comfort under a mosquito net, around campfire and by traveling in an overcrowded public transport. They literally lead a nomadic life during the phase.

Learning- By visiting a nation, a city, a place you indeed give pleasure to your eyes but did your mind get its food? The curious mind of a traveler remains active 24X7 in knowing about the things they can’t see around and want to know beyond what everyone knows. Whereas, a tourist remains quite active with his cameras and wanna capture the beauty of the place for once and all. But isn't this capturing limits the nature for him.

Interaction- A tourist has his interaction limited with a guide. He seeks whatever information the guide gives him. Hiring a guide actually curbs his opportunity to interact with the natives or locals. Whereas, a traveler tries to ask maximum questions with a native with his limited vocab and generally with some unusual yet amusing gestures. A traveler gets friendly and interactive very easily. He tries to grasp each and every minute detail without being a formal questioner.

What Next- Once home, a tourist gets the opportunity to share the pics with his near and dear ones via Facebook, WhatsApp and other social networking site. After a day or two’s rest, they get back to their old life. But you would find the same traveler with a different hairdo, interacting in a strange and broken language that too in a very different accent.

I think, we should earnestly thank these energetic and enthusiastic traveler because they are the one who spot the unknown places and later write about them. Such writings not only acquaint us with some unknown places but also extend our knowledge about what we already know.