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The serious business of cocktails

Bartisans success formula of building with intention for consumers that are hungry to experiment, and hyper-aware of global trends offers a taste of what’s next for the industry

Think about the last time you immersed yourself in a celebration with friends, family, or even casual acquaintances. Perhaps you remember who you were with, where you were, or what the vibe was like, with the air peppered by fun conversations and mysterious melodies that piqued your curiosity. Perhaps the aroma of ingredients, condiments, and mixes wafting from the kitchen would grab your attention. But perhaps, most of all, you would remember the company you kept: some friendly, some bright-eyed, some ambitious, some shy, some curious. But always, great tales and memories boil down to the people dotting the landscape of your memories. 

As human beings, we are social creatures, drawn to each other by a sense of mutual attraction, belonging, and dare we say even need. We congregate and celebrate together in droves, pausing only to celebrate in isolation when our very existence was drawn into question. But make no mistake, it is these celebrations and the cocktails that fuel them that are always part of a larger story, a larger experience. They augment the moment you are living and uplift your spirit. 

Thinking outside the bottle

Thinking outside the bottle
Thinking outside the bottle

Now, if you enjoy a good tipple, think about the last time you planned drinks at home for your gang. You wanted to make sure the bar took into account everyone’s preference, with the fridge stocked with enough ice and snacks to ensure the good times flow readily. As a convivial host, you doubtlessly pride yourself on your guests having a good time, and spare no effort to create a celebration whose memories often linger long after the last notes of music and chat have disappeared into the night.

Bartisans was born in exactly such circumstances, when a family was sat around their dining table enjoying each other’s company. On an unassuming afternoon amid the lockdown, the Mascarenhas family was savouring lunch and cocktails, blissfully unaware of a dream in the making. And once its idea came into being, the family wanted to share this source of excitement with others, and there has been no looking back since. 

The brand’s focus on fresh, flavoursome, all-natural cocktail mixers drew in a discerning audience, and what began as a humble idea in a home kitchen during the lockdown has now expanded to a commercial kitchen serving over 4000 customers across the country. With a focused and simple brand philosophy of putting the “experience first”, the brand has grown from strength to strength. 

Jovita Mascarenhas, Founder of Bartisans, is animated when asked to hold fort on the brand’s raison d’être. “We want to make you proud when you serve a Bartisans cocktail to your guests, to be a pairing fit for your favourite spirits. We want to be a reflection of your taste, a promise of only the best. So over the last 2 years, we’ve evolved our product and our identity based on the feedback our customers gave us. We created a custom glass shaker bottle, with a design worthy of being placed next to your favourite booze on your bar counter, and incorporated a 30 ml measure in our cap to make it extremely easy to mix the perfect drink. The wave, which forms our main brand element, symbolises the flow of good cocktails for a great time!”

The brand is built on a strong understanding of its customers, as well as a firm grasp of consumer behaviour, with products delivered on the same day to customers in Mumbai to cater to demand. The clamour for same-day delivery was such that plans are in the pipeline to expand it to Delhi and Bangalore. 

Demonstrating a clear vision of who her consumer is, Mascarenhas said, “Our consumer is hyper-aware. The good to haves have become must haves while developing any new offering. For the food and beverage industry particularly, consumers are wary of what is going into their bodies. This strengthened our resolution to make our mixers out of all natural and real ingredients.”

A cocktail for change

A cocktail for change
A cocktail for change

Quiet and unassuming, the cherubic Jordan Masarenhas is a key driving force of the brand as its Co-Founder. A trained mixologist, he returned from his internship at the Grosvenor House in Dubai and decided to make his cocktail-loving parents, Jovita and Carl, his guinea pigs. 

A staunch advocate for fresh ingredients, his focus on using only the best and freshest ingredients led to the team freshly hand squeezing lemon juice and zesting oranges for every batch of mixers. And while Bartisans mixers aren’t low-calorie (after all, what are cocktails if not an indulgence), its mixers boast 1/3rd the calories of regular cocktails by using natural monk fruit extract to add an element of sweetness. 

When pressed to weigh in on his mixology philosophy, Jordan stated that, “The Bartisans’ consumer is hungry to explore and eager to experiment. We’ve developed a large appetite for experimentation to serve that need. Our mixers are original recipes, developed and perfected in house. We find flavours that suit the Indian palette and develop it with unexpected pairings to create experimental cocktails. Not only does this give our customers something new to look forward to, it also unintentionally creates a moat around our business.”

Change, they say, is often inevitable. And in this case, it’s remarkably refreshing. By constantly raising the bar, innovators such as Bartisans are showing the way forward for all, tapping into key trends and uncorking growth opportunities. These are still early days, but it would appear that this growth story won’t lose its fizz anytime soon.

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