Dishoom is part of that new breed of restaurant producing cocktails rivalling the most highly respected bars within the city's that they operate in.
Unfortunately due to Dishoom's popularity it can be hard to get close enough to the bar to enjoy them so we encourage the good people of Manchester to take advantage of this unique opportunity whilst they still have the chance.
We catch up with Jake Odlum to discuss signature serves and working at one of the countries greatest recent success stories.....
What will you be serving up at Cocktails in the City?
We will be offering guests something new in development (I can't say anymore) and our signature serve the Viceroy Old Fashioned - A Woodford Reserve bourbon old fashioned with orange bitters and a green tea and bay leaf reduction as the sugar part of the cocktail.
The drink is made in large batches and aged for a minimum of 3 months to mellow and mature in flavour. This makes the drink taste great with a peppery spice from the bay leaf and slight tannin from the tea, mixed with the warming bourbon. It is served in a 100ml bottle on the side of a glass with cubed ice (garnished with a bay leaf and black olive) it means it does not take the usual 5 minutes a classic old fashioned would.
We sell roughly about 57,000 Viceroy Old Fashioned a year.
Within the industry Dishoom is known for it's training and staff retention, can you tell me a bit about the journey for a bartender at Dishoom.
We like to train and develop from within the company and so will help up-skill someone to become a bartender than perhaps recruit a bartender with existing traits and habits that might not be suitable for Dishoom.
All bartenders will first spend their first seven days working as a bar back to learn the venue and the systems and then will spend three months as a chota bartender working on dispense until they are completely comfortable and familiar with all of our drinks and it is almost automatic.
The next step is to become a Burra bartender which involves serving guests directly at the bar. By this point the drinks are second nature which means the bartender can focus all his attention on the guest.
Chota and Burra are measurement terms in India, chota is a fingers width of liquor and a burra is two fingers - the joke is to find the bartender with the biggest fingers!
I personally have been within the business for 5 years starting as a bartender in Kings Cross and have worked up to ensure our service standards, recipes and operational aspects of the bar are to the level we demand.
The bar features an impressive array of batched cocktails is this a big part of the business?
Absolutely, speed, consistency and quality are really essential for us. We have batching teams who will produce some of our signature serves in great bulk, in London we do all this from one-site and then dispatch to the other units and the teams in Edinburgh and Manchester batch their own.
A frequent test the bartenders will undergo is our seven drinks in seven minutes challenge, that gives you an idea of the efficiencies we require without any drop in quality.
Dishoom has a very well developed non-alcoholic drinks list, this seems to be a growing trend, are they popular?
Non-alcoholic drinks were always a big part of our business. We have developed our own in-house spirit essence that has been created to mimic some of the flavour profiles of alcohol using herbs and spices such as gentian root, cayenne pepper etc.
The Virtuous Tulsi Sour has been created to mimic the whisky sour with a lapsang souchong infused sugar syrup smoked with hickory woodchip that helps to replicate that peaty, scotch flavour profile.
If you want to find out why Dishoom are so extraordinarily popular come and check out their cocktails at Cocktails in the City Manchester on October 11 - 12th.