A bartender is someone who serves beverages behind a licensed bar to customers. He’s friendly, entertaining, attractive, fast, and accurate, and enjoys a good conversation with his regulars. To have a good time, a skilled bartender is a must. We met some fun and qualified bartenders in Kathmandu and asked them questions you’d want to ask them!

Deep Shrestha
The Factory Restaurant

He started his journey at Le Trio, Jhamsikhel.  He was to look after the restaurant. While at it, he was intrigued by the bar and started learning techniques. He’s a self-taught bartender. Deep later went on to opening his own fast food restaurant, ‘Peaceful Restaurant’. It was in-service for three years, after which he explained he wanted to be more at the bar. He joined ‘Factory’ as a bar assistant. All he did was set the bar up for his senior. Deep says, “Pukar Maharjan, the senior bartender at Factory then, really taught me well. I would learn to make different drinks, and then practice whenever I was free.” Learning practically is his motto. He has been very passionate about bartending, and his passion is what drives him to come to work everyday and learn new things. It’s been a little over two years working at Factory, and today he is a senior bartender who also takes ‘flaring’ classes for students every morning there. 

His favorites: A whiskey sour is my to-go drink. An ounce of lemon juice, one ounce of sugar syrup, two ounce whiskey, and one egg white; shaken and served in a rock glass. It’s a perfect drink for any weather.

My places to go get a drink are: Purple Haze, Betta House and Le Trio. 

His take on bartending here Nepal does not have entertainment in terms of bartending. I teach flaring, and it is a new concept that is slowly rising. To entertain, attract, and interact with our customers at the bar is the main goal. To make sure they have a good time! Free-pouring alcohol and serving it in ways interesting to a customer is the intention. I go around to most of the bars in Thamel to check out new techniques that bartenders are doing. We live in the age of the Internet; learning from every media available is always a good idea. It is gripping to see how the market for flaring is increasing. Nepal is no Vegas, but we do have skill. To watch a bartender at work is like magic.

A message for aspiring bartenders: Passion will get you everywhere. A teacher can give you all his knowledge and teach you the technique, but practice is what you need to do. If you don’t apply all that knowledge, you will never perfect it. I believe that practice can only make you learn and be perfect in your job. Passion is key.

Preeti Shrestha
Calm Restaurant

Still studying hotel management at Silver Mountain School of Hotel Management, she has one more year of college to finish, and is specializing in food and beverage. She has studied bartending at Kathmandu Flair Bartending Academy. Preeti has been at Calm for three months now. As a child, she hadn’t thought she would ever do bartending. Her father always had a mini-bar at home, and as a teenager, that’s when mixing drinks and making cocktails got the better of her. 

Her favorites: She likes making vodka-based drinks, and mojitos are her favorite. The secret to get the right flavor in a mojito is to put in equal quantities of lemon, sugar, and mint. She isn’t much of an alcohol drinker, but enjoys wine. Her to-go place is Vino Bistro. 

Her take on customers here: Women are unpredictable when they order their drinks. I love a woman who calls for single malt. Younger people here come in to have a good time, and anything with juice would suffice. The older and experienced customers here are interesting. I love communicating with my guests and love listening to their stories. 

A message for aspiring bartenders: To learn the correct technique and have skill to do so is important. The more you practice, the better you get. Also, communication plays a vital role in bartending. If you cannot speak to your customer, you won’t know what they want.

Raju Shrestha
Wicked Spoon Fork and Rock

He started bartending three years ago after finishing his bachelors in hotel management. He had never really thought about bartending, but during his college he went to study in Malaysia for six months, where he worked in a bar for two months and got interested in alcohol. He came back to Kathmandu and joined the Kathmandu Flair Bartending Academy and studied all he could about alcohol. He’s been at Wicked Spoon ever since he started bartending.

His favorites: He doesn’t drink hard liquor and sticks to beer, but loves making cocktails. His favorite drinks to make are the Flaming Lamborghini and an Almandro martini, which is his own creation. He uses Kahlua, Baileys, and Curacao Blue, and tops it with some Sambuca for the Flaming Lamborghini. This celebration drink is a bestseller at his bar. His Almandro martini is a vodka-based drink that has a flavoring agent of Amaretto (almond flavor liquor) and sugar syrup, and is topped with espresso. His favorite spots in Kathmandu are the Victory Lounge and around Lalitpur.

A message for aspiring bartenders: Raju says that knowledge of alcohol and beverages is most important for a bartender. Passion comes right next to it, and well, skill is developed with time. You should also have courage to play with fire and know how to entertain. To know the properties of what you are serving should be grilled in a bartender’s mind.