Skip to content Skip to footer

Minakshi Singh: Crafting a Legacy with Community Building in the World of Bartending

  • Name: Minakshi Singh  
  • Industry Experience: 20 years  
  • Instagram: @min.drinks  
  • Favorite Cocktail: Currently in a phase where she enjoys Dirty Martinis, Manhattans ; “when on the beach, I order a Margarita. During the day, I prefer beer, but it changes with the place and my mood.” says Minakshi
  • Favorite Non-alcoholic: Iced Americanos

Minakshi Singh’s journey in the Food and Beverage industry is a testament to passion, perseverance, and a relentless drive to innovate. With 20 years of rich experience, Minakshi has carved a niche for herself, not just as a bartender but as a visionary entrepreneur.

Minakshi’s love affair with the F&B industry began during her hotel management studies in Delhi. For a side income, she took on outdoor catering gigs, which serendipitously led to an opportunity in bartending. The allure of bartending, drew her in. Despite the grueling 14-hour shifts, the adrenaline and satisfaction of the job made it clear that this was her calling.

Reflecting on her early days, Minakshi says, “A lot of new things were happening, and I got to meet the right people at the right time. When you are young and surrounded by good people, you can be directed in a very positive way.” This positive influence and her stint with the CND bartending course in the early 2000s, despite societal resistance to women bartenders, laid a strong foundation for her career.

Picture courtesy: Terrai Gin

Breaking Barriers and Building Dreams

In the mid-2000s, as global brands like Smirnoff and Bacardi made inroads into India, Minakshi found herself in the thick of things, participating in significant programs and dialogues. Within her organization, her role as a trainer for Smirnoff allowed her to travel across India, gaining important insights and learning from senior bartenders. This period of intense learning and growth further fueled her dream of owning a bar.

In 2005, she created an excel sheet titled ‘To make my own bar,’ a dream she would eventually realize with two successful establishments: Cocktails and Dreams Speakeasy and Sidecar. Her approach to bartending and business remains instinctive, always keeping her ears to the ground to stay ahead of trends and consumer needs. “If you are viewing your consumer from social media at a distance, you will always be a trend watcher and not a trend creator,” she asserts.

Creating a Community Hub

Minakshi’s marketing prowess and deep understanding of consumer behavior are evident in the vibrant communities she has built around her bars. By hosting events like quizzes, workshops, and live bands, she has turned her bars into community hubs. “To attract a consumer, you have to understand the consumer first,” she emphasizes. This approach has fostered a loyal customer base, making her bars not just places to drink but spaces where people feel at home.

Innovating and Giving Back

One of the hallmarks of Minakshi’s career is her innovative approach to cocktails. Her ‘cocktail of the week’ campaign, running for nearly a decade, showcases her ability to blend creativity with marketing.

Minakshi’s commitment to sustainability and seasonality is reflected in the use of local ingredients like mulberries from their farm, Bhoomi. “Cocktails are a medium to showcase that we are talking about seasonality, sustainability, creativity,” she says, highlighting the ethos behind her creations.

Building a Legacy

Customer loyalty, according to Minakshi, is built on conversations and relationships. Her bars are neighborhood establishments where regulars feel a deep sense of belonging. This community spirit is further nurtured by robust staff training programs, led by Minakshi and her co-founder Yangdup Lama, ensuring that every team member embodies the values of the bar.

A Bright Future for Bartending

Reflecting on the evolution of bartending, Minakshi notes that today’s bartenders have unprecedented opportunities and resources. “Bartenders today are blessed with opportunities, freedom, and accessibility to reach people and put in the hard work,” she observes. Despite the advancements, she values the camaraderie and support within the bartending community, advocating for healthy competition and mutual support.

As the Indian bartending scene garners global recognition, Minakshi Singh continues to be a beacon of inspiration, proving that with passion and perseverance, one can indeed craft a lasting legacy in any industry.