Introduction: Kimaya Sahasrabuddhe in conversation with Ajit Balgi, the founder of Happy High talks to him about his journey and shares some-must have drinks in a home bar. Ajit Balgi is a hospitality graduate from the Institute of Hotel Management, Mumbai. He is also an MBA degree holder and has worked in the sales and marketing industry but it didn’t interest him. This is when he came back to beverages and founded Happy High in 2014 is based in Mumbai, which is a bartending academy, and a consulting and beverage experiences company.
The academy started in February 2021. It provides day-long courses for professionals and also for consumers. It conducts half-day workshops for consumers on making cocktails in addition to running some online courses. It is now one of the leading wines and spirit education companies in India and works with hotels, liquor companies and corporates on skill development, beverage experiences and experiential marketing.
A usual day of Ajit begins at the academy at around 8 am where he holds workshops that go on till 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Post the workshops he does the consulting bit for various restaurants and clubs. The Academy operates from Monday to Friday. Weekends are kept for travelling that is only if required for specific consultancy work.
Ajit also shares a list of must haves in a home bar –
Whiskey is a must-have for any Indian bar as India is a whiskey consuming nation. Whiskey – Single Malt or Classic BlendedVodkaBacardi or any other Rum brandGinBrandyTalking of Non-alcoholics, you can add some drops of Bitters in soda and it becomes a drink for them in a party. There are also non-alcoholic bitters that are available in the market but the alcoholic ones are better.
Ajit is also a wine educator certified by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), London. He has trained over 5000 people in India, the Maldives, Thailand and London. He has had a great journey with immense experience that he happily shares with his students through the academy.
Address: 416, Goldcrest Business Park, LBS Marg, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai 400086.