Ajit Balgi is a well-known name in beverage circles. He’s a sommelier who’s also India’s youngest cognac educators. Currently, he’s looking to enroll students for his bartending school called The Happy High Bartending Academy. However, with the current lockdown Balgi has started an Instagram Live course that covers the basics of different spirits over the course of an hour for eight days called 8 Spirited Days. We attended the first batch with a group of other students from the beverage world.
The core idea of 8 Spirited Days is to discover more about well-known alcohol types such as rum, whisky, world whisky, vodka, gin, tequila, brandy, aperitifs and liqueurs. Each of these liquors are covered over the session of an hour via Instagram Live on a private account.
Interestingly, Balgi doesn’t talk about popular cocktails or bartending or anything to ‘do’ with these liquors. Instead, the sessions are meant to brush up or learn more about these liquors by getting to more about its history, differences and similarities among brands and other important facts and trivia that gives you a more holistic understanding of the liquor being discussed. So if you ever wanted to know if vodka and chikoos are related or if Punch is really Indian among others, the 8 Spirited Days series is something you should definitely consider.
Balgi also takes questions and some of those answers are pretty interesting as well. You are allowed to go out of syllabus and ask anything you ever wanted to know as well. If not right away, Balgi will email you the answers or discuss it the next day before talking about the topic of the day.
Most Instagram Lives are focused on the dialogue between the two people who’re talking. By getting into a monologue with his students, Balgi directs the one-hour session with greater clarity and focus on each of the liquors so that by the end of eight days, participants have much more than just surface knowledge about their favourite drink.
Balji is clearly passionate about the course and it clearly comes through when you realise you’re not bored even after listening to him for almost eight hours altogether. So much so, Balgi even re-recorded an entire session after Instagram didn’t save his Live on one of the days.
You can reach out directly to Ajit Balgi by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 9930771739. The eight-day session costs INR 800 plus taxes and is well worth it for the refresher course it provides on all your favourite drinks. You also get a certificate at the end, which is a nice touch to end the session with.
It's a great way to learn more about your favourite liquor
Getting a certificate at the end is a nice touch
There might be unavoidable tech issues
Turning up at the same time every day could be a challenge
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Priyanko Sarkar is the Founder Editor of Gurgl.in. He has been a writer for over 15 years and this site is his attempt to document India's growing beverage sector with impactful and interesting stories. His favourite drink is Vietnamese Coffee and his favourite spirit is Turkish Raki.