Meet Ashish Puri, the assistant manager of Our Land is Alive and Chandelier Lounge at Cordis Auckland.
Born and raised in Pokhara, Nepal, he moved to New Zealand five years ago and was spellbound by the bartending scene. He completed his bartending certification in 2016 and started his first bartending role at the ambitious Hard Rock Pub in Nepal.
For Puri, the most rewarding aspect of his job is witnessing how his service can liven up someone's day.
“Although many aspects of my job are extremely rewarding, personally, it would be the smiles and feedback from our wonderful guests,” Puri explains.
“Small gestures such as a thumbs up from guests on the other side of the bar or having guests order the same cocktail again fills my heart with content.”
At Our Land is Alive, the bar offers a wide selection of beverages, including Kiwi-inspired spirits, wines, and non-alcoholic options like Tiny Non-Alcoholic Beer. The bar also sources fresh and local ingredients for its food and cocktails, giving guests an authentic taste of New Zealand. His favourite cocktail to make is the Old Fashioned, which requires sharp attention to detail and technical skill to deliver its classic taste.
Puri has noticed the trend in Asian flavours like lychee and yuzu being introduced and becoming a conventional taste in the drink scene. However, he still enjoys making sweet drinks with trending mango and pineapple flavours. His go-to drinks to show new customers the style of the bar are the Tamaki Sour, Kikorangi Fizz, and White Cloud.
Outside of bartending, Puri enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, hiking, and drinking coffee with a view. He's also a fan of the New Zealand craft spirit scene, particularly the diverse selection of locally sourced gin.
Puri is passionate about bartending and strives for excellence in every drink he makes.