How Do I Cure a Hangover?

Wielder of the magic bottle, druid-cum-agony-aunt. What would we do without the bartender? We managed to drag Bhawani Singh Shekhawat, the man in charge of the bar at Starboard, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai, away from his single malts and martinis and got him to answer your questions

Published: Jul 17, 2009 09:00:00 AM IST
Updated: Jul 17, 2009 09:00:35 AM IST

What’s the best way to avoid hangovers? And to cure one?
To avoid a hangover, have light cocktails. Drink a lot of water and if you are drinking coffee at the end of a drinking session, make sure it has milk. To get rid of one, you should drink a lot of water or fresh-lime soda. If you can, have light liqueurs in the morning.

Do you serve drunk guests?
As long as guests are in control of their actions, we serve them.
If we feel that they cannot hold themselves, we tell their colleagues that we won’t serve them anymore. If it’s someone alone, then we refuse to serve him or her.

Is there any way I can drink and still beat the breath analyser?

Stick to the limit prescribed. Other than that I don’t think there is any way.

What do barflies like to talk about most?
Right now, it’s just about the 26/11 terror attacks; what we were doing, how we are coping. Usually, they want us to listen to their business problems.

How is absinthe?

Absinthe has a high level of alcohol (72 percent). Few Indians order it, but a lot of foreigners ask for it. And I can say, after having a drink of absinthe, you feel like you are in heaven. People who listen to ghazals and classical music are huge fans.

Who has been the most outrageous guest you have had?
We had a guest who lived at the hotel for quite some time. He used to come down to the bar and have a glass of wine and a peg of whiskey. Every morning. For breakfast.

If you see a cad trying to get a woman drunk on purpose, what do you do?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do. As long as the woman doesn’t have a problem, we can’t do anything. If there is a problem of some kind, we get security in since that is not our field of expertise.

What does a drink tell you about the person ordering it?
Single malts and scotch whiskies: Very level-headed, keep to themselves, have high levels of perseverance. Beer is a young-blooded drink. But then, we have a couple who come in once a week and the lady orders the whiskey and the gentleman has beer.

What drink is a ladies’ favourite?
That would be the ginseng-flavoured vodka. Ginseng is a root of a plant that grows in South Asian countries. It’s an aphrodisiac and a favourite with couples.

What’s the most expensive drink you stock?

The 30-year old single malt Glenfiddich Vintage Reserve. A small peg costs Rs. 8,000 plus 25 percent value added tax.

What drinks give the bar a better mark-up?
Cocktails subsidise hard drinks. The amount of alchol in cocktails is less but the charge is more.

(Coordinated by Abhishek Raghunath)

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(This story appears in the 31 July, 2009 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Deependra Singh

    Mr bhawani Singh is such a gr8 hotel personality.

    on May 26, 2015
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