Home Lifestyle The Art of Mixology with Nande Ishuna

The Art of Mixology with Nande Ishuna

By Jeoffrey Mukubi

Nande Ishuna (30) is a vibrant mixologist and hospitality consultant who hails from the small town of Oranjemund.
Although he grew up wanting to be a lawyer, Ishuna says that life had other plans for him. “I grew up wanting to be a lawyer but life has its way of turning out differently. In 2009, I started my career in a pizzeria as a cook, cashier and a waiter and went on to doing my first bartending job at Monaco Lounge in 2010,” Ishuna said.

Shortly after that, between 2010 and 2018, with his experience, he had the pleasure of training the staff at establishments such as the Hilton hotel, Avani hotel, Krisjans Bistro and Gondwana Canon Lodge to mention but a few.
“I have also been consulting and working for the past two years as a hospitality consultant for companies like Paragon investments, to bring my dream of a Cocktail Bartender School and Bar, YouTube TV series and Events Agency to fruition,” he added.

Ishuna said that between 2008 and now, he came to realize that the path to becoming a Mixologist can vary widely. “This life’s commitment has helped me discover that the skills required when thinking about becoming a Mixologist include a strong foundation on the hospitality industry and the type of bar environment, they work in. The bartender must have a full grasp of the position and its duties and Mixologists are tasked with creating drink menus according to ingredient seasonality and the style of venue theme,” he said.
Mixing a few drinks at a bar however does not make you a mixologist.

Ishuna says that it takes time and discipline to actually harness the skills needed to become a mixologist.
“The next step is to undertake a professional mixology course where you learn about alcohol ingredients and why certain liquors mix well with others. You also learn how to prepare garnishes using the right slicing techniques. Character traits of a Mixologist and hospitality consultant include being knowledgeable about drinks, cleanliness and good customer service and lastly, situational awareness,” he said

Ishuna reiterated the fact that some bartenders begin by learning the tools of their trade on the job straight out of high school and then work their way up to running the bar or a restaurant while others are trained in schools and institutions like APS hospitality, NUST Hospitality School and N.I.C.E.
“I learnt most of the skills on my own and since I have become one of the most sought-after Mixologists in the industry, my mission is to enhance the standard of the Namibian Bartenders with the necessary skills to help build a true culture for the art and industry,” he expressed.

He says that the problem with defining “mixology” is that the word is often used interchangeably with “bartending. However, there is a large overlap in the skill set required for a great bartender and a master mixologist, even though they are distinct roles.
“A bartender generally works at a cocktail bar making classic cocktails and house specialties, while also interacting directly with customers in ways similar to a restaurant server.

Mixologists may work occasionally in a bartending capacity, but their job title implies that they do a significant portion of their job behind the scenes, creating new craft cocktails and putting their signature twist on existing favorites,” he said.
Ishuna does however draw his inspiration from his lifetime mentor Anthony Oweleke who now resides in Dubai and says that one can truly make a real good living from it with a lot of hard work.

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unWrap.online is an exciting digital magazine based in Windhoek Namibia. Our niche as a publishing company is covering News, Entertainment, Business, Lifestyle and Sport. We have put plans and a robust distribution network in place to enable us to effectively distribute our magazine throughout Namibia and also to the rest of the world via our online platform. At unWrap our main goal and purpose is to document, celebrate and highlight the lifestyles of Namibian creatives whether they are established or aspiring creatives across many fields in the Entertainment Industry.

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