How drunch aka drinking over lunch is upstaging the once-popular brunch
BENGALURU: There is a cool new gastronomic term that Bengalureans are using when they catch up with friends or business partners for lunch. They meet for a drunch. Drunches or drinking over lunch has millennials of the pub city hooked.
Light alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and cocktails are effortlessly added to a lunch outing in a customary fashion by entrepreneurs and young professionals. This has the standalone eateries and watering holes, especially in IT pockets of the city, cashing on this trending global culture by serving drunch-worthy deals to increase footfall.
Take the case of Punjab Bistro in Koramangala, which actively promotes an extensive menu of cocktail pitchers with names like mojito, electric iced tea to whiskey marmalade crush,for lunch. Observing how the trend has percolated from Singapore, US and Europe into the IT city, owner Sajal Jassal says, “Bengaluru has the optimum weather to grab a beer or cocktails over lunch. The IT city is home to well-travelled young professionals who are always game for a globally trending culture.”
Sajal notes that drunches typically pick up momentum Wednesday onwards. “Primarily, large groups of friends and corporate gatherings indulge in drunches and order cocktail pitchers, especially sangria.”
Celebrity chef Abhijit Saha notes that entrepreneurs, who need to entertain customers or business partners, are the main drunch consumers. He attributes the trend to the rise of microbreweries which encouraged the culture of casual drinking.
“Historically, having a quick drink over lunch was a culture seen only at members’ clubs. Today, grabbing a quick drink during lunch is not frowned upon, as long as one doesn’t reach office intoxicated and set a wrong example,” says Saha, who has spotted a rise in drunches across his restaurants including watering hole Red Rhino in Whitefield. He points out that it is only light alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and cocktails that are sold during the drunch hour.
Also, drunches seem to be simultaneously fuelling the concept of community drinks. Bar-Bar and Shizusan Shophouse & Bar in Whitefield have introduced sangria pitchers for lunch, for instance.
Some five-star hotels are replacing their Sunday brunch with drunches. The Den-Bengaluru in Whitefield is now hosting drunches on Sunday. Unlike other hotels which serve 4-5 standard cocktails at a brunch, their bar gives 60% weightage to cocktails. Food comes second.
General manger Vinesh Gupta says, “Question was how to succeed in today’s crowded market with sundowners and brunches. Drunches call for a new experience and has got us good footfall in a short time. Expats and corporates want to experiment with alcoholic beverages during lunch time too now.”