After a couple of days stationed at the juice counter, Payel Mondal, a resident guest service associate at JW Marriott Pune, got bored of serving the same three varieties of juices – watermelon, orange and mixed fruit — everyday.
One fine day when a guest walked up to her and asked for a glass of juice, instead of asking them which variety they would like, she asked if she could surprise them with a refreshing mocktail. She did her thing – blended this and that, and voila! The guest loved the drink and Mondal was encouraged to get creative with juices.
Now, she’s the go-to person at the hotel, when guests are feeling unwell and want to gulp down something that will make them feel better. “When a guest comes and tells me that they want a glass of juice, I can make out whether they are under the weather, if they talk softly. If I see that they are coughing or have a cold, I serve them warm ginger-infused non-alcoholic shots,” says she.
Her specialities include Ginger shots, Basil shots, Melon shots and PHT (Payel’s Herbal Tea). Talking about the beverage she has exclusively named after herself, Mondal says, “It is warm and helps when you have a congestion. It’s great as a warm beverage any time of the day. If a guest has tried it once, they are sure to come back for it, every day, during their stay here.”
Mondal has a solution for every type of guests — from gym goers to diabetics. “My favourite guest, Mr Kumar is a diabetic. So I made a smoothie with spinach and lots of lime for him. Sometimes, I also add cucumber, celery and whatever is good for diabetics and does not contain sugar,” says she.
If you are feeling tired, Mondal recommends that you use mint in your drink. One of her specials include orange juice with mint and honey blended together. “For a hangover, I give the guests a 60 ml shot with hot water, salt and lemon. Gym goers should mix orange and carrot juice and drink; it is good for the muscles,” she says.
Mondal likes to shake things up, and so she does with the plain ol’ banana milkshake too. She claims to have created a signature banana milkshake by adding honey, vanilla ice-cream and various nuts to the two main components – banana and milk.
“I recently invented an avocado shake, which is very healthy, but very expensive. I made it secretly and served tasters to my colleagues to get feedback. Avocado has special health benefits for men and their hormones,” says Mondal, who has been working with the hotel for 11 months now.