The Netherlands best bartenders Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse recently opened their first cocktail bar, Flying Dutchmen Cocktails. After almost 10 years, the duo behind Amsterdam Cocktail Week, Perfect Serve Barshow and Difford’s Guide NL left the internationally renowned speakeasy bar Door 74. The location was found in the Odeon, a national Dutch monument at Singel 460 in the heart of Amsterdam. Flying Dutchmen Cocktails focusses on (neo-)classic cocktails, drinks education and the creation of a true cocktail culture in the Netherlands.
Flying Dutchmen Cocktails
Like most countries, in the Netherlands people are getting more and more aware of what they eat and where it comes from. Slowly the Dutch consumer is starting to think, not only about what they eat, but also about what they drink. Because of this, a true cocktail culture emerges. The consumer is more knowledgeable about food, but is still somewhat lost when it comes to cocktails. Slowly the Dutch are exploring the wonderful world of mixology, but they don’t know the difference between existing recipes and the signature creations of the different bars.
Worldwide renowned bartenders Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse believe you can compare the cocktail industry with the restaurant business. You can easily prepare a quick meal at home, cook an extensive dinner or order a classic dish at a restaurant nearby. There are a lot of different ways of cooking, all the way up to the food chefs get their Michelin stars with. This could be new signature creations or reconstructed/deconstructed classics. But before a Michelin Star chef can deconstruct Eggs Benedict in order to puzzle it back together into a star worthy dish, the guest needs to know what Eggs Benedict are.
The Dutch cocktail culture is still in its infancy. An international Renaissance of the Cocktail is happening, but in the Netherlands there never was a Golden Age of cocktails. The Dutch drinking culture focussed on beer, wine, genever and liqueurs, which were all enjoyed straight up. Mixing drinks was often considered something too fancy for the sober Dutch and cocktails were only prepared in American focused hotelbars.
These days the cocktail is trending and Dutch bartenders are looking abroad and on Instagram for inspiration, while the knowledge of the different preparation methods, techniques and classic recipes are often not mastered yet. Tess caught herself giving the same jury feedback after competitions more often ‘You need to learn how to walk, before you can start running’. And to create a true cocktail culture in the Netherlands, we must first learn the classics. At Flying Dutchmen Cocktails we want to teach the Dutch bartender and their guests how to walk, run, and eventually fly through the world of cocktails. We do this by taking a step back. Back to the base. Back to the classics.
Flying Dutchmen teaches their guests and the bar industry something about the profession of bartending, about the stories behind the spirits, about existing recipes and about the bartenders who created these classic cocktails. The educational character of the bar shines during the day with consumer workshops and training programs for hospitality professionals, and casually at night with a classic cocktail focused menu and a monthly guest bartender program. We want to make everyone who enters Flying Dutchmen fall in love with the wonderful world of cocktails
Since 2017, hospitality professionals Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse have organised Amsterdam Cocktail Week. For a week, Amsterdam’s most prominent bars give workshops and develop signature cocktails in collaboration with an alcoholic and non-alcoholic brand. All to reduce the still existing threshold of the cocktail in the Netherlands and to offer the non-alcoholic variety the spotlight it deserves. In addition to Amsterdam Cocktail Week, the duo is owner of Perfect Serve Barshow, the annual bar convent for high end hospitality, which takes place in the Westerunie Amsterdam on 12 and 13 May 2020. Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse also represent Difford’s Guide Netherlands, the online bartender platform diffordsguide.com, with a database of over 4000 cocktail recipes and a million monthly visitors.
Flying Dutchmen Cocktails is located in the Odeon, a Dutch national monument at Singel 460 in the heart of Amsterdam. The building was finished in 1662 and the ceiling includes government protected paintings by Nicolaas de Heldt Stockade. The four seasons are painted in the corners, with Bacchus representing autumn in one corner, and the woman of plenty in the middle. A perfect fit for a cocktailbar!
Speakeasy cocktail bar Door 74 opened its doors in 2008, making it the first speakeasy bar in Western Europe. The bar has won multiple (inter)national awards and was nominated by Tales of the Cocktail for Best New Cocktail Bar in 2009 and Best International Cocktail Bar in 2014. Led by Timo and Tess, Door 74 was listed three years in a row at the World’s 50 Best Bars, with a top spot of #15. After 9 and 8 years, the duo left speakeasy Door 74 to focus on their ongoing projects and opening their own bar, Flying Dutchmen Cocktails.
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