Avi has been a central figure in the cocktail scene the Hague for years including long-standing roles such as bar manager at Spark at Hilton The Hague. We talk to him about how the cocktail scene has developed, and why dipping an Oreo cookie in your Caipirinha is no bad thing...
You’ve been working in the cocktail scene of The Hague for longer than most; how have you seen it change and develop?
Years ago when I first began to work in The Hague at Spark six years ago, there were very few places with bartenders who could make a decent cocktail. At that time the cocktail scene encompassed The Blue Print, Zahara Cocktail Bar, the bar in Hotel Des Indes and Spark The Hague.
Bar owners and bartenders started to notice that a lot of people were beginning to drink cocktails. So they spiced up the menus, hired better cocktail shakers and also supported them with training. Slowly a cocktail scene started to develop.
A few years ago Amsterdam and Rotterdam were the places to drink cocktails. But with new cocktail bars like The Five Points, Syndicaat and The Court, things have changed. The Hague has started to build a community. With bar owners and bartenders working together, we're starting to catch up with Amsterdam & Rotterdam.
What’s your personal go-to cocktail and why?
I used to visit Brazil often and it was there that I found my love for Caipirinhas. My favorite is a Passionfruit Caipirinha. It is easy and quick to make and has a lot of different tastes: sour, sweet, fruity and strong.
What trends do you see in the industry over the coming year or so?
First, there were a lot of gin brands being promoted: G&T was the drink to drink. But in the last couple of years, the cocktail scene exploded, with new rum, gin, vodka & tequila brands popping like – quite literally – popcorn! Everywhere there new products and ideas. Right now, I think the trend is low ABV and zero alcohol 0.0% drinks.
What with the coronavirus, it is quite tricky to predict the future of drinks but when its all over, Dutch people will drink again as if nothing has changed.
What 's a simple recipe that people can try at home?
A Don Tiki Caipirinha, served in either a Champagne coupe or a regular whiskey glass.
50 ml Cachaca
20 ml Fresh Lime Juice
15 ml Simple Syrup
20 ml Passionfruit Juice
Oreo Cookie as Garnish
Dip the Oreo into the drink, its awesome!