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Q&A with The Judge aka Francesco Murgia

The Judge aka Francesco Murgia of The Court

Describe your bar The Court...

The Court is an ode to the international city of justice, The Hague. In the bar’s interior and especially on the menu, you’ll find many references to the law. At The Court, you can celebrate life, relax after work, enjoy the company of your friends, have a romantic evening with your partner, or indulge in a quiet moment of solitary reflection. Comfortable Chesterfield sofas, jazzy music and dimmed lights are the perfect backdrop for enjoying high-quality spirits or a special signature cocktail prepared by one of the Judges. These beverages can be paired with delicious finger foods, or an extravagant dessert, all with a nod towards lady Justice.

How did you come up with your menu? What are your inspirations?

I have a particular senses humour, which I've used to create cocktail with joke about law. I want create a story in every drink.

Before opening The Court where else did you work?

In Italy I worked in in the areas of labour consultancy and payroll processing service. When I arrived in the Netherlands I worked for the Karalis – a historical Italian restaurant in Leiden. After a couple of years, with the agreement of the owner, I converted part of the restaurant into an American bar.

During this time, I improved my knowledge in bartending by taking courses with some of the biggest name of the industry: Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon (Dead Rabbit, New York), Marian Beke (The Gibson, London), Tony Conigliaro (69 Colebrooke Row, Bar Termini and Lab Drink Factory, London), Antonio Parlapiano (Jerry Thomas Project, Rome) and the staff of Nottingham Forest from Milano.

If you had to choose just one liquor, which would it be and why? Probably Rabarbaro Zucca (rhubarb liquor). It's a simple historical Italian product with which I love make my aperitive.

What is your personal favourite cocktail? I don’t have a specific favorite cocktail – it very much depends of the season, the time and my mood. In general I love classic cocktails such as Old Fashioned, Martini, Manhattan… Stinger 

Whilst the bar is closed, you’re asking people to message you on social media for recipes. Tell us about that? I thought this was a great way to keep in contact with my clients and make a small contribution to raising their knowledge of the cocktail world during this terrible period.

Shortly, I'll be adding onto my social media stories of the origins of the most famous cocktails.

Share one of the cocktails that is on the list at The Court, than readers can easily make at home... I think the Whistle is one of the easier signature cocktail to replicate:

45ml Tanqueray gin 22nl lime juice 15 ml coconut syrup plus one bar spoon of mango chutney You can watch all of Francesco's cocktail masterclass videos on The Court's Facebook page at


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