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Time to 'Order' from the Judge of The Court, Francesco Murgia

Francesco Murgia give us the lowdown on his journey from accountant to mixologist, and reveals it was definitely a 'happy end'. Read on below...

Describe your venue in one sentence?

Hedonistic drinks and food where the story of the ingredients and the preparation is part of the experience.

How did you come to work in the bar industry?

I was an accountant in Italy but the office job didn't suit to me. I met me Dutch girlfriend nine year ago – she was in Erasmus in Sardinia – and after a year hopping up and down between Italy and The Netherlands, I decided to move definitely to here and do something in a field I really liked... the world of spirits.

I took a course in Cagliari in a really good school, then worked up to academy. Then I took a further course at Bols academy and I took part in different masterclasses with the likes of Jack Mcgarry and Sean Muldoon from Dead Rabbit NYC, Marian Beke from Gibson, Tony Conigliaro from Cocktail Lab, Dario Comini from Nottingham Forest...

What’s your venue’s most popular cocktail?

One of our signature cocktails: 'Art.7 Indecent Exposure (Happy End)'.

Why do you think that is?

Probably for the funny name, and the fact that it has two molecular techniques, the Aeration and the Spherification – inspired by the great chef Ferran Adrià – and, of course, the story-telling you can discovery when you order one.

What are the key drinks trends for 2019?

I think low ABV [alcohol by volume] drinks continue to be a trend, but I also see more interest in Amaros and, of course, paring cocktails and spirits with the food

As a mixologist, if you could choose one liquor, what would it be and why?

For my aperitivo I would choose Rabarbaro Zucca with a splash of seltz, It’s an old and typical aperitivo in Italy. Has a slightly smokey flavour and I love it. But for a spirit, I love whisky special, if is peaty and pared with some raw seafood.

How has the bar scene in the city changed in recent years?

A lot! There are great talents coming into the city now and consumers are showing their interest in cocktail knowledge.

What does the future hold?

More knowledge by the customers – therefore increasing the quality of the drinks and products used across the industry.

Other than your own venue, where do you go to drink (and eat) in the city?

If I don’t finish my shift until late then my night cap is in Syndicaat. Soe it’s a great host! As I live in Leiden, it’s more likely you'll find me in front a pint of Guinness watching a NFL match at Vikings, or eating a pizza at Karalis in Leiden.

Have you got a simple trick or tip you can share that will help people make cocktails at home?

Use reason... simple things such as remembering that sugar is not well dissolve in alcohol, so first dissolve it into a juice or with a few drops of water.

The Court, Groenewegje 115, 2515LP Den Haag • 070-7370800


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