Leroy Soumokil, The true trade man. LOB series.

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Words by:
Photography by: Ming Chao

Ten tough ones for....



In this Legends Of the Bar series we will look into some of the great names in Dutch bartending and ask them ten of the toughest questions.
Next, from charmer to the man of the house, Leroy Soumokil.

What is the nicest moment behind the bar you can remember?

"Maybe not the nicest but i was very surprised. When somebody ordered a cocktail he didn’t know i created -i created it 4 years prior to that moment and was working in a different bar-, that was a “Mom look at me” moment! "

What is the worst?

"Ow there are too many, i think i made almost all possible mistakes out there.But refusing a pregnant woman alcohol who actually wasn’t pregnant is the first one that pops in my mind. (Very painful moment for both of us!)"

Who are the two Guru’s you look up to the most in our industry?

"1# Peter Dorelli
If i think of 1 person as a guru he embodies it.In his way of thinking, charisma and his years of experience.

#2 Heston Blumenthal
Not a bartender but a chef.His way of thinking is light years outside the box looking to food as anexperience."

Which book on bartending is a must-read?

"The Gentleman’s companionfrom Charles H. Baker"

What is the cocktail you have created you are most proud of and why?

"Sea’s

10 ml Bols Corenwyn Genever
40 ml Eldorado 15 Rum
1 brsp Pimento dram
20 ml Orgeat
20 ml Lime juice

This cocktail let me win the Entree best bartender award! And is based on 2 of my favorite spirits Rum and Genever. Great herbal and refreshing sweet sour taste!"

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What is the biggest challenge facing our industry in the Netherlands today?

"The Netherlands is still a beer and wine country.I think the biggest challenge is getting people familiar with drinking cocktails, spirits and “other drinks” (Cider, fortified wines & fermented stuff) There are a few ways doing this like media for example.But personally i hope that more bartenders/ hospitality staff make a bit more adventurous suggestions to our guests."

What is your guilty pleasure drink?

"Ohh... Ehm... almost embarrassed to say, but a nice big “Vanilla latte” really, yes really."

If you could teach new bartenders one thing, what would it be?

" For me it’s guest experience! That sounds really broad, but first make guests feel at ease. I think a good bartender should know the principles of being a gentleman.

And to give 3 things new bartenders should keep in mind all time:- Being quick, keeping it simple and absorb everything!"

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What do i have to do as a bartender to piss you off when visiting a bar?

"A lot! :D but disturbing other guests is a quick ticket trough the way you came in."

If you want to be remembered by any quote, what would it be?

"Go in with the intention to create a great experience!"

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