Sharai Rodrigues: Dare to be different. LOB series.
Words by Timo Janse
Photography by Ming Chao
"The ten tough ones for..."
In this Legends Of the Bar series we look at the bartenders that make the Dutch bar scene great and ask them each the same ten tough questions. This time: IBA 2017 NL winner Sharai Rodrigues right after her amazing results in the IBA world championship Copenhagen!
What is the nicest moment behind the bar you can remember?
"￼The moment that guests were especially asking for cocktails from my shaker.
What is the worst?
"The moment that Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf (my youth heroes) walked in at my bar and
Andre ordered a double Beluga Gold Vodka with cranberry juice. I was so flabbergasted
that I couldn’t remember his order (how difficult can it be) and couldn’t speak anymore, I
was so embarrassed that I had to ask a colleague to take over and make the drink, sigh..."
Who are the two Guru’s you look up to the most in our industry?
￼"I actually don’t have Guru’s I look up to. I take a lot of inspiration out of people who keep
￼close to themselves, work hard, fulfill their dreams and dare to be different instead of
￼following the crowd."
Which book on bartending is a must-read?
"￼Bartenders’ Manual - Harry Johnson"
What is the cocktail you have created you are most proud of and why?
"With this cocktail I won the Dutch Championship of NBC 2017
A variation on the Dutch Kopstootje, it’s a perfect combination of genever, beer and
coriander, a fresh cocktail with a surprising taste. I love to make food pairing with my
cocktails so for this a typical Amsterdam old cheese, a dry sausage and relish from Kesbeke.
to make it:
￼60 ml Bols Genever Original
￼20 ml Fresh Lemonjuice
￼15 ml Monin Falernum
￼5 ml Green Chartreuse
￼3 branches of fresh coriander
￼Top of with beer - Ijwit van Brouwerij ‘IJ
￼Shake and fine strain into a pre-chilled coupe glass"
What is the biggest challenge facing our industry in the Netherlands today?
"The biggest challenge is that a lot of people in Holland don’t see the hospitality business
as a craftsmanship, an art, a job (did-you-ever-even-studied)...
The cocktail culture is growing in Holland but still a lot of people stick with their beer, wine
and gin tonic."
What is your guilty pleasure drink?
￼"Vodka cloudy apple juice, yes I plea guilty and I love it!"
If you could teach new bartenders one thing, what would it be?
￼"It’s all about guest experience, hospitality, product knowledge, know your classics, have
￼the proper technics and stay close to yourself."
What do i have to do as a bartender to piss you off when visiting a bar?
￼"Harassing other guests and especially men who think it’s funny to slap women on their
If you want to be remembered by any quote, what would it be?
￼“My demons can’t swim in whiskey but they try"