Words by: Timo Janse
In this series we take some of the legendary people of the Dutch bartending industry and ask them all the same ten tough questions.
Next, the man who has seen it all, Rick de Groot.
What is the nicest moment behind the bar you can remember?
"Honestly whenever I see the excitement on the face of guests when they see that I am working when they come in, or after I got to serve people that will be new regulars."
What is the worst?
"I think most of the bartenders have this little box where we hide the bad moments. Of course there are quite a few that we simply can’t remember because the key to have longevity in this industry is thriving on the positive experiences. However, anytime someone underestimates the job we do and clearly shows or says this that I find it hard to stomach."
Who are the two guru’s you look up to the most in our industry?
"There a lot of great Guru’s, people that paved the way or showed us the tricks of the trade and with that I mind I have to say that the first man to teach me how to bartend around 15+ years ago is one. Alberto Afanador Parra, even if mentioning him in a sentence with guru is quite funny. Without the basics I learned back then by him in Breakaway Cafe I probably would have never taking this industry the way I do today.
The other one is someone I had the pleasure of working with too, Rob van Looy. This man has been around for such a long time and I feel like I learned a lot from him."
Which book on bartending is a must-read?
"Most books by Gary Regan are great but I have to say I’m not much of a reader."
What is the cocktail you have created you are most proud of and why?
"Oooh tough one, it’s going to sound lame but whenever I create something on the spot for a guest who tells me their preferences I feel very proud!"
What is the biggest challenge facing our industry in the Netherlands today?
"I think the primary issue is that most of the people who do not work in our industry do not see this as a real job, it’s mostly seen as something you do next to your studies or only for a while. Not that I, or most of us care, but that make it slightly harder to grow as an industry."
What is you guilty pleasure drink?
"Guilty and innocent probably a Jäger!"
If you could teach new bartenders one thing, what would it be?
If you don’t love it then you might want to choose something else, as advise.
Stay humble , it’s all about the guest , is the lesson."
What do i have to do as a bartender to piss you off when visiting a bar?
Basically when you piss other people off, colleagues or other guests.
If you want to be remembered by any quote, what would it be?
"In any shape, as long as it’s liquid…"