10 tough questions for Alberto Matallana

Words by Alberto Matallana & Timo Janse

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We sadly say goodbye to former World Class NL winner, and one of the main "surgeons" at DR, Rotterdam, Alberto Matallana. In the past years he has been a vital part of the cocktail industry of the Netherlands and it is with pleasure we ask him those tough ten questions!

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

"When explaining the menu or a drink to someone, and realizing that the whole rest of the bar was listening too very carefully. Felt a bit shy too.. hahaha"

What is the worst?

"When someone gives you the back while sitting at the bar".

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

"Jeffrey Morgenthaler & Arno van Eijmeren."

Which book on bartending is a must-read?


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

"Media Lengua. This is the cocktail I presented A couple of years ago that got me in the top three bartenders for the Entree Awards.
This drink is a battle between my personal likes -Mezcal- and the local products
-Genever-, and works truly good!"

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

"How to build up a bar concerning the needs of the city and the target for it, not leaving behind the craft cocktail making.
Also, creating a bigger and better bartenders platform to join forces together and put (even more) NL on the map."

What is your guilty pleasure drink?

"JAGERJITO (mojito style with Jagermeister.... it's happening)"

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

"Practice and experiment. Bring your concerns home, and keep improving them by reading and learning from books and colleagues. No one's been born with knowledge. Fact."

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

"Not noticing that you have new guests at the bar, no matter whom."

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

"Be your own hero: no one else should take that place.

Keep enjoying your drinks & Salut to everyone!"

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