Words by oneUNIT
Photography by Gino van Meenen, Milena Laurenti & Bricks Hooch & Brew
With low-ABV cocktails taking over menus and initiatives such as oneUNIT challenging bartenders to go low, responsible drinking has become a vital theme within the day to day of modern bartending. Today, four bartenders share how they've mixed it into their career.
Scrubbing dishes at the age of 6; award-winning bartender at 29.
Photograph of Ben Lobos by Gino van Meenen
'I knew about Dr well before I even set foot in The Netherlands. It's a bar that simply stands out because of what it does, which not only happens within the four walls of the bar. Dr educates young bartenders through trainings, masterclasses, and activations, but also helps the industry grow as a whole through consultancy and menu developments for various venues.'
'Educating our guests is an integral part of bartending.'
Below one unit
'Projects such as oneUNIT are necessary, as educating our guests - and therefore ourselves - on alcohol consumption is an integral part of bartending. But it's often overlooked. Being part of the oneUNIT movement, I've enjoyed the challenge to create a low-ABV cocktail. I want to use higher proof bottles; meticulously bringing them together in such a way that the ABV drops even below a unit.'
I want to be the best I can be. It may be cheesy, but if we aren't striving to be better and do better, what's the point?
Photograph by Milena Laurenti
Creativity and curiosity lured her OOO and into the bar industry.
'I grew up in the Bordeaux and Cognac area. So yes, one glass of Bordeaux a day keeps a doctor away.'
A responsible drink
'Of course, you can drink but do so responsibly. Having a healthy lifestyle doesn't mean being boring and staying at home. You can be healthy and go out to have fun. You just need to make sure you drink enough water and know your boundaries. I also make sure to work out regularly during the week. It gives me energy and keeps me fit.'
'One glass of Bordeaux a day keeps a doctor away.'
'The oneUNIT project has given me the opportunity and platform to go beyond the grounds of aMusée, where I'm the head bartender. I reach new people and encourage them to take care of themselves – to be more aware of their alcohol consumption.'
Photograph by Gino van Meenen
She decided to take a year of university but ended up building a career in the bar industry.
The lesser-known Bordeaux
'Being born in the lesser-known Bordeaux – that of Eastern Europe Moldova - I grew up in a culture that respects and enjoys wine and spirits. Whether it's a cocktail or a straight-up spirit, I like to know and understand what’s going on in my glass. What's the quality, the sugar levels, method of production? I truly want to have an understanding of a drink.'
'Make sure you have a fun night and a happy morning after.'
‘When working, I focus on informing guests to be more aware of what they consume. I encourage them to try out lower ABV cocktails, which can be just as exciting as a boozy one. Or I advise them to have a unique high-end spirit instead of multiple beers a night. Of course, I'll serve my guests water. Just to make sure they have a fun night and a happy morning after. I even remind my colleagues to drink water, especially when it's hot. Water o'clock is the new shot o'clock.'
Photograph by Bricks Hooch & Brew
A master of tailormade drinks does things a little different.
No menu, please
'You don't have to overindulge to get a great cocktail. For me, it's all about a - personal - experience. That's why we don't have a menu at Bricks Hooch & Brew. We serve everything based on your personal taste. Sure, we'll make you a classic too, but preferably with a twist. You'll rarely have the same cocktail twice unless you ask for it. But still… no guarantees. I like to do things a little different. I also encourage guests to explore their taste. Because at some point you’ll like something you’ve never knew you liked in the first place.'
The bartending teacher
'More drinks, less drunk! Low-ABV cocktails can bring everyone together. Whether it's for one drink or the first of many. Therefore, I hosted the first oneUNIT cocktail event. And it will be the first of many. I believe it's the bartender's duty to educate guests, colleagues, and peers on the necessity of responsible drinking, the alcohol content of our drinks, and their effect. I like to pass on knowledge. That's why I offer training and workshops too. From the history of cocktails to creating your own; you can learn lots at Bricks Hooch & Brew.'
'More drink, less drunk!'
The oneUNIT competition
'I pretty much knew right away what I would make for the oneUNIT competition, but it took a few weeks to get it perfect. I've served it up a few times already and it's a keeper, ladies and gentlemen. I like how the oneUNIT project focusses on the responsibilities of the bartender towards the guest.'
The oneUNIT campaign challenges eight bartenders to educate themselves and others on responsible drinking. While doing so, they will compete to create the ultimate low-ABV drink. The winner of the oneUNIT competition will be announced this September. Stay up to date at oneunit.nl.