Mounir Hamza: the mystery smile bartender. 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: "don't touch my hair" Mounir Hamza!
What is the nicest moment behind the bar you can remember?
"When I arrived at a point where people started to ask if I was gonna be around. Regulars.
What is the worst?
"I've kinda been living in a bubble. Besides the occasional douchy guest, I haven't really had actual bad experiences (Yet)."
Who are the two Guru’s you look up to the most in our industry?
"Laura Schacht: She was the first to teach me all kinds of stuff and pushed me to be better. So she'll always have this special place in my heart and I will ALWAYS have a spot for her in the bar
Kevin Kroon: He doesn't only have an insane amount of knowledge about bartending, but also about things that are unrelated to our industry that we could somehow still incorporate into our repertoire.
I always refer to him as a walking library."
Which book on bartending is a must-read?
"The Drunken Botanist is definitely my favourite! There's some amazing info in there and it's also nice to just pick up and read for a little bit if you don't have much time."
What is the cocktail you have created you are most proud of and why?
"That would probably be 'The Sideburn'
I've had some amazing reactions to this drink! There was this one time that I wasn't so happy with making it though... That was when I had a big group all order it for their second round... must have been about 8 or so?
55ml Bulleit Rye
20ml Gran Classico
10ml Lemon juice
Built as a mint julep"
What is the biggest challenge facing our industry in the Netherlands today?
"To not drink as much at events..."
What is your guilty pleasure drink?
"For sure an Amaretto Sour. Amaretto was the first thing I actually liked to drink, and that was the first cocktail that I had as a go-to."
If you could teach new bartenders one thing, what would it be?
"Clean yo $!#%!!! make sure your aaaaalways make sure your station is clean."
What do i have to do as a bartender to piss you off when visiting a bar?
"Hmmm nothing really... as a person though: Bothering other people? I'm a very patient person, but I do not tolerate people harassing my guests!
Oh no wait! Moving my furniture! Don't mess with my feng shui!"
If you want to be remembered by any quote, what would it be?