Dave Mulder: vintage spirit connaisseur+. LOB series.

Words by Timo Janse

Photography by Ming Chao

Dave Mulder: vintage spirit connaisseur+. LOB series. image 1

Ten tough ones for....



In this Legends Of the Bar series we will look into some of the great names in Dutch bartending and ask them ten of the toughest questions.

Next up: the competition man of the NBC, co-founder & owner of the Old Spirits Lab and vintage spirit connaisseur, Dave Mulder.

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

"The nicest moment behind the bar was 3 years ago when I met my girlfriend. She walked into the bar, I served her a couple of drinks and the rest is history. "

What is the worst?

"I pride myself on excellent customer service, so on the few occasions when I have encountered guests who are overly aggressive or confrontational it can really test my professional composure. Nothing surprises me anymore!"

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

I wouldn’t say that there is only one particular Guru that I look up to, because there are several people I’ve learned a lot from, and I consider them my mentors; Richard Zijlstra of Triple C Beverage Solutions, Walter van Dongen
of café Myrabelle, Timo Janse of Door74, Martin de Baat my competition mentor in hotelschool.

Which book on bartending is a must-read?

Must read books for me are the behind the scenes books: Speakeasy; The Dead Rabbit; The Bar Chef.

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

I’m most proud of the cocktail "Kiss the Bride" which made me Dutch national champion 2010 and winner of best technique award. I spent an endless amount of time tweaking this cocktail until perfection. It was judged by a top panel; Lydia Soedadi, Phillip Duff, Ilja Gort, Ricardo Sporksleder, Timo Janse, Peter Jansen, Robert Schinkel and Andrew Nicholls. 20ml Spiced Rum 25ml Mozart White 10ml Elderflower & Maple Spice syrup 15ml Lemon juice 1 lemongrass muddled in shaker.

Preparation: First, prepare the garnish; melt white chocolate au-bain-marie style and mix with crushed caramelized Macadamia nuts and vanilla seeds of Tahiti vanilla. Fill the empty Tahiti vanilla pod with the melted mixture and cool down in fridge. Meanwhile; Shake all main ingredients and double strain into a coupe. Put the garnish on top. (Note: Advise guest to eat the white chocolate mix from the vanilla pod aftertasting the cocktail.)"

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

"I hope that in Holland we get over the point where the general Dutch public think cocktails are only sweet drinks to be had on the beach. I wish to raise awareness that there are cocktails for everyone and for every occasion."

What is your guilty pleasure drink?

"My guilty pleasure drink is Vodka & Cola."

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

The one thing I would teach new bartenders is- It’s all about the guests. When customers leave, they should feel happier then when they came in."

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

When I sit down at a bar, I hate it when the server is rude and inattentive."

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

"One quote that serves me well on all occasions: "Why so serious?""