29 Sep Don Papa Don’t Preach, Just Mix!
Michel Dame of Cocktail Boutique Netherlands showcases the Art of Bartending
We went. We saw. We conquered. Almost. JUAN was invited to a bartending session last Sept. 22 with Dutch bartender Michel Dame. Don Papa Rum flew in Michel for a series of bartending shifts in top bars in Metro Manila. Aptly titled “the Don With A Dash,” Michel is part of the Don Papa roster of mixologists who visited the country to discover the native land of Don Papa.
Michel Dame is a seasoned bartender in Amsterdam’s cocktail scene with over 15 years of experience in the hospitality and F&B industry. He founded the Cocktail Boutique Netherlands, a bar consultancy company that offers cocktail workshops, cocktail catering services, and freelance bartending services in Amsterdam.
This is Michel’s first time in the Philippines, and we would like to believe that the Philippines has not disappointed him, not with the warm welcome that the Manila press has given him during the bartending session.
Filipinos love to drink. We go with almost anything. Straight up, on the rocks or just chased with well… water. While we believe that Don Papa Rum is a stand out on its own, Michel showed us a good number of ways to mix the rich flavor of Don Papa Rum with our preferred fruits and juices.
It wasn’t that easy mixing drinks. While we held our breaths thinking that we would be asked to throw those mixers up in the air, Michel taught us the basics of bartending — mixing. And boy did we discover that bartending isn’t exactly a piece of cake. The only experience we had with mixing was pouring our 3-in-1 coffee sachets on hot cups of water every morning. And with alcohol? Drinking it was what we have tucked under our belts. You pour the shot, we drink. And that’s it.
During the latter part of the afternoon, JUAN alongside Esquire.ph’s Lou Albano teamed up to compete with other members of the media to concoct our own drink. We thought we had it in the bag. Well, JUAN did, since we assumed that most of us competitors were amateurs, and all of us crafted our drinks based on memory alone (and our representative being a medical doctor, we thought it was innate to have an explicit one). What goes well with what? Ahh… crafted drinks are subject to ones’ palate. One may prefer the heavy taste of liquor, while others would want the overpowering sweetness of juices. Our guess is, we just have to strike that balance somewhere. Not too sweet, not too sour. Not too bitter, not too bland.
Being behind the bar gave us jitters likening the feeling to the first time we found ourselves, uh, behind the wheel of our father’s kog-kog owner type jeeps. Fortunately, mistakes made behind the bar are less expensive than mistakes made while learning how to drive. One thing though, be very careful when using the knife to slice fruits. Human blood isn’t exactly an enticing ingredient to add to your drink, no matter how kick ass that might present itself to you.
So, here is the drink that we made with Lou.
Warning: JUAN waves the right to all liabilities resulting to loss of life or disability. Please proceed at your own risk.
OLD RICH BITCH
- Fill your mixing glass with ice, preferably cubes.
- Put in 50mL of Don Papa Rum, 30mL of Calamansi Juice, 30mL of Pandan Syrup, 6 dashes of Chocolate Bitter, but if it’s too strong bring it down to 3 dashes.
- Use a proper mixer to stir until the mixing glass is all sweaty on the sides.
- Transfer mix into serving glass, place your garnish, like a lime wheel or orange peel.
- Knock yourself out!