Friday, September 23, 2016

Don Papa Rum Brings Michel Dame of Cocktail Boutique Netherlands to Manila

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Bartenders may be having so much fun being in the presence of all kinds of liquors at their disposal to come up with a masterpiece drink that will either tame or bring out the beast in you. Thus most bartenders bring their status up to notches higher by really understanding the science behind mixing drinks.

Indeed, it requires you to become a "mixologist" to make bartending level up to its highest form. Frankly, the great ones don't just mix everything together, shake or stir, but also look at the profile of his customer and concocts something appropriate. Now, that's another social expertise that bartenders may apply if they want to go beyond just serving drinks from a bar.

The craft can also be artistic because even the choice of glass, as well as how you make the presentation look more interesting by adding slices of fruits like lemons, apples, and other fruits, may spell a big difference in how customers would appreciate the drink.

For a night showcasing the Art of Bartending, the Don brings the Dutch to Manila to let media peeps experience the basics, and even more, of being a bartender, of which involves being both artistic and scientific. There was a media challenge where teams compete for the best drink, which includes the Don Papa Rum, that they could concoct that night. We have to congratulate the Umali husband and wife team for winning the media challenge.

Don Papa Rum brought to Manila Michel Dame, founder and head bartender of Cocktail Boutique Netherlands, for a series of bartending shifts entitled “The Don With A Dash of Dutch,” at Hooch Bar on September 21 and at Finders Keepers on September 22. 

I had an opportunity to interview Michel during the media event, and learned he got inspired to pursue a bartending career because of his family who was in a business where drinks are also in abundance. 

You can learn more about him on the video we uploaded on our YouTube channel at

We also asked Monica Llamas some questions during a video interview so be sure to watch it as well.

Monica Llamas of Don Papa Rum, Head of Brand Communications
Michel Dame, seasoned bartender and founder of Cocktail Boutique Netherlands

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 consults with some of the world’s known spirit brands such as Giffard, Mondo Mediterraneo, and Hete Pepper. He founded the Cocktail Boutique Netherlands, a bar consultancy company that offers cocktail workshops, cocktail catering services, and freelance bartending services in Amsterdam. He is also the brand manager for Andre Kerstens, a wine and spirits importer in 1880 and head bartender for Ron Gastrobar Oriental in Amsterdam where he built the bar’s cocktail portfolio and developed its bar operations for three years.

Michel is in the Philippines for the first time to visit Don Papa Rum’s origins as well as impart his knowledge of cocktail culture to the Philippines’ bartending scene. “I am curious with the the distillation process of Don Papa Rum. I want to experience how hospitality works in the Far East, comparisons and the differences from the West. It will be a total learning experience to take back with me when I go home,” he adds.

Even with his extensive range of original Don Papa Rum concoctions tucked under his sleeve, Michel shares that he prefers his Don Papa Rum simple – on ice with bitter. When asked what is his mission in the Philippines, Michel says: “I would like to show that 46 year old bartenders are still a lot of fun.”

He met “The Don” when he was invited to be one of the three judges for the Don Papa Cocktail Competition in Amsterdam where Kevin Kroon was declared the winner and the Don of Cocktails in Netherlands. The Don of Cocktails Competition is an annual event held in the different countries where Don Papa Rum is available.

“I like how The Don is different with its vanilla and fruity taste, while still being a rum. I also like how The Don presents himself to the people, uncomplicated,” he says.

Don Papa Rum will be bringing a new set of international bartenders to the Philippines in the coming weeks so better watch out for them soon.

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