Sunday, November 2, 2008

Door 74 Opens

Philip Duff, who has long been the face of Bols and Damrak gin, is striking out on his own with Door 74, a grown up bar with a reverence for history. After years as a brand ambassador, Philip finally gets to do exactly what he wants, putting his own stamp on Amsterdam's wonderfully, shamelessly stylish and romantic bar culture with classic cocktails, new creations, and an old-school attitude.

This excerpt from the bookish bar menu gives a taste of what to expect:

We do not have:

bad attitudes, a lack of patience, a door charge, a toilet charge, a wardrobe charge, any drinks companies paying us to stock crap brands, any products designed to appeal to the kind of people who watch more than one reality-TV show, untrained bartenders, energy drinks, low prices, loud music, tea or coffee, the policy of jamming as many people into the space as humanely possible, any problem with a beer and a shot of booze, any time for Paris Hilton*, too-small rocks glasses, too-large cocktail glasses, brandy snifters, sweetened cranberry juice, much vodka at all, neon straws (unless it’s Tiki Night), disco cocktails, small measures, any outstanding warrants for our arrest**, any desire to make non-alcoholic cocktails, or a bar mascot (although we’d quite like to have a sloth).

We do have:

Friendly staff, fast bartenders, double-frozen Hoshizaki ice for shaking and stirring, enormous globes of ice for liquor on the rocks, glassware freezers left, right and center, gorgeous liquor brands you’ll rarely see anywhere else (because they don’t have the money to buy their space on the back bar), faith in humanity, belief in the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, years and years and years of experience, a deep and abiding love of good liquor, great cocktails and lasting friendships, enough bitters to make Harry Johnson giggle like a fool, a tailor, owners who work almost every shift themselves, a belief that good drinks matter and grown-up people enjoy them, decent late-night snacks, excellent wines and beers, seats for everyone, late opening hours, a day off occasionally, and a lot of time for you. Thanks for coming.

*Except for Mr. Duff.
**Except for Mr. Duff, again

The initial cocktail list is a liquid biography of Charles Henry Baker, Jr (author of the classic Jigger, Beaker & Glass: The Gentleman’s Companion) with a Violette fizz, Remember the Maine, and other delights.

Unfortunately for me, this bar is in Amsterdam, but I am adding it to the long and growing list of things I absolutely must do if and when I make it back to Europe again. (I wonder if Bols has found a new brand ambassador...)

Door 74 is now open. While it is made for ladies and gentlemen, scoundrels, says Philip, are welcome. That means you. Please click here for more info. And for more than you ever wanted to know about Amsterdam's cocktail culture, you can read my story in Imbibe Magazine.


No comments: