Seasonal celebration in the contemporary bar
Christmas is upon us. It’s a time for communion and celebration. Many bartenders however have mixed feelings in relation to Christmas. On the one hand Christmas and the cold winter months in general means a bigger flow of guest on the other you’ll have to deal with a lot of tedious guests coming by for after parties with a bit too much snaps pumped into their system.
We have asked one of Copenhagen’s most experienced bartenders about the reception of Christmas in the contemporary Danish bar. Kasper Riewe Henriksen is the owner of Duck and Cover where they have chosen to embrace the season by turning their entire menu into a Christmas menu throughout December.
Thomas: So Kasper – it’s our impression that many cocktail bars have a slide bias against Christmas and don’t do much to celebrate it during December. Do you agree and why do you think that is?
Kasper: I tend to agree with you – however I am happy to see that more bars seems to have embraced the holiday spirit this year! Among others I can mention both K-Bar and The Barking dog making special christmas concoctions. This is a relatively new thing however, although it has been going on on smaller scale at some bars for a few years. This year we decided to go all in, and only present a specific christmas menu throughout December, decorate the bar and play a little christmas menu now and then.
I think many bars has been reluctant towards christmas, cause they have wanted to differentiate themselves from the usual apprehension of Christmas parties. In particular, elf hats, jingle bell playing ties, and people plastered beyond belief.
Thomas: At Duck and Cover you have chosen to embrace Christmas this year. Why is that and how are you doing it?
Kasper: Why not? I mean we are a bar trying to create a cosy welcoming and homelike atmosphere. I guess we just thought it was the obvious thing to do! And having talked about it for a couple of years, we finally did it!
Thomas: That sounds great – and it works really well in your bar too! Which considerations went into to designing your Christmas menu?
Kasper: First of all we wanted it to be packed with Christmas flavours and ingredients. However we thought that it was important, just as with any menu, that there would be something for every liking, wether it being sweet, creamy, sour, strong and so on. Our biggest concern was not to fall into the trap of only making sweet chocolate coated marcipan cocktails.
Thomas: It seems like a lot of considerations goes into putting together a menu. In your opinion – what makes a good cocktail menu in general?
Kasper: That´s a good question and i think the criteria is depending on the bar, however i think these are a few good guidelines to go by.
– Something to surprise
– Something that will be recognised
– Different flavours
– Different textures
– Different spirits
– Think season
– Think local
– Think about the bar and context in which you will serve the drinks
For our Christmas menu at Duck and Cover we have chosen to go with traditional and familiar christmas flavours and ingredients, although they might not be in actual season.
The Christmas cocktails at Duck and Cover are incredible and their menu is wonderfully diverse despite the common theme. Do yourself a favor and stop by and try one of these beauties while they still serve them.