We are proud to introduce our new brand ambassador for The Netherlands, Sandro Ivanić. A mixologist raised in Croatia, who spread his wings, flew away and landed in Amsterdam to run the speakeasy, The Butcher!
The Butcher, a bastion of class and quality in Amsterdam, is one of those places where time flies as cocktails flow. While resting my feathers, I struck up a conversation with their charismatic bar manager, Sir Sandro Ivanić.
Hello Sandro, how did you land at The Butcher in Amsterdam?
“After summer season as head bartender of the Hula Hula Beach Club on the Croatian island of Hvar, I wanted to travel around Europe. Amsterdam was my first stop. A friend who was working for The Butcher got in touch with me, and within an hour of landing I got a job. That was fifteen months ago, now I’m bar manager.”
Where does your love for cocktails come from?
“It started roughly seven years ago. I was studying Mechanical Engineering, but didn’t see myself doing that for the rest of my life. So I took a year off to discover what I wanted. I figured out I was really good in hospitality, as well as very creative. Becoming a bartender was the obvious choice, because it combines both. When you have plenty of ingredients and a creative mind, you can open a whole new world to your clientele. With flavours, visuals, garnish – every little detail counts.”
Where has your bartending career taken you so far?
“After I finished bartending school in Rijeka, I worked all over Croatia. Mainly in the capital Zagreb, but in summers I always went to the coast. I also did a lot of festivals and had my own cocktail catering company for private events and brand representations. In seven years time, I quickly moved through the ranks. When people recognize your passion and determination, they will present you with opportunities. Getting invited to be guest bartender in Aarhus, Denmark was a major step and game changer for me. At St. Pauls Apothek, a famous fusion restaurant and bar, I found a whole new love for bartending. The drinks, the ingredients, the passion, the creativity – that’s something I had never seen before. Every course is served with one or two cocktails that benefit the food, both visually and taste-wise. It just blends together perfectly. I always get the chills when mentioning that.”
What is your dream job?
“There are a few places in London where I would love to work, like Oriole and The Gibson. The latter is owned by Marian Beke, a world famous bartender – and my idol. His creativity is out of this world. The Gibson is a really small bar, but the cocktails they serve will blow you away.”
What is your signature cocktail with Sir Edmond?
“I liked Sir Edmond Gin from the moment I took it from the back bar of The Butcher to try it out. No wonder, I love vanilla. My perfect serve comes with Cherry blossom tonic, a little bit of peeled ginger for spiciness, a lemon peel for freshness, and a homemade oven-burnt vanilla bean straw I invented myself.”