Hedonist Society - Mr. Mofongo
In the center of Groningen, proudly standing on a corner between two streets busy with pedestrians and people on bikes is the famous Grand Café – Restaurant Mr. Mofongo. It started with a dream of one Dutch man of Aruban descent. Patrick Beijk, being an underwater photographer and entrepreneur, was on a quest in the Caribbean, searching for the best underwater beauty, exotic food and adventures. There he met a galvanizing man, named Mr. Mofongo and got inspired by his stories. Mr. Mofongo fascinated Patrick with his life story and passion for adventures. They both shared the same epicurean taste and curiosity for different cultures.
When he returned to Groningen he had an idea to open a place where he can make all his dreams come true, inspired by his trips and adventures. He wanted to give the guests a bit more than just a cocktail bar, to let the whole experience shine through.
Mr. Mofongo opened its doors in 2013, offering the full experience of a restaurant with a distinctive menu, a high-end cocktail bar and distillery in one.
Mr. Mofongo’s cocktail bar offers drinks and spirits, where you can witness the team distill spirits and you can actually join in to make a gin with the Mofongo bunch in the afternoon and enjoy it as a drink before dinner the same day.
“We offer good service, product knowledge and hospitality in a unique environment,” says Lennart, our host. Lennart works closely with Patrick to keep Mr. Mofongo’s high standards and unique proposition.
In the afternoon, for the thirsty ones who come after work they offer food pairings, special dishes, inspired by cuisines all over the world and they pair it with a cocktail, a drink or even a beer.
Lennart believes that if you work behind the bar you have to enjoy and create an atmosphere for people, make sure that the guests leave with a smile on their face and have had a unique experience. “Work is the perfect playground for me, since my passion lies in flavor combinations,” shares Lennart.
If Lennart is on the other side of the bar he likes boozy cocktails, where he can taste the spirit. “I am a little bit of a purist, I like bitter and dry.”
His hedonistc habit is to purchase expensive bottles of whisky and rum and not specifically keep them behind locked doors for special occasions but rather open them and share them with his friends. “I like to spend a lot of my income in other bars,” says Lennart.
He describes Boompjes as an authentic, well-balanced genever, which goes back to how genever should actually be produced and taste like. “If I drink genever I want to taste the maltwine. Boompjes genever definitely has that and it’s properly produced as well.”
Lennart likes to use genever in cocktails, not always as a replacement for gin, but especially old genever as a replacement of bourbon and scotch. “I like to flick through ancient cocktail books by Jerry Thomas or Harry Craddock and make my own twists on their drinks which calls for Holland gin, such as Gin Julep and John Collins.
For us he created a special Boompjes Old Dutch Cocktail.
The Sophisticated Heather:
50 ml Boompjes Old Dutch
30 ml of citrus mix fresh grapefruit and fresh lime
20 ml home made syrup of rhubarb raspberry
2 dashes of Boker’s bitters
a bit of egg white
spray of Suze (fresh aperitif wine)
top with beer from Groningen - Baxbier Citrus Pale Ale; "Kon Minder"
Wash your glass with La Fèe absinthe.
Method: dry shake & shake with ice; double strain
Glass: vintage wine glass
Garnish: dried orange and lemon peel
Biscuit with caraway
Rhubarb prune compote with Old Dutch
The Sophisticated Heather
Inspired by the kopstootje (the Dutch way of drinking genever and beer).
The drink belongs to the fizz family of cocktails.
Photography: Gino van Meenen (Cyclope Pictures) and others.