Hedonist Society - Behind Bars

Good Friendships Make History
Being named one of the hidden gems of Europe, Utrecht is being placed on the map of "must visit" cities and it was about time for a another good cocktail bar to pop out. Just off the Dom church hiding in a little street close to the Old Canal (De Oudegracht) Marcel and Daniel, opened Behind Bars. They met 13 years ago. Back then Marcel was busy with making cocktails, then they lost track of each other in that time Daniel decided he wanted to go deeper into the hospitality education, so he started studying for sommelier, learning zythology, everything to do with spirits, coffee, tea, water, and just before he finished he saw Marcel again.

Marcel offered him to join in the cocktail game, where he can put everything he has learned into practice. He started teaching Daniel the experimental side of the business, and before he knew he was already competing and finishing high at different cocktail competitions.

The two friends started working together more and more, making cocktails, doing events with Daniel’s catering company, and a number of other exciting projects that involved their liquid creations.

Two years ago in November, Marcel found the perfect place for their own dream cocktail bar. “Not too big, not too small, not too expensive, just the right atmosphere”…and two weeks later they signed the contract and two weeks after that they started tearing it apart and they opened in the summer of last year.

The place where Behind Bars is currently situated has a great karma from the old days. There used to be an iconic bar for more than 35 years, well known for his bartender, who knew everything about everybody, the bar was famous for his long working hours, it would be opened until the early morning. Everybody who was looking for something illegal would go there. “it was smoky and everything was allowed, a great place to go when you want one last drink” remembers Daniel.

It is a fascinating experience being served by Daniel, who charms you with his creations and liquid stories. No wonder Daniel’s motto is: “As long as I am happy.” He describes himself as social, curious, driven, a bit of a perfectionist, “I always want to do things my way,” he says.

As a true hedonist he likes the culinary experiences, things that are a bit different than what you are used to in cocktails. “At “Behind Bars” we have our own version of a Gin Basil Smash, we use truffle oil and ground pepper,” he says.

His favorite place to chill is a small garden next to the Dom church in Utrecht, where they grow herbs and you can pick up mint, dill and lemon grass. “I like to take a little basket of what I want to drink and eat and just pick some fresh herbs and add it to my sandwich. I can sit there for hours.”

Sylvius gin he describes as easy to use, with a lot of depth which develops and changes, different tastes come out depending on what you mix it with, without losing the original Sylvius taste.


Sylvius gin cocktail:  Fix it up

50 ml Sylvius
15 ml Chartreuse yellow liqueur
15 ml Fresh pineapple puree
15 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add sugar to taste (normally Daniel adds about a bar spoon for the pineapple to come out better)

Shake all the ingredients and strain it into a speak-easy wine glass filled with ice and with a pineapple wedge

Hedonist SocietyJean-Paul