Every month we will interview the boldest craftsmen who are living the Pig & Hen lifestyle. This month, we have interviewed…

Rudy van den Brink

First things first, what is your favourite drink? Also start us off with your life motto!

That really depends on the time of day, season, country, temperature, etc. But I’m a big Old Fashioned fan and I love Daiquiris. My life motto: “Live free! Don’t let money rule!”

You've been a brand ambassador for quite a while now, so what's 'living Pig & Hen lifestyle' all about? What keeps you motivated to keep living the dream?

Don’t be scared to fall and don’t let the money guide you! Explore, dare to swim upstream, be yourself, and dive in! I try to surround myself with guys that are f*cking awesome and next level when it comes to mixology (mixing drinks by taste). Guys like Lennart Deddens, for example. The last couple of years I’m investing quite some time in learning more about flavour. I’m reading a lot of books, watching competitions, visiting workshops, etc. And there’s still so much to learn, it’s truly endless!”

You’re running a successful cocktail service, Flying Cocktails, how did that come about?

I started my career in hospitality when I was 14 years old. Washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, – that kind of stuff. My first job as a bartender was in Blanes, Spain when I was 16 years old. I went there with my buddy Ivo and that’s where the trouble began. I started practicing flairing (throwing bottles) on the beach during the daytime. I continued flair bartending in the Netherlands, worked for some big cocktail companies, did some competitions in Holland and Poland, and 9 years ago I founded Flying Cocktails. We provide mobile bars with high-end cocktails to every location.

Bartending 101: what are the tips & tricks for mind-blowing drinks? Any hilarious stories while dealing with drunk customers for instance?

Always make sure that you are bartending for your guest and not for yourself! You have to figure out your guest’s drinking preferences real quick. Then balance your drink, smile and don’t take yourself too seriously! I can easily write ten pages about all the hilarious stories! Okay, here’s one: once we brought our mobile bars to a wedding where the family of the bride and groom ended up in a big fight after a few drinks, can you imagine?

There's obviously plenty of space for creativity in mixing & serving drinks. So, do you have any signature cocktails?

I just came up with this one: De Borgen Old-Style Jenever infused with grapefruit, fresh lemon juice, Campari, orange bitters, and spiced ginger beer. Jenever is a really cool spirit (made by Dutch, by the way), without it, there would never be gin.

Looking at your ink, one might suggest you're into old school classics. Tell us a bit about your tattoos.

I got hooked a few years ago. It started really slow but within the last 4 years I got a lot: chest, legs, back, lots of stuff on my arms and hands. I love and the art of old school tattoos and the feeling of timelessness that comes with it. Some are telling a story, some I got just ‘cause they looked really awesome. Most of my tattoos are done by Joris from Tattoo Joris in Amsterdam. He is a great artist and a really nice guy!

How do you stay extremely fit despite working long night shifts and consuming alcoholic beverages from time to time?

I set myself a rule when I started my own business: no alcohol from Monday till Friday. It’s a big thing in hospitality, people who drink every day. When there’s something like a birthday or a wedding, I’ll make an exception. In case I work over the weekend, I won’t drink more than a couple of drinks in order to keep focus while shaking and while driving home afterwards. Of course, if I am free at the weekend I go all the way but I’m trying to drink responsibly over these past few years. Besides all of the above, I work out around 4 times a week and try to meditate daily for about 20 minutes. A strong body and mind will keep you on track!

Rudy is wearing: Salty Steve.

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