In the very historical centre of Olomouc, directly opposite the Baroque chapel of St. Jan Sarkander, there is the most popular cocktail bar in Olomouc – the OSA bar. Tomáš Duda is the owner of the bar and he pleases his fans with cocktail craft for more than eighteen years. A few years ago, he united his years of experience with the Metelka brand. He’s the author of 55 cocktail recipes which were published in the Metelka’s brochure.
The creation of a 55-recipe brochure was linked to Metelka’s Shaker liqueurs. This product line offers twelve flavour variations such as Caribbean rum, bombardino, strawberry, peppermint, lime or vodka. They’re perfect for cocktails and mixed drinks. “Milan Metelka and I agreed to create simple cocktail recipes for Shaker liqueurs. These recipes indicated the possibilities you can achieve with the liqueurs,” the Olomouc bartender remembers. He emphasized that these recipes weren’t suitable for bartender competitions. The aim was simpler than that.
Our intention was to provide instructions for homemade mixing. Honestly, this brochure is a manual for beginnersexplains Duda.
The authors wanted those who were interested in cocktails familiarized with basic concepts of bartender craft and ingredients. For example, what is gin or whisky used for. “It’s not a professional guide but rather an attractive guide to cocktail culture. Owners of bars and small restaurants who want to add mixed drinks to their menu appreciate this guide,” adds the bartender who has years of experience and practice.
Duda didn’t want to lecture any professional bartenders. He wanted beginners to be able to prepare cocktails at home. “Milan Metelka visited my bar in Olomouc and tasted all the cocktails. We agreed that the recipes had to be as simple as possible because we didn’t want people to buy a mixer for that,” he laughs. You can create simple yet tasty cocktails while using three or four ingredients with a non-alcoholic beverage. “I’m sure everyone will find something they like among those fifty-five drinks,” says the renowned cocktail master.
Duda admits that the brochure should contribute to change how Czech customers perceive cocktail culture. “It’s said we are the beer nation. Our goal was to show that cocktails are associated with culture, taste and aesthetical experience,” explains the owner of the OSA Olomouc bar.
He can see this particular change in customers’ taste at his bar. When he started his business customers mainly ordered wine and beer. Nowadays, they’re so educated that more than 200 items on cocktail menu aren’t enough for them. “A lot of people have their favourite cocktails but they also start to experiment. And that’s what makes me happy about my work,” he smiles. Even though, he has been honoured with bartender awards he considers a good reputation of his OSA bar more important.
He certainly has a great reputation as the bar is full every evening. The fact the OSA bar is one of the best ones in the business is proven because Tomáš Duda has been making cocktails for his customers for more than 18 years. And it’s not easy to withstand this long in business like this one. “To maintain the same personnel and the same space is hard. My business colleagues don’t understand how I’ve achieved that,” Duda adds. He admits he wanted to quit in the past but he managed to survive all crises. “Although it’s very exhausting sometimes, I’ve found out it’s the best to rely on myself only. And I see it in the reactions of my customers who thank me a lot,” he adds.
Even in this competitive, unstable and trendy business, he maintains his good heart and sense for a charity. His bar is a partner of the endowment fund Kapka naděje which helps children with hematologic diseases and in need of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. “We are the last ones in Olomouc who are involved in the event. We give 20 CZK from every cocktail sold to Kapka naděje. We have raised over 5,000 CZK for them. And during the seven-year period we have managed to achieve more than 50,000 CZK,” Tomáš Duda concluded.