At European Bartender School, we have friends all over the world. From Miami to Sydney, our students always have a warm welcome wherever they travel after their course. Someone who has really caught our eye in the past few years is Levi Duijkers.
From his hometown of Valkenburg in The Netherlands, Levi has gone on to travel the world with EBS. We spoke to him about his experiences with the best bartending school in the world and how he is spreading his Hard Work, Spirit and Soul around the globe.
From The Netherlands to Greece
Levi started his career in the hospitality industry at the age of 14, where he started building up his knowledge and expertise. Bartending soon became a way for him to earn some extra money whilst in his final years at school. In 2013, Levi embarked on his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing in Eindhoven. When Levi saw a European Bartender School advert on Facebook, he knew that the bartending course was for him. As soon as he could, he booked a 4-Week course at EBS’s largest school, #EBSKos.
Little did Levi know how much life would change from his experiences at #EBSKos that summer. He met Lawrence Pemberton, the owner of the Kos school, and Tarmo Piir, one of the instructors who helped teach Levi the skills he needed to up his cocktail game.
Whilst Levi already had bar experience, by taking the 4-week course, he developed these skills further and gained a huge knowledge of the world of cocktails, all whilst enjoying the greek summer!
“The instructors at EBS are truly inspirational!”
As soon as Levi walked back through the doors of the bar, he started putting his newfound mixing skills to good use. Levi shook up the bar’s menu and added over 40 new cocktails to the list of drinks as well as introducing mini cocktail classes that his customers could take part in, making bartending fun and interactive for everyone around him!
#EBSKos to Barcelona
Levi found himself missing the family environment that he had at #EBSKos. He had fallen in love with the company and needed to get back in. When Levi learnt that he needed to organise an internship for his degree, he knew just what he wanted to do. Levi managed to secure a Social Media internship with EBS at their Head Office in Barcelona, over one year in advance!
One year later, in February 2016, Levi began his internship with EBS CARE in the centre of sunny Barcelona and fell in love with the city and the office. Being part of the social media team allowed him to use the skills that he’d learnt in Kos for Facebook tutorials and Snapchat cocktail recipes. Levi quickly became an office legend due to his 5pm cocktail classes and friendly personality.
“Barcelona is a great city for cocktails. My favourite drink there would have to be the Great Gatsby at Paradiso, a twist on an Old Fashioned smoked with vanilla and chocolate"
As his internship grew to a close, there was only one way that EBS could reward him for his Hard Work, Spirit and Soul… On his last day at work in Barcelona, EBS CARE arranged for Levi to take the 2-day Mixology course back in #EBSAmsterdam! His EBS journey was far from being over…
Mixing with the masters
For Levi, the 2-day mixology course was something that he’d always been dreaming of doing. Doing the mixology course also gave Levi the chance to work with the legendary Mads Voorhoeve, who he had previously met at the infamous EBS 2016 Convention. For Levi, it proved to be a course in which he had the freedom to create something new.
“All cocktails must have come from somewhere, without looking back at the classics, you will never find the new crazy flavours that work”
One of Levi’s favourite drinks is the classic Old Fashioned and he developed this on the mixology course. On the first day of the course, Levi learnt how to make all of his own products. Syrups, foams, and liqueurs were all personally made by himself and the other students on the course as their instructor Mads pushed them to be experimental and innovative.
“They really push you to be creative, if nobody had thought of egg white in a drink, cocktails would never have had different structures! Go with your ideas and who knows, you might make the new cosmopolitan!”
On the second day, Levi began to muster up a new mixed drink. It couldn’t be anything else other than a Old Fashioned! His twist on it? He created his own lavender syrup to give it a sweeter touch. By using sugar and egg white foam made from lemongrass foams, it became more balanced and approachable. A signature drink that he will bring back with him to his bar in Valkenburg.
So what next?
Things are looking big for Levi. To finish his degree he needs to do another internship and he hopes to see another side of the bartending world through this. For him it would be ideal to work with a big liqueur brand that EBS works with. After this, who knows! Already a published author, and an account manager of the new liqueur brand, Koekie, the possibilities are endless! Travelling outside of Europe is definitely on Levi’s list of things to do, and something that is easily achievable with his EBS qualification. One way of seeing the world is becoming an EBS Instructor, which he would love to be in the future. Wherever Levi decides to go next, watch out for big things!
“Live by the minute and take every opportunity that you can!”