maandag 31 december 2018

Happy New Year - Looking back at an amazing 2018 !!!

To all our readers, followers and fans : Happy New Year !!!
We wish you lots of success, warmth and happiness in all your adventures. We also wish you lots of tasty drinks in this New Year !

2018 rushed by at a very high speed. But what a great year it has been. In just a couple of weeks this blog will blow out three candles, but this last year was absolutely amazing. Let me take you through some of the highlights and state some remarks.

Our vision and mission for this blog remain untouched, even after almost three years. We want to serve you simple and tasty cocktails, which you can prepare at home. We want to support the cocktail scène by creating a higher demand for quality cocktails. There might be a few cocktail recipes once in a while that require just a little more skills, but 99% of the recipes on this blog are simple enough for REALLY anyone to prepare.

The audience for our blog, Facebook and Instagram pages are still both professional (bartenders, bar-owners, distributers, … ) and private followers. The second group is the very quiet group when we look at likes and comments. But still I notice they follow every step I make with this project. A few examples :

  • Standing in line for a Gin & Tonic at a large business event, the person behind me taps on my shoulder with the question “Are you going to write about this on Double Strainger” ? I had never seen this man before.
  • Visiting a Christmas market I decide to sample a nice limoncello at the booth of a local businessclub. While serving the drink the guy asks if I would like to see the bottle since I might want to write about it.
  • While visiting several business networking events in the last month, at least 20 people asked me “How was Italy ?”
Our Instagram audience is still the largest group with over 28K followers. Looking back at our ‘Best Nine’ posts we see one regram (different sizes of icecubes), two pics of the ‘Van Ongevalle’ startenders and six photos of cocktails and bottles. It seems I really need to take more pictures of pretty female bartenders to boost my likes ;-)
In these three years we started several series and themeweeks that have very high appeal to both our audience and suppliers : Negroniweek, Old Fashioned Week, Stijlvolle Geschenktips (=Xmas series), bubblesweek, … and our brand new section for 2018 : “Booze Tr(i)ps” with interesting bars, restaurants and distilleries discovered outside our country borders.
Meeting industry-icons Peter Dorelli and Salvatore Calabrese
Those borders were crossed multiple times this year. There were three awesome highlights for me, with lots of thanks to Cinoco, one of the largest importers and distributors :
I got to visit the Champagne houses Bollinger and Ayala in France, I participated in Sherry Master 2018 at Gonzalez Byass in Spain and last but not least I joined the “Press & PR” team for the Amaro Montenegro Residency 2018 in Italy. Unforgettable moments abroad with lots of new contacts and friendships.
And who would have imagined me going on a sailingtrip with Michelin-star Chef Syrco Bakker while afterward testing his new Blueness restaurant ? One of those other great days of this year and the ‘most read’ article since the start of this blog.
Visibility is important, if people don’t know your blog, they won’t search for it. One of my cocktails was selected for the December-issue of the magazine ‘Kook’, available for free at the Spar supermarkets. Another cocktail I made for the city where I live, was picked up by the local press and got some nice online attention. These two publications gave me visibility to a complete new audience.
Without our readers this blog would not exist, but without the continuous support of producers, importers, distributors and PR agencies I would never be able to write this many articles. A very big Thank You to everyone who supports our project. Also a big thank you to my #drinkstagram buddies, the other drinks-, spirits- and cocktailbloggers who don’t just keep inspiring me with their mouthwatering posts, but some of them also became real friends.
What to expect in 2019 ?
We keep on blogging… and at this moment we can’t even imagine which interesting events and adventures will come our way this year. Looking forward to a new year full of warm friendships and tasty drinks !!!

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