The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Ivar De Lange’s Mary One

Ivar de Lange represented The Netherlands at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

Demain is a smart yet informal space opened five years ago by Ivar and colleague Mike Rambags. The bar was designed with interior designer friend Robert Kolenik who used a mix of natural fibres and rich fabrics to create a plush and moodily lit lounge. The venue occupied a former billiard café on Lange Hezelstraat, a shopping street with an incredibly long and venerable history and now home to an eclectic array of quirky stores. An evening at Demain is relaxed and fun, like kicking back in a living room, albeit a rather sophisticated one.

Nijmegen is a great place from which to explore the eastern Netherlands (of particular interest is the Hoge Veluwe, an amazing national park which combines cycling through tranquil heathland with an astounding modern art museum). Demain is on one of the country’s most interesting shopping streets, and is a venue which has single-handedly raised the stakes of cocktail culture of Nijmegen.

The Bartender

Ivar de Lange, 33, has spent 18 years learning his craft in the bars and hotels of Amsterdam and more recently in his hometown of Nijmegen. ‘I like to start with a story when creating drinks, it could be a narrative, a book, an adventure,’ explains Ivar, ‘from the story the drink takes its character.’

Ivar changes menu every four months, has weekly specials and also creates on the spot on any theme a customer may give. His tip for aspirant bartenders: ‘be yourself, enjoy and have fun; don’t make a play out of it and don’t pretend to be Jerry Thomas.’

The Drink

‘The Mary One is delicious take on the Bloody Mary. Made with homemade artichoke-infused Ketel One vodka and a tomato jam (both the artichoke and tomato are sourced from a nearby farm). It was devised originally with food in mind, more specifically as a palate cleanser between dishes (Ivar also devises the drink menus for Firma in Nijmegen). ‘It suits the stomach between courses, develops in the mouth and has a lot of depth.’


The Technique

Artichoke-infused Ketel One vodka • 40ml
Homemade tomato jam • 2 bar spoons
Fresh Lemon juice • 10ml
Red pepper bitters • 2-3 drops
Contains 14 grams of alcohol per serve

To make the artichoke infused Ketel One, Ivar boils the heart and 25 leaves of a ripe and fully-grown Dutch artichoke for 30 minutes ‘to get the juices out’. He then peels the leaves, cuts the heart out and lets them rest in a litre of Ketel One vodka for 48 hours. Finally, he strains the liquid through a fine milkcloth.

Place all the ingredients in to a shaker. Shake well with ice. Strain into a small traditional jam jar (Kilner-style). Garnish with a stick of celery and serve on a Grandma-style napkin

Order a Mary One in Demain, and spend an evening sipping it between the light eats provided by Wereldkoks, an association that works with women who have sought asylum in the Netherlands. Members prepare dishes from their homelands; bar foods change every week, but are always exotic, broad ranging, slightly quirky and very delicious.

Images by Jesaja Hizkia

Ivar’s Insider’s Guide to Nijmegen

Place to stay

Place to eat
De Firma

Place to relax

Place to lounge
De Compagnie

Place to Dance

Place to shop

Place to visit
Museum Het Valkhof