Introducing Perth bartender & new bar owner, Mike de Vos

Mike de Vos

Having worked his way around some of Perth’s best bars, this up and coming bartender is about to launch into the world of bar ownership for the very first time. Plans are well underway for his new bar, Choo Choo’s, to swing open the doors, so we though it was the right time to ask him a few questions about where he’s been and what he’s done so far.

How long have you been bartending? 

On and off for close to 10 years.

Where have you worked previously? 


Hudson Gallery, Luxe Bar, Brisbane Hotel, Cheeky Sparrow, Heritage Brasserie (Bobéche), Butterworth Bar & Kitchen to name a few.

Before you were bartending what were you doing with yourself? 

I was a carer for people with acquired head injuries and a student.

What is your proudest moment behind the bar? 

Hard to say, I guess the cheesiest answer is also the truest, but knowing you’ve changed someone’s day, given great service and customers like the drinks you put across the bar… That and opening my own small bar.

And the most embarrassing? 

I’d probably say serving a customer a $200 bottle of champagne cause I misheard their order for something a lot cheaper… and they paid for it. I felt like such a tool! I’m sure the crew I have worked with over the years have some stories but I’d say they are lying.

How do you keep the ‘chat’ up while you’re at work?

I love what I do so it’s pretty easy to banter… A great idea is to introduce customers you think might have a something in common. You can engage in chat but also leave and serve other customers. A basic Idea but makes for a great atmosphere….

How do you prepare for competitions?

I don’t… Honestly, the first time I make the drink is on the night. And I talk a heap of shit!

What advice would you give a rookie bartender?

Have fun, you’re not saving lives!


What’s been your favourite bar to work in?

For the crew, education and atmosphere it would have to be Luxe Bar.

What’s your favourite bar gadget?

At the moment, the Bamix.

What’s your favourite city to visit?

One I haven’t been to before.

What’s your favourite movie?

Poolhall Junkies.

What’s your favourite song?

Working for the weekend by Loverboy.

What’s your favourite sport?


What’s your favourite cocktail?


Mike de Vos - Betsy Ross

Betsy Ross Cocktail

30ml VS Cognac
30ml Ruby port
1 barspoon of Cointreau
1 Dash of Angostura bitters

Stir it, Strain it, Drink it. Easy


What spirit should people be drinking more of?


Can you tell us some of your favourite bars to drink at? 

Shady Pines, Door 74, Helvetica.

What is your favourite product to work with at the moment and why? 

Fortified Wine, so much character and can be used as a base or to compliment pretty much any spirit.

What is the weirdest or strangest drink you’ve ever had? 

Espresso Mojito… You’re welcome world!!

What’s the most enjoyable occasion to have a drink? 

Popping a good bottle of Champagne when you get engaged is a pretty enjoyable occasion….

What do you drink to:

Unwind after a long shift? 

A good cold Beer…

Impress a date?

Barrel-aged French Martini served in a twice smoked Holy Grail.

If you could have a drink with one person (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

I’d have a wine with Jesus… is it cannibalism if you drink your own blood?

Rye whiskey or Tequila? 

Rye Whiskey.

Other Stuff:

What was the last book you bought? 

Robert Ludlum, The Road to Gandolfo… Surprisingly doesn’t even have a hobbit in it!

What drink trends are popular at the moment?

I have no Idea… I know what I like..  Bottle Fermented Cocktails.

If you could have a superhuman power what would it be – why? 

Telekinesis Kyle!

If you were to be something other than a bartender, what would it be and why?

Something in the field of healthcare because I love the altruistic nature.

Who’s your hero? 

Heroes.. My Mum and Dad.

What products do you think will be popular over the coming months? 

I think Vodka might take off….

Where do you see yourself in 20 years time?

Still shaking tins in some dive bar somewhere while constantly saying “I coulda been a contender”.

Last drink ever – what would it be? 

Really, really big!


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