Behind Bars: Toddy Tapper, Cologne

7 questions for Indika Silva

Indika Silva is undoubtedly one of the most renowned bartenders in Germany. He has successfully participated in many competitions and with his style and hospitality left his mark on many bars in the Cologne area. Since autumn 2016, he’s been running his own bar, “Toddy Tapper”. We wanted to know what the name means and which drink one should definitely check out.

1. Indika, what does Toddy Tapper mean?
I’m from Sri Lanka and have seen toddy tappers at work every day in my childhood. It is an adventurous, acrobatic profession: A toddy tapper climbs up palms, hangs a clay pot under the flower and cuts it open so that the palm nectar runs into the pot. Before that, he beats the flower so that it gives more juice, which is why they call him tapper. Toddy is the fermented palm nectar from which Arrak is made.

2. Arrak is an integral ingredient at your bar.
Absolutely. We make many drinks with it.

3. One with Thomas Henry, too?
Our best-selling drink is the “Ceylon Mule” with arrak, palm sugar syrup, yuzu jam, lime juice and Thomas Henry Spicy Ginger.

4. How would you describe your bar in three words?
Asian, hospitable and spicy.

5. Why spicy?
Why spicy?

6. Your hospitality is well-known. What is so special about it?
We welcome every guest and we see everyone off. Each team member is also a host, we refill the water all the time and check if everything is okay and if our guests need anything else – but without annoying them (laughs). We do not ask them if they want to order another drink, but whether they feel comfortable with us. It’s important to keep doing that, I think. Our guests should have a nice evening.

7. And when your evening behind the bar ends, what drink do you enjoy the most?
Water or grapefruit lemonade.

Thank you, Indika!

Toddy Tapper
Schillingstraße 27
50670 Cologne