5 Reasons why…we think Amsterdam is one of the most exciting places on the global cocktail scene

17th August 2018

We’re always on the lookout for food and drink inspiration and this week we donned our clogs and took to Amsterdam for an unexpected, trend-packed cocktail adventure.

When we think of ‘the dam’ our initial thoughts might not be award-winning cocktails, vibrant and interesting mixology and effortlessly ‘cool’ venues but a recent trip there has proven it offers all the above.

We found a thriving cocktail scene where, as a relatively new player, their establishments aren’t saddled with the baggage of conventional cocktail making. They celebrate the innovative, creative and bold (it is Amsterdam after all) and we believe it’s a force to be reckoned with on the global bar scene.

1. Bar-cause it’s award-winning

Amsterdam is home to the winner of this year’s Bacardi Legacy, Eric Van Beek from Bar Twenty Seven. The competition is one of the largest and most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world. Bartenders from over 30 nations go against one another in a test of showmanship, creativity, marketing, drink creation and sheer hard work.

For three days, the competitors – already national champions from their own countries – presented their cocktails to two independent judging panels. Van Beek’s drink Carino, which used Bacardi Reserva Ocho with yellow chartreuse, Greek yogurt, vanilla syrup and lemon juice, and his performance, which incorporated the ‘Spoken Word’ in a message of love and togetherness, secured him his place ahead of Australia and Mexico, which came second and third respectively.
Bar Twenty Seven’s menu focuses on probiotics, featuring cocktails with a refreshing, ‘gut-loving’ probiotic boost. We’ve seen the rise of probiotics and fermentation across both the food and drink industry but this menu was an innovative take on a budding trend, masterfully fusing natural flavours and carefully selected spirits. We had the pleasure of catching up with Eric at the bar and trying this cocktail for ourselves and it’s certainly a delicious tipple worthy of such an award – our gut thanks you Eric.
2. Leading by example

Tales & Spirits might just be one of the best places we’ve ever been – and we’re not the only ones who think so too. Tales & Spirits regularly features on global top cocktail bar lists including the 50 best bars ranking. It’s a stylish fusion of old and new, providing a surprising and tantalising menu of innovative cocktails.

What were we loving: truthfully, everything but if we had to choose it’d be the Charlie Brown – an impressive mix of rye, roasted peanut liqueur, bitters and orange zest – a delicious choice on their extensive Old Fashioned menu. It’s amazing to think how the popularity of the Old Fashioned continues to withstand time and outlive other trends.

3. Feel the passion

There’s a raw energy and passion on the Amsterdam bar scene which becomes infectious. We were given venue recommendations from bartender to bartender, encouraging us to visit their friends and even drawing maps to the next location. Our journey started when we stumbled on Rosalia’s Menagerie, within 5 minutes it felt like home thanks to the sheer passion and knowledge of its bartender, Wouter Bosch. Sat at the bar Wouter gave us an in-depth history of the nation’s drink, genever, and gleamed with pride when speaking about the burgeoning Amsterdam cocktail scene. Wouter had us completely enthralled by his inventive menu – a whimsical and fascinating selection of cocktails fusing mythology and alcohol, in beautifully designed menus by their in-house artist. ‘Choose your cocktail by choosing a mythical creature’ – I’m definitely a Wolpertinger (an adorable little rabbit with antlers, wings, fangs and chicken feet) I say, as I ignore comments drawing parallels between me and the more dragon-like figures. We’ve seen this trend of using imagery to decipher your chosen cocktail before but this felt different, it was authentic and full of charm. This bar, this experience – it was first class and the passion was palpable.

4. True to its roots

‘First came genever, then came gin’ – we heard this a lot on our bar-hopping, trend-spotting evening. Genever is the traditional Dutch spirit, being made as early as the 1500s. It is malted grain spirits with juniper berries, and also fondly known as the Grandfather of gin. There are a lot of different styles to genever, as well as myths and stories about this sailor’s tipple. The bars we visited proudly offer a selection of craft genever either as a tasting selection or weaved into the cocktail list – we loved the genever Old Fashioned menu at Rosalia’s Menagerie.

5. Effortlessly cool and creative

Amsterdam’s conventional drinking culture revolved around glugging traditional beers and genever in local bars dotted along the waterside. It’s been argued that Amsterdam is late to the cocktail scene but frankly who cares when they’ve established such a cool collective of interesting, innovative cocktail venues. Tales & Spirits for example showcases exposed bricks, antique accessories and vintage glassware, but the creativity doesn’t stop there – it spills over into T&S Atelier, the adjoining boutique and bottle shop packed with rare bar tools, books and spirits. It’s like finding a genever drenched Aladdin’s cave.

So we say watch this space, they’re a creative bunch in Amsterdam – proost!

5 Reasons why…we think Amsterdam is one of the most exciting places on the global cocktail scene

17th August 2018

We’re always on the lookout for food and drink inspiration and this week we donned our clogs and took to Amsterdam for an unexpected, trend-packed cocktail adventure.

When we think of ‘the dam’ our initial thoughts might not be award-winning cocktails, vibrant and interesting mixology and effortlessly ‘cool’ venues but a recent trip there has proven it offers all the above.

We found a thriving cocktail scene where, as a relatively new player, their establishments aren’t saddled with the baggage of conventional cocktail making. They celebrate the innovative, creative and bold (it is Amsterdam after all) and we believe it’s a force to be reckoned with on the global bar scene.

1. Bar-cause it’s award-winning

Amsterdam is home to the winner of this year’s Bacardi Legacy, Eric Van Beek from Bar Twenty Seven. The competition is one of the largest and most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world. Bartenders from over 30 nations go against one another in a test of showmanship, creativity, marketing, drink creation and sheer hard work.

For three days, the competitors – already national champions from their own countries – presented their cocktails to two independent judging panels. Van Beek’s drink Carino, which used Bacardi Reserva Ocho with yellow chartreuse, Greek yogurt, vanilla syrup and lemon juice, and his performance, which incorporated the ‘Spoken Word’ in a message of love and togetherness, secured him his place ahead of Australia and Mexico, which came second and third respectively.
Bar Twenty Seven’s menu focuses on probiotics, featuring cocktails with a refreshing, ‘gut-loving’ probiotic boost. We’ve seen the rise of probiotics and fermentation across both the food and drink industry but this menu was an innovative take on a budding trend, masterfully fusing natural flavours and carefully selected spirits. We had the pleasure of catching up with Eric at the bar and trying this cocktail for ourselves and it’s certainly a delicious tipple worthy of such an award – our gut thanks you Eric.
2. Leading by example

Tales & Spirits might just be one of the best places we’ve ever been – and we’re not the only ones who think so too. Tales & Spirits regularly features on global top cocktail bar lists including the 50 best bars ranking. It’s a stylish fusion of old and new, providing a surprising and tantalising menu of innovative cocktails.

What were we loving: truthfully, everything but if we had to choose it’d be the Charlie Brown – an impressive mix of rye, roasted peanut liqueur, bitters and orange zest – a delicious choice on their extensive Old Fashioned menu. It’s amazing to think how the popularity of the Old Fashioned continues to withstand time and outlive other trends.

3. Feel the passion

There’s a raw energy and passion on the Amsterdam bar scene which becomes infectious. We were given venue recommendations from bartender to bartender, encouraging us to visit their friends and even drawing maps to the next location. Our journey started when we stumbled on Rosalia’s Menagerie, within 5 minutes it felt like home thanks to the sheer passion and knowledge of its bartender, Wouter Bosch. Sat at the bar Wouter gave us an in-depth history of the nation’s drink, genever, and gleamed with pride when speaking about the burgeoning Amsterdam cocktail scene. Wouter had us completely enthralled by his inventive menu – a whimsical and fascinating selection of cocktails fusing mythology and alcohol, in beautifully designed menus by their in-house artist. ‘Choose your cocktail by choosing a mythical creature’ – I’m definitely a Wolpertinger (an adorable little rabbit with antlers, wings, fangs and chicken feet) I say, as I ignore comments drawing parallels between me and the more dragon-like figures. We’ve seen this trend of using imagery to decipher your chosen cocktail before but this felt different, it was authentic and full of charm. This bar, this experience – it was first class and the passion was palpable.

4. True to its roots

‘First came genever, then came gin’ – we heard this a lot on our bar-hopping, trend-spotting evening. Genever is the traditional Dutch spirit, being made as early as the 1500s. It is malted grain spirits with juniper berries, and also fondly known as the Grandfather of gin. There are a lot of different styles to genever, as well as myths and stories about this sailor’s tipple. The bars we visited proudly offer a selection of craft genever either as a tasting selection or weaved into the cocktail list – we loved the genever Old Fashioned menu at Rosalia’s Menagerie.

5. Effortlessly cool and creative

Amsterdam’s conventional drinking culture revolved around glugging traditional beers and genever in local bars dotted along the waterside. It’s been argued that Amsterdam is late to the cocktail scene but frankly who cares when they’ve established such a cool collective of interesting, innovative cocktail venues. Tales & Spirits for example showcases exposed bricks, antique accessories and vintage glassware, but the creativity doesn’t stop there – it spills over into T&S Atelier, the adjoining boutique and bottle shop packed with rare bar tools, books and spirits. It’s like finding a genever drenched Aladdin’s cave.

So we say watch this space, they’re a creative bunch in Amsterdam – proost!