Let’s face it, cocktails are delicious. Some have remained timelessly in vogue for hundreds of years, never becoming ‘Old Fashioned’, while some have faded into history (not many Flips in bars these days). New cocktails are constantly being created using more and more experimental techniques and exciting flavours, and the latest cocktail trends include the return of forgotten cocktails, variations on classics, draft cocktails and for the daring – savoury cocktails!
Tales & Spirits
One of Amsterdam’s most auspicious spots for innovative food and cocktails, the attentive and knowledgeable bartenders make you feel right at home in its classy, yet quirky interior. Tales & Spirits was opened only a few years ago and plays residence to award winning mixologists, all of who stay active in the progressing of Amsterdam cocktail scene. Discover its playful, delicious spirit for yourself.
Tales & Spirits, Lijnbaanssteeg 5-7
Tipple to try: ‘General Lee’, a love story between Knob Creek Rye, Amaretto and Dom Benedictine that’s accentuated with bitters and served up with a theme tune.
Speakeasy styled bars have made a huge comeback, popularised for that feeling of exclusivity. One of the newer bars in town is an ultra hip bar behind an unmarked door in the city centre: Porem. Its focus is on cocktails of top quality that can be paired with moreish sushi and sashimi. Old school elegance with a contemporary twist.
Porem, Geldersekade 17
Tipple to try: ‘Sergio Ramos Gin Fizz’, a unique combination of gin, almond milk, Perdro Ximenez sherry, orange flower water and lemon.
‘HPS’ quickly earned its reputation as one of the best for top quality drinks in a seductive twenties-style lounge bar that was once a brown café. They embrace classic flavour combinations and take pride in their experimentation with originality. Keep an ear out for live music events in the bar too!
Hiding In Plain Sight, Rapenburg 18
Tipple to try: ‘Mango Crusta’, a celebration of summer flavours: spiced rum, aged rum, clement creole shrub (a colonial acidic cordial made from fruit, sugar and vinegar), mango syrup and lime.
Hidden behind an unassuming door, accessible by reservation by phone, or a (very) friendly smile, is the first bar opened in the Netherlands that plays homage to the bygone Speakeasy era. Door 74 was opened as a place of solace for those wanting to sample exceptional drinks that are delicious and original. The talented bartenders create new a cocktail – daily!
Door 74, Reguliersdwarsstraat 74
Tipple to try: ‘Searching For Black Matter’, an out of this world creation of Botran Solera rum, Marzipan syrup and dried pineapple bitters
Vesper Bar, with its seductive nod to James Bond, feels like the quintessential living room. Cosy and full to the brim with spirit. Their inventive cocktail menu changes seasonally and is consistently of a high scrumptious standard. Uniquely, they offer a boozy Hightea menu too, the perfect pick-me-up in between a day of shopping in the Jordaan.
Vesper Bar, Vinkenstraat 57
Tipple to try: ‘Pistachio’, a wild combination of Amsterdam’s own Bobby’s gin, lime, blueberry puree and pistachio syrup.
The Butcher truly represents the alluring secrecy of a hidden bar, and its exclusivity only fortifies its reputation as a seriously good bar. Located somewhere on the Albert Cuyp market, a lucky few get to experience its secrets and the knowledgeable bar staff who create inventively night after night.
The Butcher, Albert Cuypstraat 129
Tipple to try: ‘Belladona’, a velvety and sultry cocktail of beetroot juice, citrusy gin and black raspberry liqueur
C stands for Celsius and C bar and restaurant’s experimental outlook give a 360 degree experience. The restaurant divides its menu into dishes by temperature; the bar has an equally fresh approach to creating drinks in a cool contemporary setting.
C Bar, Wibaustraat 125
Tipple to try: ‘Sammy’s Morning Wood’ is a rather irresistible mix of Tanqueray London Dry gin, licorice syrup, lime and chocolate bitters. (€10)
A reference to the renowned cult writer and alcohol enthusiast, Henry’s bar is named after Henry Charles Bukowski. It may only be open from Thursdays through Saturdays, but its collection of literary themed drinks renders is an artistically bohemian place to sip one… or five concoctions.
Henry’s Bar, Oosterpark 10
Tipple to try: The ‘English Breakfast’ is the perfect companion with Ham On Rye - Gin, honey, cardamom and black tea.
Kevin Bacon Bar
Located in Hotel Not Hotel, this eccentric little bar prides itself on being a little different. It serves Thai food and unusual cocktails in a casual café, complete with sunny terrace. They keep it fresh and not too serious for both daytime drinks and into the night.
Kevin Bacon Bar, Witte de Withstraat 38
Tipple to try: ‘Kevin Bacon’s Old Fashioned’, will have you footloose with its bacon infused Buffalo trace bourbon, maple syrup and walnut bitters.
Epitomising decadence, this hotel bar offers guests a few unique things: a sweeping panoramic view of the city from on of the highest spots in Amsterdam, an elegant snack menu from the Michelin starred adjoining restaurant, Ciel Bleu and an array of rather indulgent champagne and classic cocktails. Stay classy.
Twenty Third Bar, Hotel Okura, Ferdinand Bolstraat 333
Tipple to try: A classic and elegant ‘Kir Royale’, Crème de Cassis and Besserat de Bellefon champagne.
Still craving more cocktails? Find more cocktail bars in Amsterdam!
Words: Daniella Down