Tasting houses in Amsterdam go back to the 17th century. Wine and spirit sellers wanted to boost their sales and invited rich merchants to sample their wares, hoping to strike a deal. Just off Brouwersgracht, on Driehoekstraat, is De Ooievaar, the last remaining distillery in this area. Jenever, Dutch gin, has been made here since 1782. Their proeflokaal, tasting house, is De Admiraal at Herengracht.
Try Jenever at De Admiraal
Sit in The Admiraal Tasting House (or Proeflokaal A. van Wees) surrounded by authentic distillery kettles and wooden caskets. Sample jenever made of juniper berries. If you like something sweeter, try Heaven on Earth, Rose without Thorns or any of the other liqueurs. Seating is on wine-barrels and the table is a heavy oak plank suspended from the ceiling. Stay here for dinner, the menu is not large but all is cooked to perfection. The Admiral Tasting House is steeped in history and atmosphere.
Savour Liqueurs at Wynand Fockink
Spices, herbs and sugar were brought to Amsterdam from the Dutch East Indies. Monks started experimenting with these new products in their never ending search for new medicines. However, their concoctions tasted too bitter. As soon as they had added sugar, the elixirs became very popular and today we call them liqueurs. Wijnand Fockink is famous for its wide choice of liqueurs with suggestive names – Volmaakt Geluk (Complete Bliss), Bruidstranen (Bride’s Tears) and Hansje in de Kelder (Little Hans in the cellar).
De Admiraal – Proeflokaal A. van Wees
1016 AV Amsterdam
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 16.30-00.00, Sundays closed
Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal en Slijterij
1012 HH Amsterdam
Opening Hours: 7 days a week 14.00-21.00