Once a distillery, the copper brewing kettles and oak kegs still lining the walls and toilets situated inside massive 10,000-litre vats give bar and restaurant Proeflokaal De Admiraal barrels of charm.
The proeflokaal part of the name means a tasting house and this one is linked to A. van Wees De Ooievaar in the Jordaan, the last distillery in the centre of Amsterdam. A large number of A. van Wees jenevers (Dutch gins), liqueurs and old-fashioned bitters - with evocative names like Parrot Soup, Bride's Tears and Little Hans in the Cellar - are on sale. There is a wine list too if you can't stomach hard liquor.
It’s particularly fun to try a tasting at Proeflokaal De Admiraal. The jenever tasting, for example, which costs around €10, comprises four small glasses of jenever of different ages. The first is a very young jenever, which is bottled as soon as it is made; the second is an ‘old’ jenever, which means it has been aged for 12 months; the third is a korenwijn; and the final - and mellowest of them all - is a zeer oude (very old) three-year-old jenever.
Proeflokaal De Admiraal really comes into its own in the winter. Raise a glass at the wood-panelled bar or squeeze into one of the many dark corners for a solid meat and two veg-style Dutch meal.
The menu emphasises Dutch dishes in hearty quantities, such as steak in red wine sauce or fish with capers and fresh dill. The dessert menu is equally straightforward. Choose from a simple scoop of ice cream or a slice of Dutch apple pie. Alternatively, skip dessert altogether and opt for a liqueur tasting instead.
Mon-Fri 16.30-01.00; Sat 17.00-01.00
Telephone: 020 625 4334
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